Group of Dr. Zhenwei Yao


My research interest is understanding exceedingly rich static and dynamic structures arising in the enormous class of soft condensed matter systems using the combination of analytical theory and numerical experiment. ‘Soft matter’ covers a large variety of systems that are far beyond what its name indicates, including polymers, colloids, liquid crystals, surfactants, sand, etc. All of these are traditional research objects of materials scientists, biologists, and chemists. Applying physical methods to these systems defines the subject of soft matter physics. Soft matters are gaining increasing industrial importance. Notably, soft matter based functional materials offer promising opportunity for applications in complex devices and renewable energy. What is equally exciting is new physical concepts and principles to be revealed from intriguing behaviors of soft matters. An open question in this field is to fully understand the origin of various ordered phases. A common theme in my researches is the crucial role played by geometry and topological defects. Specifically, I am dedicated to exploring the following problems in soft matter physics: (1) How are various ordered static and dynamic structures in extensive soft matter systems fabricated? What is their response to environment? (2) How do topological defects play their roles in these processes? (3) What are the implications of the answers to the above questions in the fields of materials science, biology, and beyond?


Topological defects

Elasticity and geometry

Electrostatics in soft matters

Liquid droplet systems


Group Members

Duan, Xiuqing, email:;

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Chen, Jingyuan, email:

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2016 Spring, Advanced Statistical Physics (graduate)

Open Positions

Our lab welcomes interested undergraduate and graduate students.
Postdoc positions are currently available.