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Yi Zheng

273 Snell Engineering Center
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115


Prof. Yi Zheng is an Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and the Director of Nano Energy Laboratory at Northeastern University in Boston, MA, United States. Prior to joining Northeastern, Prof. Zheng was an assistant professor from 2014 to 2019 and promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2019 at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, RI, United States. His research interests include theoretical, computational and experimental investigations on enhanced energy transport phenomena, thermal/optical/electromagnetic sensing, physical properties of nanoengineered metamaterials, and their applications in energy conversion, storage, and harvesting systems, thermophotovoltaics, wavelength selective thermal emitters/absorbers, non-contact mode thermal diodes and transistors, and photon-based radiative cooling technique.

Prof. Zheng serves as editorial board member for Scientific Reports and associate editor for Journal of Photonics for Energy, and reviewer for peer-reviewed journals, such as Nature Communications, Nano Energy, Physical Review Letters, Applied Physics Letters, Scientific Reports, Nano Letters, and serves as topic/session chair at international conferences, such as ASME IMECE Conference and ASME Summer Heat Transfer Conference.


  • Ph.D. (2014), Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY
  • M.S. (2011), Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY
  • B.S. (2009), Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Research & Scholarship Interests

Nanoscale thermal transport; Nanoengineered materials; Multifunctional composites; Microfluidics; Chemical and biological nanosensors; Renewable energy harvesting; Thermophotovoltaics; Photon-based radiative cooling
Affiliated With

Department Research Areas

Honors & Awards

  • 2019 NSF Faculty Early Career (CAREER) Award
  • 2019 ONR-NIUVT Undersea Energy Systems Grant
  • 2018 NASA EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Development Award 
  • 2017 NIH RI-INBRE Early Career Development Award
  • 2017 RI Foundation Research Award
  • 2016 NIH RI-INBRE Pilot Research Development Award
  • 2015 RI Science & Technology Advisory Council Award

Teaching Interests

  • Classical and Small-Scale Heat Transfer
  • Thermodynamics
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Solar Thermal Engineering
  • Micro and Nanotechnology

Selected Publications

  • Yanpei Tian, Alok Ghanekar, Lijuan Qian, Matt Ricci, Otto Gregory, Gang Xiao, and Yi Zheng*, “Tunable Wavelength Selectivity of Photonic Metamaterials-based Thermal Devices”, Journal of Photonics for Energy, 9(3), 032708, 2019. (Invited Paper)
  • Yanpei Tian, Alok Ghanekar, Lijuan Qian, Matt Ricci, Otto Gregory, Gang Xiao, and Yi Zheng*, “Near-infrared Optics of Nanoparticles Embedded Silica Thin Films”, Optics Express, 27(4), A148-A157, 2019.
  • Alok Ghanekar, Yanpei Tian, Matt Ricci, Otto Gregory, and Yi Zheng*, “Performance Enhancement of Near-field Thermoradiative Devices Using Hyperbolic Metamaterials”, Journal of Photonics for Energy, 9(3), 032706, 2019.
  • Alok Ghanekar, Matt Ricci, Yanpei Tian, Otto Gregory, and Yi Zheng*, “Strain-induced Modulation of Near-field Radiative Transfer”, Applied Physics Letters, 112, 241104, 2018. (Editor’s Pick)
  • Alok Ghanekar, Yanpei Tian, Matt Ricci, Otto Gregory, and Yi Zheng*, “Dynamic Optical Response of SU-8 upon UV Treatment”, Optical Materials Express, 8 (7), pp. 2017-2025, 2018.
  • Yanpei Tian, Alok Ghanekar, Lijuan Qian, Matt Ricci, Mikhail Hyde, Otto Gregory, Gang Xiao, Yi Zheng*, “Tunable Wavelength Selectivity of Metamaterials in Near-field and Far-field Radiative Thermal Transport”, Materials, 11(5), 862, 2018.
  • Alok Ghanekar, Gang Xiao, and Yi Zheng*, “High Contrast Far-field Radiative Thermal Diode”, Scientific Reports, 7, 6339, 2017. 
  • Alok Ghanekar, Jun Ji and Yi Zheng*, “High-Rectification Thermal Diode Using Phase Change Periodic Nanostructure”, Applied Physics Letters, 109, 123106, 2016.
  • Alok Ghanekar, Laura Lin and Yi Zheng*, “Novel and Efficient Mie-metamaterial Thermal Emitter for Thermophotovoltaic Systems”, Optics Express, 24 (10), A868-A877, 2016.
See Google Scholar Profile for all publications »