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Guoxin Cao
Ph.D., Associate Professor
Department of Mechanics and Engineering Science,
College of Engineering, Peking University


Ph.D., Material Science and Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA

M.S., Solid Mechanics, Inner Mongolia Polytechnic University, Huhhot, China

B.S., Chemical Machinery and Equipment, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China

Research Areas

Nanomechanics, Biomechanics, Multiscale computational simulation of nanosystems and biosystems, Energy adsorption/damping systems.

Research Profile

The overall objective of the research in the Dr. Cao's group is to further the understanding of the mechanical response of nanosystems and biosystems on the multi scales, based on the combination of numerical simulations with experimental testing.

In general, the meachnical response nano-/bio-systems are much more complicated than that of the traditional material systems. Biosystems are heterogonous, anisotropic, hydrated and not only passively react to external stimuli by altering their shape and internal structure but also can generate force, and sense and actuate to the stimuli. Due to the small size, the mechanical behavior of nanosystems is strongly affected by the effects of surface/interface, liquid/solid/gas interactions, and small perturbations such as defects/ impurities, and environments. Therefore, multiscale methods (including atomic/molecular and continuum methods) should be used in order to obtain the accurate results of the above complex systems.    

In the numerical simulations, the methods are focused on the combination of density functional theory, molecular dynamic simulation and finite element modeling. In the experiments, besides the tradition mechanical testing (e.g. MTS),the nanoindentation based on Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and nanoindenter is one of the main tool to determine the mechanical behavior of complex system at small scale. In addition, for the biosystems, the customized testing setup as well as the analyses tools based on optics, such as Raman microscopy and fluorescence microscopy, are required. 

Professional Honors and Awards

2010 Layman Award of University of Nebraska-Linocln

The 2008 Nominee of Columbia University of the BURROUGHS WELLCOME FUND Career Awards at the Scientific Interface (two nominees in 2008 in Columbia University)

Professional Activities

Member, Material Research Society

Member, American Society of Mechanical Engineering

Journal reviewer of more than ten journals (including Physical Review Letters, Physical Review B, Nanotechnology, Computational Material Science and so on) 

Selected Recent Publications (out of >50)

  1. Guoxin Cao, and Namas Chandra.  Evaluation of Biological Cell Properties Using Dynamic Indentation Method. Physical Review E 81, 021924 (2010).

  2. Guoxin Cao, Xi Chen, Zhi-Hui Xu and Xiaodong Li.  Measuring Mechanical Properties Of Micro- And Nano-Fibers Embedded In An Elastic Substrate: Theoretical Framework And Experiment. Composites Part B: Engineering, 41, 33-41 (2010).

  3. Xi Chen, Guoxin Cao, Aijie Han, Patricia J. Culligan, and Yu Qiao. Nanoscale Fluid Transport: Size and Rate Effects, Nano Letters, 8 (9), 2988–2992 (2008).

  4. Guoxin Cao and Xi Chen. Self-Assembled Triangular and Labyrinth Buckling Patterns of Thin Films on Spherical Substrates. Physical Review Letters, 100, 036102 (2008).

  5. Guoxin Cao and Xi Chen. An Energy Analysis of Size-Dependent Elastic Properties of ZnO Nanofilms. Physical Review B, 76, 165407 (2007).

  6. Yu Qiao, Guoxin Cao, and Xi Chen, Effects of gas molecules on nanofluidic behaviors, Journal of the American Chemical Society. 129, 2355-2359 (2007).

  7. Guoxin Cao and Xi Chen. The effect of the displacement increment on the axial compressive buckling behaviors of single-walled carbon nanotubes. Nanotechnology 17, 3844–3855 (2006).

  8. Yuye Tang, Guoxin Cao, Xi Chen, Jejoong Yoo, Arun Yethiraj and Qiang Cui. A finite element framework for studying mechanical response of macromolecules: Application to the gating of the mechanosensitive channel, MscL. Biophysical Journal, 91, 1248-1263 published as a cover article (2006).

  9. Guoxin Cao, Xi Chen and Jeffrey W. Kysar. Thermal vibration and apparent thermal contraction of single-walled carbon nanotubes. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 54, 1206–1236 (2006). Guoxin Cao and Xi Chen. The effect of the displacement increment on the axial compressive buckling behaviors of single-walled carbon nanotubes. Nanotechnology 17, 3844–3855 (2006).