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Minhua Zhao

Minhua Zhao is a CNST Visiting Researcher in the Nanofabrication Research Group. He received a B.S. and an M.S. (with honors) in Materials Science and Engineering from Zhejiang University, China and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, where he applied Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) techniques to characterize the nanomechanical and electromechanical properties of zinc oxide nanowires. After completing postdoctoral work at the University of Connecticut investigating the nanomechanical properties of living cells using AFM and optical microscopy, he was awarded a National Institutes of Health - National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)/NIST postdoctoral fellowship by the National Research Council. He conducted research on nanoscale chemical imaging using electric force microscopy at the NIST Engineering Laboratory and on tip enhanced Raman spectroscopy at NIBIB. In 2010, he won the NIST-ARRA senior researcher award for his work developing techniques for non-destructive subsurface imaging of carbon nanotubes embedded in polymer composites using scanning electron microscopy. In 2012, Minhua joined the CNST, where he is working with Rachel Cannara developing new methods for characterizing carbon nanocomposite materials using non-destructive three-dimensional imaging methods, including confocal Raman microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.

Selected Publications

  • Subsurface characterization of carbon nanotubes in polymer composites via quantitative electric force microscopy, M. Zhao, X. Gu, S. E. Lowther, C. Park, Y. C. Jean, and T. Nguyen, Nanotechnology 21, (2010).
  • Manipulations of biological structures and molecules under scanning probe microscopy, M. H. Zhao and B. D. Huey, in Bottom-up Nanofabrication, edited by K. Ariga and H. S. Nalwa (American Scientific Publishers, 2009).
  • Ultrasharp and high aspect ratio carbon nanotube atomic force microscopy probes for enhanced surface potential imaging, M. Zhao, V. Sharma, H. Wei, R. R. Birge, J. A. Stuart, F. Papadimitrakopoulos, and B. D. Huey, Nanotechnology 19, 235704 (2008).
  • Piezoelectric characterization of individual zinc oxide nanobelt probed by piezoresponse force microscope, M. H. Zhao, Z. L. Wang, and S. X. Mao, Nano Letters 4, 587–590 (2004).
  • Material-length-scale-controlled nanoindentation size effects due to strain-gradient plasticity, M. H. Zhao, W. S. Slaughter, M. Li, and S. X. Mao, Acta Materialia 51, 4461–4469 (2003).
  • Nanoscale mechanical behavior of individual semiconducting nanobelts, S. X. Mao, M. H. Zhao, and Z. L. Wang, Applied Physics Letters 83, 993–995 (2003).
Staff Photo - Minhua Zhao


CNST Visiting Researcher
Nanofabrication Research Group


B.S. Materials Science and Engineering – Zhejiang University, China

M.S. Materials Science and Engineering – Zhejiang University, China

Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering – University of Pittsburgh


Phone: 301-975-8923