Cangyu Qu




Ph.D., Engineering Mechanics (2019), Tsinghua University, China.

  • Thesis: “Fundamental Characteristics of Graphite Mesa Superlubric System”
  • Advisor: Prof. Quanshui Zheng

B.S., Engineering Mechanics (2013), Tsinghua University, China.


My research interest includes mechanics and tribology on the micro- and nanoscale. My current research is focused on tribology of electrical contacts in NEMS switches, which helps us to gain fundamental understanding for building durable NEMS switches for energy efficient electronics. My previous research is mainly focused on structural superlubricity, a phenomenon where nearly zero friction and wear is found in directly contacted solids.


  • Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, The Chinese Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (CSTAM), 2020
  • Tsinghua Xuetang Talents Program (Tsien Excellence in Engineering Program), Tsinghua University, 2009-2013


  • As first/corresponding author
  • Qu, C., Wang, K., Wang, J., Gongyang, Y. Carpick, R., Urbakh, M., Zheng, Q.* (2020). Origin of Friction in Superlubric Graphite Contacts. Physical Review Letters, 125(12), 126102.
  • Wang, K., Qu, C.*, Wang, J., Quan, B., Zheng, Q.* (2020). Characterization of a Microscale Superlubric Graphite Interface. Physical Review Letters, 125(2), 026101.
  • Qu, C., Xiang, X., Ma, M., Zheng, Q.* (2020). Controlled Movements in Superlubric MEMS. Journal of Harbin Institute of Technology (New Series), 27(3), 45.
  • Zhao, S., Shi, S., Xia, K., Wang, T., Chai, M., Zhang, Y., Qu, C. *, Zheng, Q*. (2020). Scratching of Graphene-Coated Cu Substrates Leads to Hardened Cu Interfaces with Enhanced Lubricity. ACS Applied Nano Materials, 3(2), 1992.
  • Qu, C., Shi, S., Ma, M., Zheng, Q.* (2019). Rotational Instability in Superlubric Joints. Physical Review Letters, 122(24), 246101.
  • Qu, C., Cao, W., Liu, B., Wang, A., Xie, F., Ma, M., Shan, W., Urbakh, M., Zheng, Q.* (2019). Direct Measurement of Adhesions of Liquid on Graphite. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 123(18), 11671.
  • Qu, C., Liu, B., Ma, M., Zheng, Q.* (2018). Design and Optimization of the Diamagnetic Lateral Force Calibration Method. Review of Scientific Instruments, 89(11), 113704.
  • As contributing author
  • He, Y., Li, H., Qu, C., Cao, W., & Ma, M. (2021). Recent understanding of solid-liquid friction in ionic liquids. Green Chemical Engineering, 2(2), 145–157.
  • He, Y., Shi, D., Qu, C., Xu, Z., Chen, L., Wang, Y., Yu, Z., & Ma, M. (2021). Diffusion Induced Different Distributions of Sulfur Clusters on Suspended and Supported Graphene. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 125(21).
  • Peng, D., Wu, Z., Shi, D., Qu, C., Jiang, H., Song, Y., Ma, M., Aeppli, G., Urbakh, M., Zheng, Q. (2020). Load-induced dynamical transitions at graphene interfaces. PNAS. 117(23) 12618.
  • Song, Y., Qu, C., Ma, M. & Zheng, Q. (2020). Structural Superlubricity Based on Crystalline Materials. Small. 16(15), 1903018.
  • Liu, B., Wang, J., Zhao, S., Qu, C., Liu, Y., Ma, L., Zhang, Z., Liu, K., Zheng, Q., Ma, M. (2020). Negative friction coefficient in microscale graphite/mica layered heterojunctions. Science Advances, 6(16), eaaz6787.
  • Gongyang, Y., Ouyang, W., Qu, C., Urbakh, M., Quan, B., Ma, M., & Zheng, Q. (2020). Temperature and velocity dependent friction of a microscale graphite-DLC heterostructure. Friction, 8(2), 462–470.
  • Wang, K., Qu, C., Wang, J., Ouyang, W., Ma, M., Zheng, Q. (2019). Strain Engineering Modulates Graphene Interlayer Friction by Moiré Patterns Evolution. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 11, 36169.
  • Wang, J., Cao, W., Song, Y., Qu, C., Zheng, Q., Ma, M. (2019). Generalized Scaling Law of Structural Superlubricity. Nano Letters. 19, 7735.
  • Gongyang, Y., Qu, C., Zhang, S., Ma, M., & Zheng, Q. (2018). Eliminating delamination of graphite sliding on diamond-like carbon. Carbon, 132, 444.
  • Liu, B., Wang, J., Peng, X., Qu, C., Ma, M., & Zheng, Q. (2018). Direct fabrication of graphite-mica heterojunction and in situ control of their relative orientation. Materials & Design, 160, 371–376.
  • Shan, S., Kang, S. H., Wang, P., Qu, C., Shian, S., Chen, E. R., Bertoldi, K. (2014). Harnessing multiple folding mechanisms in soft periodic structures for tunable control of elastic waves. Advanced Functional Materials, 24(31), 4935.