General Lab Information

Yimei Zhu

Nanoscale Structure and Structural Defects in Advanced Materials, Group Leader, Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science Department

Yimei Zhu

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science Department
Bldg. 480
P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000

(631) 344-3057

Research Interests

Zhu's research interests focus on understanding nano-to-atomic scale phenomena of strongly correlated quantum materials and advanced electron microscopy. His main research goals are probing charge, orbital, spin and lattice correlations and their degrees of freedom, structure-property relationships, as well as interfaces and defects at ultrahigh spatial, temporal, and energy resolution. To achieve the goals and stay at the forefront of the field, he and his team develop and implement electron-microscopy instrumentation and methodology. Zhu's experience on instrumentation development includes laser-free ultrafast electron microscopy, various stages for advancing sample environment capabilities, simultaneous imaging of surface and bulk at atomic resolution and MeV Ultrafast electron diffraction (UED) and microscopy (UEM) with accelerator technologies.  His expertise on quantitative microscopy includes valnce electron mapping using electron diffraction, aberration corrected atomic imaging, energy-loss spectroscopy, electron holography, Lorentz microscopy, ultrafast electron microscopy and cryogenic in-situ microscopy in superconductors, multiferroics, topological 2D magnets, and quantum and energy materials. 

Education | Appointments | Highlights | Awards


  • 1986-87,  Research Associate, Dept. of Physics & Dept. of Materials Science, University of Virginia, VA, supervisor: Prof. Doris Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf, member of US National Academy of Engineering. 
  • 1982-87,  M.S. (1984) & Ph.D (1987), Material Physics, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan, supervisor: Prof. Toru Imura, member of Japanese National Academy.
  • 1977-81,  B.S. Materials Science and Applied Physics, Shanghai JiaoTong University, Shanghai, China.

Professional Appointments

  • 2019 – , Senior Advisor, Center for Functional Nanomaterials, BNL
  • 2002 – , Senior Physicist, Group Leader of Electron Microscopy and Nanostructure of Advanced Materials, BNL
  • 2006 – , Program director, Institute for Advanced Electron Microscopy, BNL
  • 2002 – 2010, Facility Leader and Co-Founder, Center for Functional Nanomaterials, BNL 
  • 1997 – 2002, Scientist with tenure, Group Leader, Dept. Appl. Sci. / Mat. Sci., BNL 
  • 1993 – 1997, Scientist, Dept. of Appl. Sci., BNL 
  • 1990 – 1993, Associate Scientist, Dept. of Appl. Sci., BNL
  • 1988 – 1990, Assistant Scientist, Dept. of Appl. Sci., BNL
  • Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Chemistry, Stony Brook University (2012 -), Dept. of Phys. and Astronomy, Stony Brook University (2002 - ), Dept. of Applied Physics & Mathematics, Columbia University (2002-), Dept. of Mat. Sci. & Eng., Stony Brook University 

Advisory Committees

  • Advisory Board, NSF Science and Technology Center for Bright Beams, Cornell University, (2018 - ).
  • Chair of the Advisory Board, NSF Center for Translational Applications of Nanoscale Multiferroic Systems, UCLA, CA (2013 - ).
  • Scientific Advisory Board, Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Lab (2020 – ).
  • External Advisory Board, DOE-EFRC “Manipulation of Atomic Ordering for Manufacturing Semiconductors” (2022-);
  • International Scientific Advisory Board, Relativistic Ultrafast Electron Diffraction & Imaging Facility (RUEDI), UK (2021-).

Research Highlights

Research Highlights link



  • US patent on Transmission Electron Microscope Holder with Optical Features, patent No. 8143593 (awarded in March 2012),  M. Milas, Yimei Zhu, and J.D. Rameau
  • US patent on Sample Stage and Chamber with Optical Excitation for Ion and Photoelectron Microscopes, patent No. 8497487 (awarded in July 2013), M. Milas, and Yimei Zhu, J.D. Rameau
  • US patent on Apparatus for GHz rate high duty cycle pulsing and manipulation of low and medium energy DC electron beams, patent No. US 9697982 (awarded Oct 2016), S. Baryshev, J. Qiu, C. Jing, S. Antipov, J. Lau, and Y. Zhu.
  • US patent (Provisional): “A Stroboscopic Transmission Electron Microscope for Imaging at MHz and GHz Rates”, (No. 62/236,567, submitted), S. Baryshev, J. Qiu, J. Lau, and Y. Zhu.
  • US patent on “Ultra broad band continuously tunable electron beam pulser”, patent No. US 10,319,556 B2, awarded Jun 11, 2019, C.  Jing, J. Qiu, S.V. Baryshev, J. Lau, and Y. Zhu.
  • United States Patent, Patent No.: US 11,410,829 B1, “TEM sample holder with cryogenic cooling and broadband RF irradiation”, inventors: C. Jing, S. Ross, R. Kostin, and Y. Zhu, Date of patent issued: Aug. 9, 2022.

Awards & Recognition

  • Elected fellow of APS, AAAS, MRS, MSA (inaugural class) and MAS; 
  • Peter Duncumb Award, highest honor of the Microanalysis Society (2021);
  • 2020 Innovation Award for the development of Electron Pulser using Accelerator Technology for Ultra-fast Electron Microscopy, MicroscopyToday, Microscopy Society of America (2020)
  • MSA Council Service Award, Microscopy Society of America (2020)
  • Director for Physical Sciences, Microscopy Society of America (2018-2020)
  • 2019 R&D 100 Award for the development of Affordable Laser-free Retrofittable Stroboscopic Solution for Ultrafast Electron Microscopy, R&D World magazine (2019)
  • 2019 Innovation Award for the Development of Compact Quadrupole-based MeV Ultrafast Electron Microscope, MicroscopyToday, Microscopy Society of America (2019)
  • Member of the National Academy of Inventors (2019) 
  • International Science and Technology Award, the State Council of the People’s Republic of China (2018)
  • Distinguished Scientist Award, highest honor of the society, Microscopy Society of America (2018)
  • Lee Hsun Lecture Award, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (2018)
  • International Collaboration Award, Chinese Academy of Sciences (2017)
  • Distinguished Asian American Awards, issued by Suffolk County Executive S. Bellone, and by New York Governor A. Cuomo (2015) 
  • World Premier Institute Visiting Professor, Japanese Ministry of Education and Culture, Tohoku University, Sendai (2013)
  • Nanqiang Memory Lecture Award, Xianmen University, China (2013)
  • 2011 R & D 100 Award, “Multimodal Optical Nanoprobe” R & D Magazine (2011) 
  • Innovation Award, MicroscopyToday, for development of an innovative method on in-situ optoelectronic microscopy, Microscopy Society of America (2011)
  • Innovation Award, MicroscopyToday, for development of an innovative method of ultra-high-resolution atomic imaging of surfaces and bulk materials, Microscopy Society of America (2010)
  • Distinguished Science and Technology Award, Brookhaven National Laboratory (2003) 
  • Program Development Award, Energy, Environment and National Security, BNL (2001)
  • Basic Energy Sciences Chunky Bullet Competition Award, Department of Energy (2001)
  • Kazuo Award, International Federation of Societies for Electron Microscopy, ICEM-11, Kyoto (1986)
  • China-Japan Government Fellowship, Ministry of Education, (1982-1987)
  • Chinese 1st Nationwide Competition for Overseas-Graduate-Study Scholarship (1981)
Yimei Zhu

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science Department
Bldg. 480
P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000

(631) 344-3057

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