Zou, Yu

Professor Yu Zou

Yu Zou | B.Eng. (Beihang University), M.Eng. (McGill University), Dr.Sc. (ETH Zurich), Postdoc (MIT)
Assistant Professor, Canada Research Chair & Dean's Spark Professor

Office: PT 172A
T: +1 (416) 946-7236
E: mse.zou@utoronto.ca

Research Group: Laboratory for Extreme Mechanics & Additive Manufacturing


Research Areas

Our group uses novel experimental, analytical, and computational tools to explore materials with extreme properties or under extreme conditions, particularly for metallic materials. Our research themes can be summarized as 4Ms - metals, mechanics, manufacturing, and machine learning, covering many length and time scales. Of particular interest is to advance the fields of vital importance to the society, including aerospace, biomedical, electronic, environment, and energy sectors.

Metals: high-entropy alloys, nanocrystalline alloys, quasicrystals, titanium, aluminium and steels.

Mechanics: nanoindentation, in-situ instrumentation, high strain-rate/temperature deformation, fracture and failure analysis.

Manufacturing: additive manufacturing (3D printing), cold spray technology, mechanical alloying, arc melting, and magnetron co-sputtering.

Machine Learning: machine learning for alloy design, computer vision for advanced manufacturing

Research Clusters

Dr. Yu Zou joined the MSE Department at U of T as an Assistant Professor in January 2018, after working as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. He received his doctorate, master’s, and bachelor’s degrees from ETH Zurich, McGill University, and Beihang University, respectively, all in Materials Science and Engineering. He was also a JSPS visiting scholar at Kyoto University. At U of T, Dr. Zou leads the Laboratory for Extreme Mechanics & Additive Manufacturing (LEMAM) and the research topics of his group include the design of novel metallic materials, multiscale mechanical testing, metal additive manufacturing (3D printing) and applied machine learning. At U of T, Dr. Zou is teaching “Mechanical behaviour of materials”, “Fracture and failure of materials” and “Additive manufacturing of advanced engineering materials”. Dr. Zou is currently serving as the Chair of Materials Technical Section in the Metallurgy and Materials Society of CIM (MetSoc) in Canada.

Professional Memberships

  • Materials Research Society (MRS)
  • The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS)
  • The Metallurgical Society (MetSoc)

Select Publications: 

  • M Li, Y Shen, K. Luo, Q An, P Gao, P Xiao, Y Zou. “Harnessing dislocation motion by an electric field.” Nature Materials (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41563-023-01572-7
  • C Cheng, R Feng, MJR Haché, X Zhang, Y Zou. “Phase formability and nanomechanical properties in nanostructured multi-principal element alloys: combinatorial and data-driven studies.” Materials Today Nano (2023). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mtnano.2023.100403
  • X Yan, Y Zhang, Y Zou. “Near-superplastic behavior of a body-centered cubic Zr50Ti35Nb15 multi-principal element alloy via dynamic recrystallization.” Scripta Materialia (2023). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scriptamat.2023.115308
  • W Wang, MJR Haché, C Cheng, T Lyu, Z Liu, M Papini, Y Zou. “Solid-particle erosion of a dual-phase AlCoFeNi2 high-entropy alloy.” Wear (2023). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wear.2023.204971
  • Z Liu, R Li, D Chen, Y Sun, B He, Y Zou. “Enhanced tensile ductility of an additively manufactured near-α titanium alloy by microscale shear banding.” International Journal of Plasticity (2022). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijplas.2022.103387
  • J Zhang, T Lyu, Y Hua, Z Shen, Q Sun, Y Rong, Y Zou. “Image Segmentation for Defect Analysis in Laser Powder Bed Fusion: Deep Data Mining of X-Ray Photography from Recent Literature.” Integrating Materials and Manufacturing Innovation (2022). doi.org/10.1007/s40192-022-00272-5
  • H Chen, S Patel, M Vlasea, Y Zou. “Enhanced tensile ductility of an additively manufactured AlSi10Mg alloy by reducing the density of melt pool boundaries.” Scripta Materialia (2022). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scriptamat.2022.114954
  • G Niu, …, H Wu, Y Zou. “Superior fracture toughness in a high-strength austenitic steel with heterogeneous lamellar microstructure.” Acta Materialia (2022). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actamat.2022.117642
  • C Cheng, X Zhang, MJR Haché, Yu Zou. “Phase transition and nanomechanical properties of refractory high-entropy alloy thin films: effects of co-sputtering Mo and W to a TiZrHfNbTa system.” Nanoscale (2022). https://doi.org/10.1039/D2NR01635D
  • C Cheng, Y Xiao, MJR Haché, Z Liu, JM Wheeler, Y Zou. “Probing the Small-Scale Plasticity and Phase Stability of an Icosahedral Quasicrystal I-Al-Pd-Mn at Elevated Temperatures.” Physical Review Materials (2021). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.5.053602
  • Z Liu, J Zhang, B He, and Y Zou. “High-speed nanoindentation mapping of a near-alpha titanium alloy made by additive manufacturing.” Journal of Materials Research (2021). https://doi.org/10.1557/s43578-021-00204-7
  • Z Liu, B He, T Lyu and Y Zou. “A review on additive manufacturing of titanium alloys for aerospace applications: Directed energy deposition and beyond Ti-6Al-4V.” JOM (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11837-021-04670-6
  • H Sun, X Chu, Z Liu, A Gisele, Y Zou. “Selective Laser Melting of Maraging Steels Using Recycled Powders: A Comprehensive Microstructural and Mechanical Investigation.” Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11661-021-06180-1
  • H Sun, X Chu, C Luo, H Chen, Z Liu, Y Zhang, Y Zou. “Selective Laser Melting for Joining Dissimilar Materials: Investigations of Interfacial Characteristics and In Situ Alloying.” Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11661-021-06178-9
  • Y Zou. “Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing: Microstructure Evolution and Bonding Features.” Accounts of Materials Research (2021). (Invited Review) https://doi.org/10.1021/accountsmr.1c00138
  • Z Liu, H Wang, MJR Haché, X Chu, E Irissou, Y Zou. “Prediction of Heterogeneous Microstructural Evolution in Cold-Sprayed Copper Coatings Using Local Zener-Hollomon Parameter and Strain.” Acta Materialia (2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actamat.2020.04.041
  • Z Liu, H Wang, MJR Haché, E Irissou, Y Zou. “Formation of 10-nm grain size in cold sprayed aluminum coatings.” Scripta Materialia (2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scriptamat.2019.09.018
  • Y Zou. “Nanomechanical studies of high-entropy alloys.” Journal of Materials Research (2018). (Invited Review) https://doi.org/10.1557/jmr.2018.155
  • Y Zou, JM Wheeler, H Ma, P Okle, R Spolenak. “Nanocrystalline high entropy alloys: A new paradigm in high temperature strength and stability.” Nano Letters (2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b04716
  • Y Zou, P Okle, H Yu, T Sumigawa, T Kitamura, S Maiti, W Steurer, R Spolenak. “Fracture properties of a refractory high-entropy alloy: In situ micro-cantilever and atom probe tomography studies.” Scripta Materialia (2017). Doi:10.1016/j.scriptamat.2016.09.036
  • Y Zou, P Kuczera, A Sologubenko, T Sumigawa, T Kitamura, W Steurer, R Spolenak. “Superior room-temperature ductility of typically brittle quasicrystals at small sizes.” Nature Communications (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12261.
  • Y Zou, JM Wheeler, A Sologubenko, P Kuczera, W Steurer, J Michler, R Spolenak. “Bridging room-temperature and high-temperature plasticity in decagonal Al-Ni-Co quasicrystals by micro-thermomechanical testing.” Philosophical Magazine (2016). Doi:10.1080/14786435.2016.1234722
  • Y Zou, H Ma, R Spolenak. “Ultrastrong, ductile and stable high-entropy alloys at small scales.” Nature Communications (2015). Doi:10.1038/ncomms8748.
  • Y Zou, R Spolenak. “Size-dependent plasticity in KCl and LiF single crystals: influence of orientation, temperature, pre-straining and doping.” Philosophical Magazine (2015). Doi: 10.1080/14786435.2015.1008068
  • H Ma, Y Zou, A Sologubenko, R Spolenak. “Copper thin films by ion beam assisted deposition: strong texture, superior thermal stability and enhanced hardness.” Acta Materialia (2015). Doi:10.1016/j.actamat.2015.07.013
  • Y Zou, S Maiti, W Steurer, R Spolenak. “Size-dependent plasticity in an Nb25Mo25Ta25W25 refractory high-entropy alloy.” Acta Materialia (2014). Doi:10.1016/j.actamat.2013.11.049
  • Y Zou, D Goldbaum, JA Szpunar, S Yue. “Microstructure and nanohardness of cold-sprayed coatings: Electron backscattered diffraction and nanoindentation studies.” Scripta Materialia (2010). Doi:10.1016/j.scriptamat.2009.11.034
  • Y Zou, W Qin, E Irissou, J Legoux, S Yue, JA Szpunar. “Dynamic recrystallization in the particle/particle interfacial region of cold-sprayed nickel coating: Electron backscatter diffraction characterization.” Scripta Materialia (2009). Doi:10.1016/j.scriptamat.2009.07.020

MSE316: Mechanical Behaviour of Materials

MSE419: Fracture and Failure Analysis

MSE1068/MSE468 Additive Manufacturing of Advanced Engineering Materials

  • The Brimacombe Award, Metallurgy and Materials Society Canada, 2023

  • Connaught Innovation Award, University of Toronto, 2023

  • Ontario Early Researcher Award, the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities, 2022

  • Ontario Early Researcher Award, 2022

  • TMS Early Career Faculty Fellow Award, 2022
  • TMS Materials Processing & Manufacturing Division Young Leader Award, 2021
  • JMR Early Career Scholars Prize, Materials Research Society (MRS), 2020
  • Outstanding reviewer award Acta/Scripta Materialia, 2019
  • The Dean’s Spark Professorship, FASE, University of Toronto, 2018
  • Connaught New Researcher Award (top-up funding), University of Toronto, 2018
  • The James Clerk Maxwell Writers Prize - honorable mention, 2017
  • The Swiss SNSF Early Postdoc.Mobility Fellowship, 2016
  • Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad, 2015
  • The Best Poster Prize for the Nanomechanics Symposium, MRS Fall, 2015
  • Bilateral Japanese-Swiss Young Researchers’ Fellowship, 2014
  • The Rio Tinto - Richard Evans Graduate Fellowship at McGill University, 2011
  • Principal’s Graduate Award at McGill University, 2010