Event Location
EB 2250


Dr. Changyong Cao

Assistant Professor
School of Packaging
Michigan State University
Thursday, March 22, 2018
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
2250 EB

“Soft Materials, Electronics and Machines”
- from Tunable Surfaces to Emerging Electronics to Medical Devices

Soft materials, such as polymers, foams and hydrogels, can deform easily and to very large strains. Their shapes and sizes can vary greatly even if the applied forces are small. Different from “hard materials”, soft materials have very different and unique properties, which may have potential applications in various fields but have been much less explored. This offers people great opportunities for making breakthrough discoveries and inventions in engineering and medicine. Moreover, a combination of soft and hard materials could enable people to develop unprecedented functions of machines, structures and devices, for example, self-organized patterns and soft robotics and self-folding structures. In this talk, I will present some work we have done in the field of mechanics and physics of soft materials and nanomaterials, particularly the mechanical instability of thin film-substrate system, the printed, flexible and stretchable electronics, and the innovative biomedical devices. I will first describe how we use numerical and experimental methods to identify the instability modes and the scaling laws for generating tunable surfaces patterns. Then, I will demonstrate how to harness mechanical instabilities and large deformations from soft materials to develop stretchable supercapacitors and novel medical devices. Finally, I will show our recent efforts in developing robust, smart and sustainable packaging system with engineered materials and technologies. 

Dr. Changyong Cao is Assistant Professor in the School of Packaging, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan State University. Prior to his current position, he worked as a Postdoctoral Associate at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of Duke University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Australian National University (ANU) in 2014 with an emphasis in Engineering Mechanics and Advanced Materials. He was also a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley and Tsinghua University between 2012 and 2013. His current research interests are primarily in the areas of soft materials, nanomaterials and emerging electronics as well as additive manufacturing, including the mechanics and applications of soft materials and nanomaterials and biomaterials, the design, analysis and manufacturing of printable/flexible/stretchable electronics, and the design and optimization of advanced materials. He has published over 30 papers in leading peer-reviewed journals and proceedings, and many of his work received widespread media attention, including Science Daily, Science Newsline, Duke News, MIT News,, Nanowerk etc. 

Faculty Host:  Dr. Xiaobo Tan (

Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities.  Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting Dr. Cagri Ulusoy (