Professor Yuerui (Larry) Lu

ANU College of Engineering, Computing and Cybernetics

Areas of expertise

  • Microelectronics 400908
  • Electronic Sensors 400906
  • Quantum Engineering Systems (Incl. Computing And Communications) 400912
  • Biomedical Imaging 400304
  • Wearable Materials 401611
  • Nanoelectromechanical Systems 401803
  • Nanophotonics 401809
  • Nanomanufacturing 401806
  • Nanoscale Characterisation 401810


Yuerui (Larry) Lu received his Ph.D. degree from Cornell University, the school of Electrical and Computer Engineering, in 2012. He holds a B.S. degree from department of Applied Physics at University of Science and Technology of China. In 2013, he joined the Australian National University as a research fellow and lecturer under the Future Engineering Research Leadership Fellowship. He is now a full professor at the ANU. He is a chief investigator and program manager at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T). His research interests include 2D quantum materials and optoelectronic devices, MEMS sensors and actuators, biomedical and energy devices, etc. He has published 2 books (as editor), 7 book chapters, and more than 100 papers in high-impact journals, including Nature, Science, Nature Physics, Nature Communications, etc. He is serving as a reviewer for many top-tier journals, including Nature, Science, Nature Materials, Nature Photonics, Nature Communications, etc. He is serving as an associate editor for the nature publishing group journal Scientific Reports


  • 2023, Pawsey Medal, Australian Academy of Science.
  • 2021, Young Innovator Award, Nano Research, Springer Publishing Group.
  • 2019, Paul Korner Innovation Award, National Heart Foundation of Australia.
  • 2018, Future Leader Fellow, National Heart Foundation of Australia.
  • 2018, Supervisor Award for 3MT (3 minutes thesis) Competition, ANU.
  • 2016, Westpac Research Fellow Finalists, Westpac Bicentennial Foundation.
  • 2016, Winner of ACT Young Tall Poppy of the Year, Australian Institute of Policy and Science. 
  • 2015, Media and Outreach Award, ANU.
  • 2014, Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA), ARC.
  • 2013, Future Engineering Research Leadership Fellow, ANU.
  • 2012, MRS Graduate Student Award (Silver Medal), Materials Research Society.
  • 2012, Best Poster Award, Cornell NanoScale Facility Annual Meeting.
  • 2012, Daisy Yen Wu Scholarship, Cornell University.
  • 2003, Guo Moruo Presidential Award, USTC (The highest honor for undergraduate)

Researcher's projects

Possible project areas we have available include: 

1. MEMS/NEMS based novel biomedical devices

2. Atomically thin opto-electronic devices (LED, solar cells) and/or mechanical devices based on novel two-dimensional nano-materials

3. Optical nonlinearities in 2D crystals

4. Quantum emitters in 2D materials

5. Power generation for wearable devices 


Publication Highlights:

[1] Xueqian Sun, Yi Zhu, Hao Qin, Boqing Liu, Yilin Tang, Tieyu Lu, Sharidya Rahman, Tanju Yildirim, and Yuerui Lu*, “Enhanced interactions of interlayer excitons in free-standing heterobilayers”, Nature, 610 (7932), 478-484, 2022. (Corresponding Author)          

- Press Coverage: [Link1] [Link2] [Link3]

[2] Boqing Liu, Tanju Yildirim, Tieyu Lü, Elena Blundo, Li Wang, Lixue Jiang, Hongshuai Zou, Lijun Zhang, Huijun Zhao, Zongyou Yin, Fang-Bao Tian, Antonio Polimeni* and Yuerui Lu*, “Variation of Plateau’s Law in Atomically Thin Dome Networks”, Nature Communications, 14 (1), 1050, 2023. (Corresponding Author)

[3] A. J. Healey, S. C. Scholten, T. Yang, J. A. Scott, G. J. Abrahams, I. O. Robertson, X. F. Hou, Y. F. Guo, S. Rahman, Y. Lu, M. Kianinia, I. Aharonovich*, J.-P. Tetienne*, “Quantum microscopy with van der Waals heterostructures”, Nature Physics, 19 (1), 87-91, 2023.

[4] Jack B Muir, Jesper Levinsen, Stuart K Earl, Mitchell A Conway, Jared H Cole, Matthias Wurdack, Rishabh Mishra, David J Ing, Eliezer Estrecho, Yuerui Lu, Dmitry K Efimkin, Jonathan O Tollerud, Elena A Ostrovskaya, Meera M Parish, Jeffrey A Davis. “Interactions between Fermi polarons in monolayer WS2”. Nature Communications 13 (1), 6164, 2022.

[5] Mudassar Nauman, Jingshi Yan, Domenico de Ceglia, Mohsen Rahmani, Khosro Zangeneh Kamali, Costantino De Angelis, Andrey E. Miroshnichenko, Yuerui Lu*, Dragomir N. Neshev*, “Tunable Unidirectional Nonlinear Emission from Transition- Metal-Dichalcogenide Metasurfaces”, Nature Communications, 12, 5597 (2021). (Corresponding Author)

[6] Fei Qin, Boqing Liu, Linwei Zhu, Wei Fang, Jian Lei, Dejiao Hu, Yi Zhu, Yuerui Lu* and Xiangping Li*, “π-phase modulated monolayer supercritical lens”, Nature Communications, 12 (1), 1-9, 2021. (Corresponding Author)

[7] Ankur Sharma, Linglong Zhang, Jonathan O. Tollerud, Miheng Dong, Yi Zhu, Robert Halbich, Tobias Vogl, Kun Liang, Hieu T. Nguyen, Fan Wang, Shilpa Sanwlani, Stuart K. Earl, Daniel Macdonald, Ping Koy Lam, Jeff A. Davis and Yuerui Lu*, “Super-transport of Excitons in Atomically Thin Organic Semiconductors at the 2D Quantum Limit”, Nature Light: Science & Applications, 9, 116, 2020. (Corresponding Author)            

- Press Coverage: A media report entitled “New organic material unlocks faster electronic devices” [link] reached a cumulative audience of over 1.8 million in Australia within 24 hours.

[8] Tobias Vogl, Kabilan Sripathy, Ankur Sharma, Prithvi Reddy, James Sullivan, Joshua R Machacek, Linglong Zhang, Fouad Karouta, Ben C Buchler, Marcus W Doherty, Yuerui Lu, Ping Koy Lam*, “Radiation tolerance of two-dimensional material-based devices for space applications”, Nature Communications 10, 1202, 2019.

- This work was chosen by the ARC to be a national highlight in the published “2020 Outcomes of ARC supported research” (on page 30).

[9] H. Chen, V. Corboliou, A. S. Solntsev, D.-Y. Choi, M. A. Vincenti, D. D. Ceglia, C. D. Angelis, Y. Lu, and D. N. Neshev*. “Enhanced second harmonic generation from two-dimensional MoSe2 on a silicon waveguide”, Nature Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/lsa.2017.60, 2017.

[10] J. Pei, X. Gai*, J. Yang, X. Wang, Z. Yu, D.-Y. Choi, B. L.-Davies, and Y. Lu*. “Producing Air-stable Monolayers of Phosphorene and their Defect Engineering”, Nature Communications, 7, 10450, 2016. (Corresponding Author)           

- Highly Cited Paper. This highly cited paper received enough citations to place it in the top 1% of the academic field of Physics based on a highly cited threshold for the field and publication year.

[11] J. Yang, Z. Wang, F. Wang, R. Xu, J. Tao, S. Zhang, Q. Qin, B. L.-Davies, C. Jagadish, Z. Yu*, Y. Lu*. “Atomically thin optical lenses and gratings”, Nature Light: Science & Applications, 5, e16046, 2016. (Corresponding Author)         

- Press Coverage: 100+ mainstream media and web media outlets reported this story. [Link1] [Link2]; ABC News film [Youtube]; SCOPE film [Youtube].

[12] J. Yang, R. Xu, J. Pei, Y. W. Myint, F. Wang, Z. Wang, S. Zhang, Z. Yu, and Y. Lu*. “Optical tuning of exciton and trion emissions in monolayer phosphorene” Nature Light: Science & Applications, 4, e312, 2015. (Corresponding Author)                     

- Highlighted as “Editor’s Selection” of the journal.        

- Press Coverage: Nature publishing group Media, ANU media, ABC News, Xinhua News, SBS Mandarin Radio, IFLScience, PhysOrg, Global Times, etc. [Link]; Film: [link].        

- Highly Cited Paper. this highly cited paper received enough citations to place it in the top 1% of the academic field of physics based on a highly cited threshold for the field and publication year.

[13] Y. Lu*, S. Peng, D. Luo, and A. Lal “Low-concentration mechanical biosensor based on a photonic crystal nanowire array”, Nature Communications, 2 (578), 1-6, 2011.

[14] G. Zhang, P. Qi, X. Wang, Y. Lu, X. Li, R. Tu, S. Bangsaruntip, D. Mann, L. Zhang, and H. Dai “Selective etching of metallic carbon nanotubes by gas-phase reaction” Science, 314, 974-977, 2006.


Awards for PhD Students Supervised as Primary Supervisor

  • Mr Yi Zhu (2017-2020) received Dean’s Award for Excellent PhD Thesis at ANU in 2020, and Winner of 3 Minute Thesis Competition (3MT), EME, ANU in 2018. Dr Yi Zhu joined University of Cambridge as a Postdoc Fellow in 2021.  
  • Mr Ankur Sharma (2015-2018) received ANU Winner of 3MT (3 minutes thesis) competition at ANU in 2018, and First Prize in business pitch at the Australian Nanotechnology Network Entrepreneurship Workshop in 2017. After his PhD, Dr Ankur Sharma got a lecturer position in the School of Engineering at the ANU. Ankur is a Principal R&D Engineer in Boeing Australia, and an Honorary Lecturer in School of Engineering at ANU.
  • Mr Jiong Yang (2013-2017) received Chinese Government Award for outstanding PhD (<1%) in 2017, and J. G Crawford Prize Finalist for his outstanding PhD thesis at ANU.


Awards for Honours Students Supervised as Primary Supervisor

  • Mr Renjing Xu (2014-2015) was Awarded First Class Honours at ANU. He received PhD Full Scholarship from many top universities, including Harvard, Yale, MIT, Caltech, etc. He chose Harvard to continue his PhD study in 2016.
  • Mr Han Yan (2018-2019) was Awarded First Class Honours and the University Medal. He got PhD Full Scholarship from many worlds’ top universities. He chose University of Cambridge to continue his PhD study.
  • Ms Betty Xiong (2019-2020) was Awarded First Class Honours at ANU and was recommended for the University Medal. She was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, which allows her to study postgraduate at Stanford University in the USA. Betty’s Honours Project was focused on wearable devices, in collaboration with our industry partner WearOptimo.


Media Engagement

  • March 2023, Dr Lu was awarded Pawsey Medal from Australian Academy of Science. [Link] [Film]
  • October 2022, Dr Lu’s team published a paper in Nature - Discovery of exciton pairs could enable next-gen technology. [Link1] [Link2] [Link3]
  • October 2021, Dr Lu was granted with a Linkage Project from Australian Research Council (ARC), in collaboration with industry partners Toshiba Corporation Japan, Global Power Generation Australia and Evoenergy - Hydrogen micro-bubbles join fight against climate change. [Link1] [Link2]
  • September 2021, Dr Lu was invited to be one of the two key speakers for a webinar organized by the Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions (ICEDS), ANU. The event was very successful. It had 583 people join the event live, which is a fantastic number. [Link]
  • July 2020, a media report for Dr Lu’s work entitled “New organic material unlocks faster electronic devices” reached a cumulative audience of over 1.8 million in Australia within 24 hours. [link] The work was published in top-tier journal Nature Light: Science & Applications.
  • November 2018, Dr Lu was named as one of the recipients of the Heart Foundation's Future Leader Fellowships. Dr Lu's project was also recognised as one of the most innovative Future Leader Fellowship applications, which won him the Heart Foundation Paul Korner Innovation Award. [Link]
  • August 2016, Dr Lu was named the ACT Young Tall Poppy of the Year for his research achievements in nanoscale science and his passion for science communication. [Link] [Link1]
  • March 2016, Dr Lu’s team reported the world's thinnest lens, one two-thousandth the thickness of a human hair, opening the door to flexible computer displays and a revolution in miniature cameras. 100+ mainstream media and web media outlets reported this story. [Link1] [Link2]. It was also filmed by science programs ABC News  [Youtube] and SCOPE [Youtube].
  • July 2015, Dr Lu’s team reported the creation of single-atom thick layers, termed phosphorene, using sticky tape, the same simple way as the Nobel-prize winning discovery of graphene. The surprising properties of phosphorene could open the door to ultrathin and ultralight solar cells and LEDs. [Link]

Available student projects

My research focuses on nanotechnologies, including micro/nano-electro-mechanical sensors and actuators, nano-scale energy conversion devices, biomedical devices, novel low-dimensional quantum materials and their integration, etc. I am looking for highly motivated Ph.D. graduate students who are majoring in applied physics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, materials science engineering, biomedical engineering, or other closely related areas to join my research team. We always look for dedicated undergraduate or master students to join us, to do creative work in rapidly growing field and generate co-authored publications.

1. MEMS/NEMS based novel biomedical devices

The ability to detect bio-molecule at ultra-low concentrations (e.g. atto-molar) will enable the possibility of detecting diseases earlier than ever before. A critical challenge for any new bio-sensing technology is to optimize two metrics --- shorter analysis time, and higher concentration sensitivity in clinically relevant small volumes. Moreover, practical considerations are equally important: simplicity of use, mass producible (low cost), and ease of integration within the clinical structure. Compared with other methods, nano-electro-mechanical system (NEMS) based bio-sensors are promising in clinical diagnostics because of their extremely high mass sensitivity, fast response time and the capability of integration on chip. We have demonstrated a low concentration DNA (atto-molar sensitivity) optically interrogated ultrasonic mechanical mass sensor, which has ordered nanowire (NW) array on top of a bilayer membrane. This method represents a mass-based platform technology that can sense molecules at low concentrations, which could be useful for early-stage disease detection. We can develop this sensor further to measure an array of biomarkers (e.g. DNA or proteins), by providing both the needed specificity and sensitivity in physiological disease (e.g. cancer) detection.

Recommended references:

  • B. Ilic et al., Enumeration of DNA molecules bound to a nanomechanical oscillator. Nano Letters 5, 925-929 (2005).
  • T. P. Burg et al., Weighing of biomolecules, single cells and single nanoparticles in fluid. Nature 446, 1066-1069 (2007).
  • H. G. Craighead, Nanoelectromechanical systems. Science 290, 1532-1535 (2000).
  • A. K. Naik, M. S. Hanay, W. K. Hiebert, X. L. Feng, M. L. Roukes, Towards single-molecule nanomechanical mass spectrometry. Nature Nanotechnology 4, 445-450 (2009).
  • Y. Lu, S. Peng, D. Luo, A. Lal, Low-concentration mechanical biosensor based on a photonic crystal nanowire array. Nature Communications 2, 578 (2011).

2. Atomically thin opto-electronic devices (LED, solar cells) and/or mechanical devices based on novel two dimensional nano-materials

Two-dimensional (2D) nano-materials, such as molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) and graphene, have atomic or molecular thickness, exhibiting promising applications in nano-electro-mechanical systems. Graphene is a one-atom thick carbon sheet, with atoms arranged in a regular hexagonal pattern. Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) belongs to transition metal dichalcogenides (TMD) semiconductor family YX2 (Y=Mo, W; X=S, Se, Te), with a layered structure. This project aims to demonstrate novel opto-electronic devices, like light-emitting diode (LED), solar cells, etc. These 2D nano-materials can also be integrated into nano-electro-mechanical systems, enabling ultra-sensitive mechanical mass sensors, with single molecule or even single atom sensitivities. Moreover, the mechanical resonators based on these 2D nano-materials would be a perfect platform to investigate quantum mechanics, opto-mechanics, material internal friction force, nonlinear physics, etc.

Recommended references:

  • J. S. Bunch et al., Electromechanical resonators from graphene sheets. Science 315, 490-493 (2007).
  • R. A. Barton et al., Photothermal self-oscillation and laser cooling of graphene optomechanical systems. Nano Letters 12, 4681-4686 (2012).
  • Radisavljevicb, Radenovica, Brivioj, Giacomettiv, Kisa, Single-layer MoS2 transistors. Nature Nanotechnology 6, 147-150 (2011).
  • M. Osada, T. Sasaki, Two-dimensional dielectric nanosheets: Novel nanoelectronics from nanocrystal building blocks. Advanced Materials 24, 210-228 (2012).

3. Optical nonlinearities in 2D crystals

Entangled photons have many applications — from fundamental tests of quantum mechanics, to practical implementations in quantum key distribution, quantum imaging and ultraprecise metrology. Generating entangled photons with broad spectral and angular widths is a long-standing goal in quantum optics. A platform on which to achieve this goal is highly nonlinear atomically thin 2D crystals: due to their scale and optical properties, these two-dimensional crystalline layers can be designed into fully operational, miniaturised quantum photonic chips.

Since the discovery of graphene in 2004, many materials with a stable monolayer form have been found, including the important subclass of transition-metal dichalcogenides (MX2; M = Mo/W; X = S/Se/Te). These materials are centrosymmetric when in bulk form, but the inversion symmetry is broken when thinning them down to monolayer thickness. As a result, 2D monolayers feature an atomic-level dipole that gives them extraordinary physical properties including dichroism, ferroelectricity, and piezoelectricity. In particular, the monolayers exhibit enormous second-order susceptibility χ(2) that enables efficient nonlinear optical processes.

Highly nonlinear 2D materials can in principle be used for spontaneous parametric down-conversion (SPDC). SPDC is a well developed tool in quantum optics to produce entangled photons. So far, this process has exclusively been observed at the macroscopic scale on periodically poled bulk crystals. This project aims to investigate enhancement techniques to bring SPDC to the atomic scale and use nonlinear 2D crystals as integrated highly entangled photon sources.

4. Quantum emitters in 2D materials

Single photon sources are critical for future quantum technologies such as quantum computing, quantum simulators, and unconditionally secure quantum communication.

The recent discovery of quantum emitters in two-dimensional (2D) materials offers a very promising source of single photon sources, with compelling applications for the next generation of integrated photonic devices. In contrast to their 3D counterparts, quantum emitters in amotically thin 2D lattices are not surrounded by any high refractive index medium. This eliminates total internal and Fresnel reflection of emitted single-photons, allowing intrinsically near-ideal extraction efficiency.

Quantum emission has been reported from a diversity of materials, in semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) and insulating hexagonal boron nitride (hBN). The large band gap of the latter even allows one to resolve the zero phonon line (ZPL) at room temperature and thwarts non-radiative recombination of the localized exciton. Thus, single-photon emitters in hBN have an intrinsically high quantum efficiency which leads to significantly brighter emission. These single-photon sources are suitable for many practical field applications due to their resistance to ionizing radiation, temperature stability over a range spanning 800 K, long-term operation and capabilities for integration with photonic networks, as well as easy handling.

References: [1] ACS Photonics 6, 1955 (2019) [2] Nanoscale 11, 14362 (2019) [3] Nat. Commun. 10, 1202 (2019) [4] ACS Photonics 5, 2305 (2018) [5] J. Phys. D 50, 295101 (2017)

5. Power generation for wearable devices

Wearable devices are shaping this digital world. It will endow the world's highest intelligent creatures -humans with new attributes such as digitization, Internet of Things (IoT), quantitative sensing and detection. Green and sustainable energy supply for flexible wearable devices is a challenging and crucial research frontier. This project will focus on the cutting-edge power generation approaches, behind which physics of various energy conversion mechanisms. Based on application scenarios in healthcare, industrial inspection, structural monitoring, armed forces and consumer electronics, etc., a system architecture of the wearable flexible system is to be designed and tested. It is expected to make breakthroughs and reshape the digital world by developing all-in-one printable wearable electronics, self-powered self-aware wearable system, hybrid-integrated system on chip for flexible electronics, and IoT-enabled self-contained system towards full life cycle monitoring.



Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

Return to top

Updated:  29 May 2023 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers