Professor of Polymer Physics and Chemistry

Phone: 18154410256

Email: niuran@hust.edu.cn

Academic Areas: Micro/nano motors; complex fluids

The autonomous assembly and operation of nanomachines that perform useful tasks have been a long-standing vision of nanotechnology. In our group, we focus on the design and application of micro/nanomotors that self-propels at low Reynold’s number and behave collectively to finish complex tasks that single motor cannot accomplish. We also engage in the design of function polymer materials that have excellent physical and chemical properties.

For more detailed information, please visit our group website: http://www.polymer.cn/ss/ranniu/index.html

Academic Degrees


PhD in Polymer Chemistry and Physics, State Key Laboratory of Polymer Physics and Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, China


B.Eng. in Polymer Science and Engineering. College of Polymer Science and Engineering, Sichuan University, China.

Professional Experience


Full Professor, Key Laboratory of Material Chemistry for Energy Conversion and Storage, Ministry of Education, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China


Postdoctoral researcher, Institute of Physics, Cornell University, USA.


Postdoctoral researcher, Institute of Physics, University of Mainz, Germany.

Courses Taught

1.Organic Chemistry

Awards and Honors


Beijing Outstanding Graduate (TOP 1%)


Outstanding Graduate of University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (TOP 1%)


Excellent Student of University of Chinese Academy of Sciences


National Endeavor Scholarship (TOP 2%)


Excellent Student of Tianjin University


Excellent Student of Tianjin University


Excellent Student of Tianjin University

Selected Projects Funded

Selected Publications

[1]Ran Niu, Thomas Palberg, Thomas Speck. Self-assembly of colloidal molecules due to self-generated flow. Physical Review Letters 2017, 119, 028001.

[2]Ran Niu*, Chrisy Xiyu Du, Edward Esposito, Jakin Ng, Michael Brenner, Paul McEuen, Itai Cohen*. Magnetic handshake materials as a scale-invariant platform for programmed self-assembly. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) 2019, 116, 24402−24407.

[3]Ran Niu*, Meera Ramaswamy, Christopher Ness, Abhishek Shetty, Itai Cohen*. Tunable solidification of cornstarch under impact: How to make someone walking on cornstarch sink. Science Advances 2020, 6, eaay6661.

[4]Ran Niu, Andreas Fisher, Thomas Palberg, Thomas Speck*. Dynamics of binary active clusters driven by ion-exchange particles. ACS Nano 2018, 12, 10932−10938.

[5]Ran Niu*, Denis Botin, Julian Weber, Alexander Reinmüller, Thomas Palberg. Assembly and speed in ion-exchange-based modular phoretic microswimmers. Langmuir 2017, 33, 3450−3457.

[6]Ran Niu*, Thomas Palberg. Modular approach to microswimming. Soft Matter 2018, 14, 7554−7568.

[7]Ran Niu*, Thomas Palberg. Seedless assembly of colloidal crystals by inverted micro-fluidic pumping. Soft Matter 2018, 14, 3435−3442.

[8]Ran Niu, Patrick Kreissl, Aidan T. Brown, Georg Rempfer, Denis Botin, Christian Holm, Thomas Palberg, Joost de Graaf*. Microfluidic pumping by micromolar salt concentrations. Soft Matter 2017, 3, 1505−1518.

[9]Ran Niu*, Stanislav Khodorov, Julian Weber, Alexander Reinmüller, Thomas Palberg. Large scale micro-photometry for high resolution pH-characterization during electro-osmotic pumping and modular micro-swimming. New Journal of Physics 2017, 19, 115014.

[10]Benno Liebchen*, Ran Niu*, Thomas Palberg, Hartmut Löwen. Unraveling modular microswimmers: From self-assembly to ion-exchange driven motors. Physical Review E 2018, 98, 052610.

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Address: Chemistry Building, Luoyu Road 1037, Wuhan ,China 
Postcode: 430074