Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering

Division of Reactor Structure

(+86 10) 62784824-8133

Education background

PhD, Tsinghua University, Thermal Engineering, 2013
Visiting student, Rutgers University, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 2011-2012
B.S., Tsinghua University, Thermal Engineering, 2008


12/2017-present, Associate Professor, Division of Reactor Structure, INET, Tsinghua University
07/2013-12/2017, Assistant Professor, Division of Reactor Structure, INET, Tsinghua University

Social service


Introduction to Particle Transport
Nuclear Power Plant Systems and Equipment

Journal Reviewer

Nucl. Eng. Des., J. Aerosol Sci., Aerosol Sci. Tech., Fuel, Exp. Thermal Fluid Sci., Proc. Combust. Inst., Sci. Rep., J. Mater. Sci. C, Appl. Surf. Sci., Particuology, Canadian J. Phys. Etc.

Service to Professional Associations

Member, American Nuclear Society (ANS)
Member, American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR)
Member, Youth Committee for Chinese Society of Power Engineering

Areas of Research Interests/ Research Projects

Prof. Zhangs research interests are in the areas of reactor aerosol, complex particulate flow, optical diagnostics, gas-phase synthesis of nano-materials, etc..

Reactor aerosol and complex particulate flow

Exploring the behaviors of reactor aerosols (e.g. graphite dust in HTGR) for nuclear safety analysis, including aerosol transport and deposition in the primary circuit and containment. Using advanced experimental techniques and new numerical tools to investigate fundamental particle dynamics, especially the effect of non-spherical shape and complex environment (turbulence, temperature gradient, water vapor etc.). Recent work includes FEM modelling and experimental study of adhesive particle-wall collisions, which are crucial for the models of critical adhesion velocity and restitution coefficient.

Optical diagnostics of reactive gas-particle flows

Developing new optical diagnostics techniques for reactive gas-particle flows, e.g. Phase-selective Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (PS-LIBS). PS-LIBS is a newly discovered laser diagnostics technique that uses the gap between the breakdown thresholds of gas and particles for tracing gas-to-particle transition in reactive flows. We uses PS-LIBS to investigate the formation of fine particles and subsequent transport in the flow.

Gas-phase synthesis of nano-materials for energy and power applications

Using high temperature reactive flows (e.g. flame or plasma) to syntheize nano-materials for energy and power applications, especially Ti-based energy materials and Y-based optical materials. Exploring nanoparticle formation (gas-to-particle transition), growth (collision & coalescence, surface growth) and deposition (thermophoresis & diffusion) in high temperature flows by both experiments and modelling. The principle target is to understand the key factors that control morphology, structure and property of synthesized nanoparticles and nano-films, to achieve desirable performance.

Research Status

2019 -2021, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC)
Modelling of aerosol behaviors in then containment

Exploring and modelling of complex aerosol behaviors in the reactor containment during severe accidents. Studying the settling of non-spherical particles and aggregates, and the effect of vapor. Investigating the thermophoresis and diffusiophoresis of non-spherical and aggregated particles. Studying the effect of vapor on particle re-suspension. Building models for predicting the removal rate of nuclear aerosol in the containment.

2018-2021, National Science Foundation of China   (NSFC)
The transport of graphite dust in HTGR steam generator tube bundles and coupling with fission products

Exploring the underlying physics that controls the deposition of graphite dust on SG tubes. Investigating the effects of flow structures on particle deposition including particle-vortex interaction, near-wall fluctuations and boundary layer profiles. At particle scale, the critical adhesion velocity will be studied by both single particle impaction experiments and FEM/DEM simulation. By combining these two parts we hope to establish reliable quantitative models to describe graphite dust deposition and coupling with fission product transport in HTGRs.

2019-2021, Ministry of Science and Technology
Research and development of helium valves for HTGR

R&D of ultra-low leaking rate helium globe and ball valves for HTGR primary circuit. Cooperating with several valve companies to investigate the mechanism and sealing design for ultra-low leaking rate of helium. Studying the effect of foreign particles on valve performance.

2015-2017, National Science Foundation of China   (NSFC)
Experimental and theoretical study on phase-selective laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (PS-LIBS) for in-situ diagnostics of flame synthesis

To uncover the mechanism of PS-LIBS, investigating the creation of initial free electrons, the melting and vaporization of nanoparticles and dynamics of nano-sized plasmas. Based on the framework of Fokker-Planck equation, a quantitative model was built to solve the time-resolved energy distribution of free electrons and explain the mechanism of PS-LIBS.

Honors And Awards

Springer thesis award, 2014
Top ten young academic stars, Tsinghua University, 2013
First prize for excellent PhD thesis, Tsinghua University, 2013
Graduation with honor, Tsinghua University, 2008

Academic Achievement


Yiyang Zhang*, Zhu Fang, Shumiao Zhao, Mingzhe Wei, Xinxin Wu, Libin Sun. An experimental study on the wall collision of micro-sized graphite particles by high-speed photomicrography. PROGRESS IN NUCLEAR ENERGY, 2020, 125:103391.
Yihua Ren, Yiyang Zhang, Shuiqing Li. Simultaneous Single-Shot Two-Dimensional Imaging of Nanoparticles and Radicals in Turbulent Reactive Flows. PHYSICAL REVIEW APPLIED,   2020, 13: 044002.
Zhu Fang, Yiyang Zhang*, Mingzhe Wei, Shumiao Zhao, Libin Sun, Xinxin Wu.  The critical sticking velocity of non-spherical graphite particles: A numerical study and validation .NUCLEAR ENGINEERING AND DESIGN, 2020, 359: 110453.
Zhu Fang, Yiyang Zhang*, Mingzhe Wei, Shumiao Zhao, Xinxin Wu, Sun Libin. A numerical study on adhesive collision between a micro-sized particle and a wall. POWDER TECHNOLOGY,   2020, 360: 769-779.
Zhu Fang, Hongtao Wang, Yiyang Zhang*, Mingzhe Wei, Xinxin Wu, Sun Libin. A finite element method (FEM) study on adhesive particle-wall normal collision .JOURNAL OF AEROSOL SCIENCE, 2019, 134: 80-94.
Weikai Gao, Jiaqing Zhao, Xiaowei Li, Houjian Zhao, Yiyang Zhang, Xinxin Wu. Heat transfer characteristics of carbon dioxide cross flow over tube bundles at supercritical pressures .APPLIED THERMAL ENGINEERING, 2019, 158: UNSP 113786.
Mingzhe Wei, Yiyang Zhang*, Zhu Fang, Xinxin Wu, Libin Sun. Graphite aerosol release to the containment in a water ingress accident of high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) .NUCLEAR ENGINEERING AND DESIGN, 2019, 342: 170-175.
Yihua Ren, Yiyang Zhang, Shuiqing Li.. Single-shot two-dimensional measurement of nanoparticles in turbulent jet-diffusion flames using phase-selective laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy .PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMBUSTION INSTITUTE, 2019, 37: 1373-1381.
Mingzhe Wei, Yiyang Zhang*, Xinxin Wu, Libin Sun. A parametric study of graphite dust deposition on high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) steam generator tube bundles .ANNALS OF NUCLEAR ENERGY, 2019, 123: 135-144.
Qian Huang, Yiyang Zhang, Qiang Yao, Shuiqing Li. Mineral manipulation of Zhundong lignite towards fouling mitigation in a down-fired combustor. Fuel, 2018, 232: 519-529.
Runru Zhu, Yiyang Zhang*, Ye Yuan, Shuiqing Li. Deposition Loss of Particles in the Sampling Lines of continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) in Coal-fired Power Plants .AEROSOL AND AIR QUALITY RESEARCH, 2018, 18: 1483-1492.
Mingzhe Wei, Yiyang Zhang*, Xiaowei Luo, Xiaowei Li, Xinxin Wu, Zhengming Zhang. Graphite dust deposition on HTGR steam generator: Effects of particle-wall and particle-vortex interactions .NUCLEAR ENGINEERING AND DESIGN, 2018, 330: 217-224.
Qian Huang, Yiyang Zhang, Qiang Yao, Shuiqing Li. Numerical and experimental study on the deposition of fine particulate matter during the combustion of pulverized lignite coal in a 25 kW combustor .POWDER TECHNOLOGY, 2017, 317: 449-457.
Yiyang Zhang*, Zihao Wang, Xinxin Wu, Libin Sun, Zhengming Zhang, Huiting Zhang, Shuiqing Li.  In situ laser diagnostics of nanoparticle transport across stagnation plane in a counterflow flame .JOURNAL OF AEROSOL SCIENCE, 2017, 105: 145-150.
Yihua Ren, Shuiqing Li, Wei Cui, Yiyang Zhang, Lin Ma.  Low-frequency AC electric field induced thermoacoustic oscillation of a premixed stagnation flame .COMBUSTION AND FLAME, 2016, 176: 479-488.
Gang Xiong, Shuiqing Li, Yiyang Zhang, Steven Buckley, Stephen Tse. Phase-selective laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy of metal-oxide nanoparticle aerosols with secondary resonant excitation during flame synthesis .JOURNAL OF ANALYTICAL ATOMIC SPECTROMETRY, 2016, 31: 482-491.
Qi Gao, Shuiqing Li, Ye Yuan, Yiyang Zhang, Qiang Yao.. Ultrafine particulate matter formation in the early stage of pulverized coal combustion of high-sodium lignite .FUEL, 2015, 158:   224-231.
Yihua Ren, Shuiqing Li, Yiyang Zhang, Stephen Tse, Marshall Long.  Absorption-Ablation-Excitation Mechanism of Laser-Cluster Interactions in a Nanoaerosol System .PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 2015, 114: 093401.
Yihua Ren, Yiyang Zhang, Shuiqing Li, Chung K. Law. Doping mechanism of Vanadia/Titania nanoparticles in flame synthesis by a novel optical spectroscopy technique .PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMBUSTION INSTITUTE, 2015, 35: 2283-2289.
Yiyang Zhang, Shuiqing Li, Yihua Ren, Qiang Yao, Stephen Tse. A new diagnostic for volume fraction measurement of metal-oxide nanoparticles in flames using phase-selective laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy .PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMBUSTION INSTITUTE, 2015, 35: 3681-3688.
Yiyang Zhang, Shuiqing Li, Yihua Ren, Qiang Yao, Chung K. Law. Two-dimensional imaging of gas-to-particle transition in flames by laser-induced nanoplasmas. APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS, 2014, 104: 023115.
Yiyang Zhang, Gang Xiong, Shuiqing Li, Zhizhong Dong, Steven Buckley, Stephen Tse. Novel low-intensity phase-selective laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy of TiO2 nanoparticle aerosols during flame synthesis .COMBUSTION AND FLAME, 2013, 160: 725-733.
Yiyang Zhang, Shuiqing Li, Wen Yan, Qiang Yao. Nanoparticle transport and deposition in boundary layer of stagnation-point premixed flames. POWDER TECHNOLOGY, 2012, 227:   24-34.
Yiyang Zhang, Shuiqing Li, Wen Yan, Stephen Tse. Effect of size-dependent grain structures on the dynamics of nanoparticle coalescence. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 2012, 112:   124321.
Yiyang Zhang, Shuiqing Li, Sili Deng, Qiang Yao, Stephen Tse. Direct synthesis of nanostructured TiO2 films with controlled morphologies by stagnation swirl flames .JOURNAL OF AEROSOL SCIENCE, 2012, 44: 71-82.
Yiyang Zhang, Shuiqing Li, Wen Yan, Qiang Yao, Stephen Tse.. Role of dipole-dipole interaction on enhancing Brownian coagulation of charge-neutral nanoparticles in the free molecular regime .JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 2011, 134: 084501.
Wen Yan, Shuiqing Li, Yiyang Zhang, Qiang Yao, Stephen Tse.. Effects of Dipole Moment and Temperature on the Interaction Dynamics of Titania Nanoparticles during Agglomeration .JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 2010, 114: 10755-10760.


System for synthesizing nanoparticles through swirl stagnation flame
Methods for excitation-intensity-dependent phase-selective laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy of nanoparticles and applications thereof

Last Updated:2020-10-06