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Physics at Aquinas College

Xin Du, Ph. D.

Assistant Professor and Chair of Physics Department
(616) 632-2198
AH 221


Xin Du

Dr. Xin Du joined the Aquinas College Faculty in 2016 in our Physics department. Dr. Du achieved her PhD degree at Emory University in 2016. She went to college at Nanjing University, which has one of the best physics programs in China. Her research area is Soft Condensed Matter Physics. Presently, she is fostering active research programs with Aquinas students on metamaterials and emulsion systems. She enjoys teaching physics at Aquinas College and living in the city of Grand Rapids. Other than physics, she is also interested in data science and artificial intelligence and willing to integrate those current technologies in physics classroom. For further information, please visit the physics facebook webpage: https://www.facebook.com/physicsAQ/

Research Interest

Why can peanut butter spread on bread like a liquid, but it does not flow when you flip the bread over? Why can one quickly run across a pool filled with cornstarch and water, but sinks when standing on the suspension? These questions are the key to soft matter physics, the study of materials with both solid and fluid properties. My research interest is answering those questions by relating macroscopic properties with microscopic structures and utilizing microfluidic techniques, microscopy, 3D printing technology and data science methods.

My current research interest is studying soft condensed matter physics on three topics:

  • experimental research on the jamming transition of oil-in-water emulsion systems and applying machine learning algorithm to conduct image analysis
  • the mechanism of metamaterials for soft robotics design
  • computational research on the energy landscape of glassy molecular systems.

Undergraduate Student Research Outcomes

Kenny Nguyen, Edward Kaleel and Xin Du, Dynamics of Poly-dispersed Emulsion System in T-Shaped Chamber, American Journal of Undergraduate Research (2019, to be submitted)

Kenny Nguyen, Xin Du, “Dynamics of Poly-dispersed Emulsion System in T-Shaped Chamber”, March Meeting of American Physics Society, March 2019

Levi Milan, Martha Mata and Xin Du, “Mechanism of Auxetic Structures Designed and Fabricated with 3D Printer”, Spring Meeting of the APS Ohio-Region Section, March 2018


Xin Du, Computational Exercise Set of Magnetic Field of Current-Carrying Ring and Regular N-Polygons, Partnership for Integration of Computation into Undergraduate Physics (peer-review journal) 2019

Xin Du, "Integrate Computational Skills in Upper-Level Physics Courses", Lilly Conference on Advancing Teaching and Learning- Traverse City, October 2018

Xin Du, “Design and Create Interactive Electronics with Programmable Sensors in Introductory Physics Lab”, Winter Meeting American Association of Physics Teachers, January 2018

Xin Du, Eric Weeks, Potential energy, free energy, and entropy barriers in a minimal glassy model, Physics Review E. (2015)

Z.X. Yang, X. Du, W. Zhong, Y.X. Yin, M.H. Xu, C. Au, Y.W. Du, The synthesis of novel ZnO microcrystals through a simple solvothermal method and their optical properties, Journal of Alloys and Compounds 509, 3403, (2011)

Z.X. Yang, W. Zhong, Y.X. Yin, X. Du, Y. Deng, C. Au, Y.W. Du, Controllable Synthesis of Single-Crystalline CdO and Cd(OH)2 Nanowires by a Simple Hydrothermal Approach, Nanoscale Res Lett 5, 961, (2010)

Z.X. Yang, W. Zhong, C.T. Au, X. Du, H. A. Song, X.S. Qi, X. J. Ye, M. H. Xu, and Y. W. Du, Novel Photoluminescence Properties of Magnetic Fe/ZnO Composites: Self-Assembled ZnO Nanospikes on Fe Nanoparticles Fabricated by Hydrothermal Method, J. Phys. Chem. C, 113, 21269-21273, (2009)


  • Ph.D. Emory University
  • B.S. Nanjing University