Xuemei May Cheng

Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor of Physics
Xuemei May Cheng headshot


Phone 610-526-5357
Location Old Library 121



Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University


Xuemei May Cheng is a Professor of Physics and Dean of Graduate Studies at Bryn Mawr College. She received her B.S. in Physics and M.S. in Microelectronics and Solid-State Electronics from Nanjing University. She continued her graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University, where she earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics in 2004 and 2006, respectively. After a postdoctoral fellowship in the X-ray Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory, she joined Bryn Mawr's faculty in 2009. She has taught a broad range of physics lectures, laboratories, and seminars at both undergraduate and graduate levels. 

Her research focuses on the fabrication and characterization of nanomaterials as well as their applications in magnetic data storage and biomedical engineering. With her expertise in the sputtering deposition of thin films and synchrotron x-ray spectra and imaging, she is interested in exploring topological spin textures (skyrmions and vortices) in magnetic nanomaterials, interface magnetism, 2D materials, multiferroic materials, and dimensionality-controlled nanostructures. She has published over 70 research articles in peer-reviewed journals, such as Science, Nature Physics, Advanced Materials, Nano Letters, and Physical Review Letters. She has established a robust and well-resourced research program at Bryn Mawr with support from the College and multiple grants of over $1.5M from the National Science Foundation (NSF), including an NSF CAREER award and an NSF MRI grant. She has engaged over 40 undergraduate students and 5 graduate students, including 3 exchange graduate students, in her research. Undergraduate and graduate students collaborate as dynamic partners in her lab and often participate as co-authors of her publications.

teaching  Research  Service

Selected Publications:

(* for correspondence author, # for Bryn Mawr students )

  • Xiao Wang#, Alexandra R. Stuart, Mitchell S. Swyt, Carla M. Quispe Flores, Andy T. Clark#, Adzo Fiagbenu#, Rajesh V. Chopdekar, Pavel N. Lapa, Zhuyun Xiao, Dava Keavney, Richard Rosenberg, Michael Vogel, John E. Pearson, Suzanne G. E. te Velthuis, Axel Hoffmann, Kristen S. Buchanan*, and Xuemei M. Cheng*
    "Topological spin memory of antiferromagnetically coupled skyrmion pairs in Co/Gd/Pt multilayers"
    Phys. Rev. Materials 6, 084412 (2022). (Editor's suggestion) https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.6.084412

  • Andy T Clark#, David Marchfield,  Zheng Cao, Tong Dang#, Nan Tang,  Dustin Gilbert,  Elise A. Corbin,  Kristen S. Buchanan, and  Xuemei M. Cheng*
    The effect of polymer stiffness on magnetization reversal of magnetorheological elastomers"
    APL Materials 10, 041106 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0086761

  • Mengying Bian, Liang Zhu, Xiao Wang#, Junho Choi, Rajesh  V. Chopdekar, Sichen Wei, Lishu Wu, Chang Huai, Austin Marga, Qishuo Yang, Yuguang C. Li, Fei Yao, Ting  Yu, Scott A. Crooker, Xuemei M. Cheng, Renat F. Sabirianov, Shengbai Zhang, Junhao Lin, Yanglong Hou, and Hao Zeng
    Dative Epitaxy of Commensurate Monocrystalline Covalent van der Waals Moire Supercrystal"
    Advanced Materials, 34, 17, 2200117 (2022). 

  • Hannah M. Zlotnick, Andy T. Clark#, Sarah E. Gullbrand, James L. Carey, Xuemei M. Cheng, Robert L. Mauck
    "MagnetoDriven Gradients of Diamagnetic Objects for Engineering Complex Tissues"
    Advanced Materials, 32, 48, 2005030 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.202005030

  • Binquan Luan, Tien Huynh, Xuemei Cheng, Ganhui Lan, and Hao-Ran Wang
    Targeting Proteases for Treating COVID-19"
    J. Proteome Res. 19, 11, 4316 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jproteome.0c00430

  • Kishan Sinha, Haohan Wang, Xiao Wang#, Liying Zhou, Yuewei Yin, Wenbin Wang, Xuemei Cheng, David J. Keavney, Huibo Cao, Yaohua Liu, Xifan Wu, and Xiaoshan Xu
    Tuning the Néel Temperature of Hexagonal Ferrites by Structural Distortion"
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 121, 237203 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.237203

  • Wanjun Jiang, Xichao Zhang, Guoqiang Yu, Wei Zhang, Xiao Wang#, Matthias Jungfleisch, Xuemei Cheng, John Pearson, Olle Heinonen, Kang L. Wang, Yan Zhou, Axel Hoffmann, and Suzanne te Velthuis
    "Direct Observation of the Skyrmion Hall Effect"
    Nature Physics, 13, 162 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/NPHYS3883

  • L. Yu#, Z. Y. Yan#, H. C. Yang#, X. Z. Chai#, B. Q. Li#, S. Moeendarbari, Y. W. Hao, D. Zhang, G. Feng, P. Han, D. A. Gilbert, Kai Liu, K. S. Buchanan, X. M. Cheng*
    Magnetization Reversal of Nickel Three-Dimensional Anti-sphere Arrays "
    IEEE Magnetic Letters, 8, 1 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1109/LMAG.2016.2616325

  • Le Yu#, Zhongying Yan#,  Zhonghou Cai, Dongtang Zhang, Ping Han,  Xuemei Cheng*, and Yugang Sun*
    Quantitatively in Situ Imaging Silver Nanowire Hollowing Kinetics "
    Nano Letters, 16, 6555 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b03218

  • Xiao Wang#, D. J. Keavney, M. Asmat, K. Buchanan, A. Melikyan, and X. M. Cheng*
    "Time-resolved photoemission electron microscopy imaging of mode coupling between three interacting magnetic vortices "
    Appl. Phys. Lett., 105, 102408 (2014).  

  • X. M. Cheng and D. J. Keavney
    "Studies of nanomagnetism using synchrotron-based x-ray photoemission electron microscopy"
    Reports on Progress in Physics, 75, 026501 (2012). (Invited Review Paper). https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0034-4885/75/2/026501

  • X. M. Cheng, K. S. Buchanan, R. Divan, K.Y. Guslienko and D. J. Keavney
    "Nonlinear vortex dynamics and transient domains in ferromagnetic disks "
    Phys. Rev. B, 79, 172411 (2009). 

  • X. M. Cheng*, S. Urazhdin, O. Tchernyshyo, C. L. Chien, V.I. Nikitenko, A.J. Shapiro and R.D. Shull
    "Antisymmetric magnetoresistance in magnetic multilayers with perpendicular anisotropy"
    Phys. Rev. Lett., 94, 017203 (2005). 

  • X. M. Cheng* and C. L. Chien
    "Magnetic properties of Epitaxial Mn doped ZnO thin films"
    Journal of Applied Physics, 93, 7876 (2003). 

  • Mingwei Chen, En Ma, Kevin J Hemker, Hongwei Sheng, Yiming Wang and X. M. Cheng
    "Deformation Twinning in Nanocrystalline Aluminum"
    Science, 300,1275 (2003). https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.1083727