Xi-Cheng Zhang, M. Parker Givens Professor of Optics and director of the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Zhang was named an AAAS fellow for distinguished contributions to the generation and detection of broadband terahertz waves, particularly for free-space electro-optic sampling and terahertz air photonics with femtosecond lasers. Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honour bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.
Terahertz waves occupy the section of the electromagnetic spectrum between the infrared (IR) and microwave bands. Zhang believes that fundamental research on terahertz waves will have an impact in many scientific areas, beyond its historical uses in the astronomy and the laser-fusion communities. Research in Zhang’s group includes applying terahertz technology to study cultural artefacts, such as frescos and ceramic pots, and also to monitor the possible presence of explosive materials from a distance.
This year, 388 members have been awarded this honour by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Saturday, 15 February 2014 at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois (US).
Zhang has received some 30 honours and awards during his career, most recently the Kenneth Button Prize from the International Society of Infrared, Millimetre and Terahertz Waves and the William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Photonics Society in recognition of his innovative work in the field of lasers and electro-optics.
He joined the University of Rochester as the director of the Institute of Optics on 1 January 2012. He had been the founding director of the Centre for Terahertz Research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) since 1991. Before joining RPI in 1991, Zhang worked in research and held professorships at various universities and institutes in China.
Zhang is the co-founder of Zomega Terahertz Corp. He served as chairman of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Sensors and Electronics Technology Task Group (2007-2010) and chairman of the NATO Exploratory Team (2005-2006).
Zhang graduated from Peking University in 1982 with a degree in physics and received his PhD, also in physics, from Brown University, in 1986. He has been awarded 28 US patents and has authored and co-authored 23 books and book chapters and 300 refereed papers.
This year’s AAAS Fellows will be formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on 29 November 2013.