Director of the Institute of Optics
M. Parker Givens Professor of Optics
Ph.D in Physics, Brown University, 1986
Dr. Xi-Cheng Zhang graduated from Peking University in 1982 and received his Ph.D. in physics from Brown University, Providence, RI in 1986. He was a visiting scientist at MIT in 1985; 1985 to 1987, he worked in the Physical Technology Division of Amoco Research Center; 1987 to 1991, he was in the Electrical Engineering Department at Columbia University. Dr. Zhang joined Rensselaer in 1992. In 1993-94, he was an AFOSR-SRPF Fellow at Hanscom Air Force Base. He was a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at Jet Propulsion Lab - Caltech in 2006. Dr. Zhang was Professor and Acting Head of the Department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy and Professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer and System, Founding Director of the Center for THz Research at Rensselaer, and co-founder of Zomega Terahertz Corp. Dr. Zhang served as Chairman of NATO Sensor and Electronics Technology Task Group (2007-2010) and Chairman of NATO Exploratory Team (2005-2006).
Dr. Zhang received 28 US patents; authored and co-authored 23 books and book chapters, 300 refereed papers; delivered 400 colloquium, seminars, invited conference presentations, and 200 contributed conference talks. His H-index = 66 (h-index is the largest number h such that h publications have at least h citations.) and i10-index=265 (i10-index is the number of publications with at least 10 citations); total citations greater than 19,500 (Google Scholar on 03/05/2013).
Dr. Zhang is a Lifetime Fellow of IEEE, OSA, and APS. Dr. Zhang's honors and awards include: OSA William F. Meggers Award ’12; Moscow University Honorable Professor 12; IEEE Photonics Society William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award ’11; Rensselaer’s William H. Wiley Award ‘09; the Trustee Celebration of Faculty Achievement Awards ’09, ’08, ‘07, ‘06, ’04, ‘03, ‘02, ‘01; Fellow and Lifetime Member of American Physics Society; Fellow and Lifetime Member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; Fellow and Lifetime Member of Optical Society of America; First Heinrich Hertz Lecturer (Germany); International Commission for Optics Traveling Lecturer ‘03; Fellow Lecturer of Optical Society of America ‘02; K.C. Wong Fellow ’02; Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE/LEOS ‘98-99 & 99-00; Rensselaer’s Early Career Award, ‘96; Cottrell Scholar Award, Research Corporation ‘95; K.C. Wong Prize, K.C. Wong Foundation /Hong Kong, ‘95; CAREER Award (previous NSF-NYI), National Science Foundation ‘95; AFOSR-SRPF Fellow, Hanscom Air Force Base ‘93-94; Research Initiation Award, National Science Foundation, 92.
Professor Zhang's research interests center around Terahertz waves, also known as T-rays, which exist within a frequency range between microwave and infrared. His research is focused on the generation, detection, and applications of free-space THz beams with ultrafast optics.