Xi-Cheng Zhang
— J. Erik Jonsson '22 Distinguished Professor
— Professor of the Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
— Professor of the Department of Electrical, Computer, and System Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

— Ph.D., Physics, Brown University, 1986
— M.S., Physics, Brown University, 1983
— B.S., Physics, Peking University, Beijing, China, 1982

Career Highlights:
Zhang began his professional career as a guest scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984. A year later, he became a research physicist at the Amoco Research Center's Physical Technology Division. He spent four years at Columbia University as a research scientist in the Department of Electrical Engineering and has also held professorship at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen University, and Shanghai University of Science and Technology. He joined Rensselaer in 1992 and was named Rensselaer's J. Erik Jonsson Distinguished Professor in 2001.

In addition to his roles at Rensselaer, he currently serves as guest professor at the Capital Normal University of Beijing and at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Zhang has served on numerous panels, including the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program Review and the European Union Commission's THz-Bridge International Advisory Board of the European THz Bridge Program.

Zhang has been featured in more than 40 newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, and American Scientist. He has given more than 200 talks, in addition to publishing seven books or book chapters and over 140 refereed journal papers. Since 1993, he also has served as a guest editor for WuLi, a Chinese physics journal. Zhang holds seven patents, and has eleven patents pending. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Research Areas:
Zhang's THz research focuses on the study of T-rays for 3-D tomographic imaging applications. His work involves four tasks, including modifying system hardware for imaging larger targets at longer distances, developing better algorithms for reconstruction, 3-D identification of materials, and demonstrating Fresnel binary lens for improved THz imaging.

Zhang's work with time-domain THz spectroscopy systems holds promise for diagnostics of materials such as semiconductors and biomolecules. THz time-domain spectroscopy uses short pulses of broadband THz radiation, typically generated using ultrafast laser pulses. The transmitted THz electric field is measured coherently, which provides both high sensitivity and time-resolved phase information.

Zhang's interest in THz wave imaging is a result of the availability of phase-sensitive spectroscopic images. These images, called "functional images," are ideal for dry dielectric substances including paper, plastics, and ceramics. Zhang's research centers on two-dimensional THz wave imaging through free-space electro-optic detection and on THz ray, or T-ray, imaging for probing the dielectric properties of three-dimensional structures.

Selected Publications:
S.H. Wang and X.-C. Zhang, "Tomographic Imaging with a Terahertz Binary Lens," Applied Physics Letters,
82, 1821, (2003).

X.-C. Zhang, "Terahertz Wave Imaging: Horizons and Hurdles," Physics in Medicine and Biology, 47, 1, (2002).

B. Ferguson and X.-C. Zhang, "Materials for Terahertz Science and Technology," Review Article Nature Materials, 1, 26, (2002).

X.-C. Zhang and Q. Chen, "Terahertz Wave Imaging and its Applications," in Ultrafast Lasers: Technology and Applications, New York, N.Y., Marcel Dekker, Inc., 521-572, (2002).

J. Xu and X.-C. Zhang, "Optical Rectification in an Area with a Diameter Comparable to or Smaller than the Center Wavelength of Terahertz Radiation," Optics Letters, 27, 1067, (2002).

R.J. Blaikie, D.R.S. Cumming, S.M. Durbin, E.D. Walsby, S. Wang, T. Yuan, J. Xu, and X.-C. Zhang, "Characterization of T-ray Binary Lenses," Optics Letters, 27, 1312, (2002).

D. Abbott, B. Ferguson, D. Gray, S. Wang, and X.-C. Zhang, "T-Ray Computed Tomography," Optics Letters, 27, 1312, (2002).

P.M. Ajayan, Y.-C. Chen, T.- M. Lu, N.R. Raravikar, L.S. Schadler, G.-C. Wang, X.-C. Zhang, and Y.-P. Zhao, "Ultrafast Optical Switch Properties of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotube Polymer Composites at 1.55 µm," Applied Physical Letters, 81, 975, (2002).

B. Ferguson and X.-C. Zhang, "Computed Tomography Adds Third Dimension to Terahertz Imaging," Laser Focus World, 133, (May 2002).

D. Abbott, S. Mickan, J. Munch, and X.-C. Zhang, "Noise Reduction in Terahertz Thin Film Measurement Using Double Modulated Differential Technique," Fluctuation and Noise Letters 2, R13-R28, (2002).

Q. Chen, Z. Jiang, and X.-C. Zhang, "Two-Dimensional Terahertz Wave Imaging," in Terahertz Sources and Systems, Kluwer Academic Publisher, 225-239, (2001).

Contact Information:
Xi-Cheng Zhang
Science Center 1C20
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, N.Y. 12180
(518) 276-3079


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