Cheng Zhang received the 2014 Michael Pate Optical Sciences Memorial Scholarship from the Foundation of the same name. This scholarship was established in 2010 in memory of Michael Pate, an optical engineer who was passionate about teaching and learning throughout his career.
Cheng is a 4th year PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering. He works with Professor L. Jay Guoon research projects in the field of micro/nano-scale optical device physics and fabrication.
He started his PhD work using imprinted polymer micro-ring resonators as ultrasound detectors. Cheng and his lab mates have demonstrated a detector of unprecedented detection bandwidth, and employed it in efficient real time Terahertz pulse detection using the photoacoustic effect.
In addition to new micro-ring designs and applications, Cheng’s research includes plasmonics and meta-materials. He made important contributions in a structural color filter project, using sub-wavelength nano-scale patterns to generate different colors across the visible spectrum.
He is now exploring Al-doped Ag film based devices including organic solar cells, plasmonic waveguides and hyperbolic meta-materials. His research has been published in high impact journals such as Advanced Materials, Nature Photonics, Physical Review Letters and reported by various media.
Cheng obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Shandong University, China in 2010. He was one of the ten recipients of the national-wide “Chiang Chen Overseas Fellowship” in 2010, whose goal is to encourage and assist outstanding students to pursue advanced studies at top-grade universities overseas. He was awarded “Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship” twice by SPIE in 2010 and 2013 respectively.
Outside of the lab, Cheng is actively involved in promoting optical science and education. He worked as vice-president of the “Optical Society at the University of Michigan” from 2012 to 2014, and is now the president. He is the co-chair of the 2014 Engineering Graduate Symposium, an annual engineering graduate student conference at the University of Michigan [2013 Engineering Graduate Symposium in ECE].