University of Rochester

Institute of Optics Director Xi-Cheng Zhang Wins National Honor

May 22, 2012

Zhang Recognized for His Work in Spectroscopy

Xi-Cheng Zhang, director of the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, has been named the winner of the Optical Society's 2012 William F. Meggers Award, which recognizes outstanding work in spectroscopy.

Zhang is being honored for his "exceptional contributions to coherent generation and detection of ultra-broadband THz waves for far-infrared spectroscopy."

With a frequency of more than a trillion cycles per second, THz signals occupy an extremely large portion of the electromagnetic spectrum between the infrared and microwave bands. Zhang believes that fundamental research on THz waves will have an impact in many scientific areas, beyond its historical uses in the astronomy and the laser fusion communities; he expects the technology developed from the research will be applied in advanced photonic laboratories around the world.

Zhang became director of the Institute of Optics on January 1.

The Institute of Optics, a department within the University's Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, was founded in 1929 as the first optics education program in the United States. The institute has granted more than 2,400 degrees, approximately half of all the degrees in optics in the country.

The Optical Society, with more than 17,000 members from more than 100 countries, is dedicated to promoting and advancing the fields of optics and photonics.