Xiang Zhang: The 2021 SPIE Mozi Award
Xiang Zhang currently serves as the president and vice chancellor at the University of Hong Kong. He holds the inaugural Ernest S. Huh Endowed Chair at the University of California, Berkeley; is the director of the NSF Nano-scale Science and Engineering Center; and the director of the Materials Sciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. A pioneer in optical physics research, Zhang made an experimental demonstration of the first optical super lens, a breakthrough that opened a new field of deep sub-wavelength photonics with applications in ultra-resolution imaging for complex biomolecular machinery, optical communication at the subwavelength scale, and nanolithography for printing finer electronic circuits. He has also contributed key discoveries regarding the magnetic response of metamaterials in far-IR, research which expanded the field of optical metamaterials, and offered the first demonstration of 3D bulk metamaterials with a negative refractive index.
In 2008, Professor Zhang's research was selected by TIME magazine as one of the "Top Ten Scientific Discoveries of the Year" and "50 Best Inventions of the Year," Discover magazine's "Top 100 Science Stories" in 2007, and R&D Magazine's "Top 25 Most Innovative Products" of 2006. His research has been frequently featured in international media, including the BBC, CNN, ABC, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. In 2019, his research team's work on "Casimir effect" at UC Berkeley was selected as one of the "Top 10 Breakthroughs" for 2019 by Physics World.
Zhang is the recipient of many recognitions and honors including the 2017 A. C. Eringen Medal from the Society of Engineering Sciences; Springer's 2016 Julius Spring Prize for Applied Physics; and the 2015 Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Zhang became an SPIE Fellow in 2008 and has served regularly since 2003 as an SPIE committee member and invited speaker at many SPIE conferences, including delivering many invited talks and plenaries at SPIE Advanced Lithography, SPIE Photonics West, SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing, and SPIE Photonics Europe symposiums.
"Professor Zhang is an outstanding scientist who has made enormous contributions to the field of metamaterials, plasmonics, 2D materials, and quantum physics," notes Shuang Zhang, director of the Metamaterial Research Centre at the University of Birmingham's School of Physics and Astronomy. "His research has significant implications for both fundamental physics and practical applications and has garnered him well-deserved international recognition in the field. His seminal works on metamaterials, super-imaging lenses, nano lasers, and 2D materials have had — and continue to have — direct and lasting impacts on the entire community of physics worldwide."
Meet the other 2021 SPIE Society Award winners.