The Zhang Lab is a highly interdisciplinary research group in nanoscience and engineering, with expertise in optical and electrical measurements, material synthesis, and theoretical modeling. Their research has primarily focused on the interaction of light with nanostructures, leading to exotic electromagnetic properties not found naturally. These phenomena have plentiful applications in photonics, imaging, energy, and others.
In the News
Scientists at the Berkeley Lab have taken a big step toward the practical application of “valleytronics,” which is a new type of electronics that could lead to faster and more efficient computer logic systems and data storage chips in next-generation devices.
A new route to ultrahigh density, ultracompact integrated photonic circuitry has been discovered by researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley. The team has developed a technique for effectively controlling pulses of light in closely packed nanoscale waveguides, an essential requirement for high-performance optical communications and chip-scale quantum computing.
A team of researchers at UC Berkeley have found a way to dramatically increase the sensitivity of a light-based plasmon sensor to detect incredibly minute concentrations of explosives. The sensor could potentially be used to sniff out a hard-to-detect explosive popular among terrorists.
An advance has been achieved towards next generation ultrasonic imaging with potentially 1,000 times higher resolution than today’s medical ultrasounds. Researchers with the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have demonstrated a technique for producing, detecting and controlling ultrahigh frequency sound waves at the nanometer scale.
The Information Age will get a major upgrade with the arrival of quantum processors many times faster and more powerful than today’s supercomputers. For the benefits of this new Information Age 2.0 to be fully realized, however, quantum computers will need fast and efficient multi-directional light sources.
A tiny laser that could enable smaller and faster smart phones and tablets. A glucosamine-like supplement that targets the underlying cause of multiple sclerosis. These are among research projects getting a boost this year from a UC grants program.
A Clock that Will Last Forever: Berkeley Lab Researchers Propose a Way to Build the First Space-Time Crystal
Imagine a clock that will keep perfect time forever, even after the heat-death of the universe. An international team of scientists led by researchers with the Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley has proposed the experimental design of a space-time crystal based on an electric-field ion trap and the Coulomb repulsion of particles that carry the same electrical charge.
A research team that includes engineers from UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has created a way to quickly change the left-right orientation of molecules, or chirality, with a beam of light. The development could be applied across a wide range of fields, including reduced energy use for data-processing, homeland security and ultrahigh-speed communications.
It can’t quite cover Harry Potter, yet, but an invisibility cloak developed by UC Berkeley engineers was able to bounce visible light waves away from a microscopic object about as big as a red blood cell. The experiment using the reflective silicon oxide and silicon nitride material was described in the journal Nano Letters.
UC Berkeley researchers have shown that graphene, a one-atom-thick layer of crystallized carbon, can be tuned electrically to modify the amount of photons absorbed. This ability to switch light on and off is the fundamental characteristic of a network modulator, opening the door to optical computing in handheld electronics.
Berkeley Lab researchers have fabricated superlenses from perovskite oxides that are ideal for capturing light in the mid-infrared range, opening the door to highly sensitive biomedical detection and imaging. It may also be possible to turn the superlensing effect on/off, opening the door to highly dense data writing and storage.
GRIN Plasmonics: A practical path to superfast computing, ultrapowerful optical microscopy and invisibility carpet-cloaking devices
Berkeley Lab researchers have carried out the first experimental demonstration of GRIN plasmonics, a hybrid technology that opens the door to a wide range of exotic optics, including superfast photonic computers, ultra-powerful optical microscopes, and “invisibility” carpet-cloaking devices.
Hotspots Tamed by BEAST – Secrets of Mysterious Metal Hotspots Uncovered by New Single Molecule Imaging Technique
The secrets behind the mysterious nano-sized electromagnetic “hotspots” that appear on metal surfaces under a light are being revealed with the help of a BEAST. The results hold promise for solar energy and chemical sensing among other technologies.
UC Berkeley researchers have developed a new technique that allows plasmon lasers to operate at room temperature, overcoming a major barrier to practical utilization of the technology. Previous plasmon laser devices required temperatures as low as minus 450 degrees Fahrenheit to function properly.
New "metamaterials" can overcome some of the limitations of microscopes and imagers, including ultrasound imagers. Researchers in the Nano-scale Science & Engineering Center have come up with a metamaterial to improve the picture quality of ultrasound by a factor of 50.