Professor Shuang Zhang BSc,MSc,PhD

Shuang Zhang

School of Physics and Astronomy
Professor of Metamaterials

Contact details

School of Physics and Astronomy
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Shuang Zhang is a Professor in the school of Physics & Astronomy.

He has published over 200 research papers in peer-reviewed journals including Science, Nature, Nature Physics, Nature Materials, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Communications, Physical Review Letters, Advanced Materials, Nano Letters and Optics Express.

He was the recipient of 2010 IUPAP award in Optics for his pioneering work on optical metamaterials. In 2016, he received a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, and became a fellow of the Optical Society of America.  He is currently holding an ERC consolidator grant (2015-2020).


  • PhD in Electrical Engineering, Univ New Mexico, 2005
  • MS in Physics, Northeastern Univ (USA) 1999
  • BS in Physics, Jilin Univ (China), 1993


Professor Shuang Zhang received BS in Physics from Jilin University, China, in 1993, MS.  in Physics from Northeastern University, Boston, MA, in 1999, and Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico in 2005.

From December 2005 to August 2006, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and from August 2006 to March 2010, he was first a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and later an Assistant Research Engineer at the University of California Berkeley. In March 2010, he took the position of Reader in the School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Birmingham, and was promoted to professor in March, 2013.

Professor Zhang is the recipient of IUPAP (International Union of Pure and Applied Physics) Young Scientist Prize in Optics, the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award in 2016. He was elected a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA) in 2016.


  • Semiconductor and Optoelectronics (Year 3)
  • Photonics Group Study (Year 3)

Postgraduate supervision

Prof. Zhang is supervising research PhD students in the research areas of Metamaterials, Plasmonics and Nonlinear Optics.


Research Themes

  • Optical metamaterials and metasurfaces
  • Spin-orbit coupling of light
  • Topological metamaterials
  • Nonlinear optics
  • Plasmonics
  • Transformation Optics and Invisibility

Research Activity

Professor Zhang’s research has centred on the development of plasmonic devices and optical metamaterials whose electromagnetic properties cannot be obtained from nature materials.  His contributions to this field include the design and demonstration of the first bulk optical negative-index metamaterials— fishnet metamaterial, the first mid-infrared magnetic metamaterials and the first terahertz chiral negative index metamaterials, and the first optical invisibility cloak of macroscopic size.

Professor Zhang’s current research focuses on using metamaterials to realise novel topological effects in photonics.

Other activities

  • Divisional Associate Editor for <Physical Review Letters>, Editor of <Light: Science & Applications>, Editor of <Advanced Photonics>.
  • Referee for journals including Nature, Science, Nature Materials, Nature Photonics, Nature Communications, Light: Science & Applications, Scientific Reports, Phys. Rev. Lett., Nano Lett., Phys. Rev. B, Appl. Phys. Lett., Opt Lett., Opt. Exp.


Selected publications

(A complete list of my publications is available at google scholar citations)

“Experimental observation of non-Abelian topological charges and edge states”, H Yang, J Xu, Z Xiong, X Lu, RY Zhang, H Li, Y Chen, S Zhang, CT Chan, Nature, 594, 195 (2021)

“Momentum Space Toroidal Moment in a Photonic Metamaterial”, B Yang, Y Bi, RX Zhang, RY Zhang, O You, Z Zhu, J Feng, H Sun, C. T. Chan, CX Liu, S Zhang,  Nature Communications, 12, 1784 (2021)

“Moiré fringe induced gauge field in photonics”, W Wang, W Gao, X Chen, F Shi, G Li, J Dong, Y Xiang, S Zhang, Physical Review Letters 125, 203901 (2020)

“Vortical Reflection and Spiraling Fermi Arcs with Weyl Metamaterials”, H Cheng, W Gao, Y Bi, W Liu, Z Li, Q Guo, Y Yang, O You, J Feng, H Sun, J Tian, S Chen, S Zhang, Physical Review Letters 125, 093904 (2020)

“Observation of non-Abelian nodal links in photonics”, E Yang, B Yang, O You, Q Guo, S Ma, L Xia, D Fan, Y Xiang, S Zhang, Physical Review Letters 125, 033901 (2020)

“Manipulating disordered plasmonic systems by external cavity with transition from broadband absorption to re- configurable reflection”, P Mao, C Liu, F Song, M Han, SA Maier, S Zhang, Nature Communications, 11, 1538 (2020)

“Transverse photon spin of bulk electromagnetic waves in bianisotropic media”, L Peng, L Duan, K Wang, F Gao, L Zhang, G Wang, Y Yang, H Chen, S Zhang, Nature Photonics, 13, 878 (2019)

“Photonic Weyl points due to broken time-reversal symmetry in magnetized semiconductor”, D Wang, B Yang, W Gao, H Jia, Q Yang, X Chen, M Wei, C Liu, M Navarro-Cía, J Han, W Zhang, S Zhang,  Nature Physics, 15 1150 (2019)

“Spontaneous emission and resonant scattering in transition from type I to type II photonic Weyl systems”, Y Yang, W Gao, L Xia, H Cheng, H Jia, Y Xiang, S Zhang, Physical Review Letters 123, 033901 (2019)

“Observation of three-dimensional photonic Dirac points and spin-polarized surface arcs”, Q Guo, O You, B Yang, JB Sellman, E Blythe, H Liu, Y Xiang, J Li, D Fan, J Chen, CT Chan, S Zhang, Physical Review Letters 122, 203903 (2019)

“Observation of chiral zero mode in inhomogeneous 3D Weyl metamaterials”, H Jia, R Zhang, W Gao, Q Guo, B Yang, J Hu, Y Bi, Y Xiang, C Liu, S Zhang, Science, 363, 148 (2019)

“Observation of hourglass nodal lines in photonics”, L Xia, Q Guo, B Yang, J Han, C Liu, W Zhang, S Zhang, Physical Review Letters 122, 103903 (2019)

“Broadband single molecule SERS detection designed by warped optical spaces”, P Mao, C Liu, G Favraud, Q Chen, M Han, A Fratalocchi, S Zhang, Nature communications 9 , 5428 (2018)

“Ideal Weyl points and helicoid surface states in artificial photonic crystal structures”, B Yang, Q Guo, B Tremain, R Liu, L E Barr, Q Yan, W Gao, H Liu, Y Xiang, J Chen, C Fang, A Hibbins, L Lu, S Zhang, Science, 359, 6379 (2018)

“Experimental observation of photonic nodal line degeneracies in metacrystals”, W Gao, B Yang, B Tremain, H Liu, Q Guo, L Xia, AP Hibbins, S Zhang, Nature Communications 9, 950 (2018)

“Three dimensional photonic Dirac points in metamaterials”, Q Guo, B Yang, L Xia, W Gao, H Liu, J Chen, Y Xiang, S Zhang, Physical Review Letters 119, 213901 (2017)

“Disorder-Induced Topological State Transition in Photonic Metamaterials”, C Liu, W Gao, B Yang, S Zhang, Physical Review Letters 119, 183901 (2017)

“Electromagnetic Reprogrammable Coding-Metasurface Holograms”, L Li, TJ Cui, W Ji, S Liu, J Ding, X Wan, YB Li, M Jiang, CW Qiu, S Zhang, Nature Communications 8, 197 (2017)

“Direct observation of topological surface-state arcs in photonic metamaterials”, B Yang, Q Guo, B Tremain, LE Barr, W Gao, H Liu, B Béri, Y Xiang, D Fan, AP Hibbins, S Zhang, Nature Communications 8, 97 (2017)

W Gao, B Yang, M Lawrence, F Fang, B Béri, S Zhang, “Photonic Weyl degeneracies in magnetized plasma”, Nature Communications, 7, 12435 (2016)

W Ye, F Zeuner, X Li, B Reineke, CW Qiu, J Liu, Y Wang, S Zhang and T Zentgraf, “Spin and Wavelength Multiplexed Nonlinear Metasurface Holography”, Nature Communications, 7, 11930 (2016)

G. Li, T. Zentgraf, S. Zhang, “Rotational Doppler effect in nonlinear optics”, Nature Physics, 12, 736 (2016)

Q. Guo, W. Gao, J. Chen, Y. Liu & S. Zhang, "Line degeneracy and strong spin-orbit coupling of light with bulk bianisotropic metamaterials", Physical Review Letters, 115, 067402 (2015)

D Wen, F Yue, G Li, G Zheng, K Chan, S Chen, M Chen, KF Li,PWH Wong, KW Cheah, EYB Pun, S Zhang  & X Chen, "Helicity multiplexed broadband metasurface holograms", Nature Communications, 6, 8241 (2015)

G Li, S Chen, N Pholchai, B Reineke, PWH Wong, EYB Pun, KW Cheah, T Zentgraf & S Zhang, “Continuous control of the nonlinearity phase for harmonic generations”, Nature Materials, 14, 607 (2015)

G Zheng, H Mühlenbernd, M Kenney, G Li, T Zentgraf and S Zhang, "Metasurface holograms reaching 80% efficiency", Nature Nanotechnology, 10, 308 (2015)

W Gao, M Lawrence, B Yang, F Liu, F Fang, B Béri, J Li, and S Zhang, "Topological Photonic Phase in Chiral Hyperbolic Metamaterials", Physical Review Letters, 114, 037402 (2015)

View all publications in research portal


Metamaterials with optical properties going beyond that of nature materials; plasmonics for controlling light in the nanoscale; transformation of optics and invisibility cloaks; nano-fabrication; optoelectronics

Media experience

Shuang's work in developing 'invisibility cloaks' was covered extensively in the national press  including video content for the Guardian and articles in the Daily Mirror and Metro .

Alternative contact number available for this expert: contact the press office

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