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 90 research papers in peer-reviewed journals including Nature, Nature Physics, Nature Materials, Nature Communicatons, 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.

Professor Zhang's work on macroscopic invisibility cloaking of visible light was selected as "top 10 breakthroughs for 2010" by Physics World, "top 100 stories in 2011" by Discover Magazine, and received numerous media coverage including BBC News, Telegraph, Channel 4, ITV, Guardian, Fox News, USA Today, MSNBC.


  • 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 and metasurfaces to control the spin-orbit interaction of light in both linear and nonlinear optics.

Other activities

  • Editor of <Light: Science & Applications>, a journal recently launched by the Nature Publishing group.
  • 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)

HC Liu, B Yang, Q Guo, J Shi, C Guan, G Zheng, H Mühlenbernd, T Zentgraf & S Zhang, “Computational ghost imaging with helicity-dependent metasurface hologram”, Science Advances, in press (2017)

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

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

F Walter, G Li, C Meier, S Zhang & T Zentgraf, “Ultrathin Nonlinear Metasurface for Optical Image Encoding”, Nano Letters, 17, 3171 (2017)

F Yue, D Wen, C Zhang, B Gerardot, W Wang, S Zhang, and X Chen, “Multichannel Polarization-Controllable Superpositions of Orbital Angular Momentum States”, Advanced Materials, 29, 1603838 (2017)

M. Kenney, S. Li, X. Zhang, X. Su, T. T. Kim, D. Wang, D. Wu, C. M. Ouyang, J. G. Han, W. L. Zhang, H. B. Sun, S. Zhang, “Pancharatnam–Berry Phase Induced Spin-Selective Transmission in Herringbone Dielectric Metamaterials”, Advanced Materials, 28, 9567 (2016)

W Gao, B Yang, M Lawrence, F Fang, B Béri, S Zhang, “Photonic Weyl degeneracies in magnetized plasma”, Nature Communications, in press (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 (2016) doi:10.1038/nphys3699.

S. Chen, F. Zeuner, M. Weismann, B. Reineke, G. Li, V. K. Valev, K. W. Cheah, N. C. Panoiu, T. Zentgraf, S. Zhang, “Giant nonlinear optical activity of achiral origin in planar metasurfaces with quadratic and cubic nonlinearities”, Advanced Materials, 28, 2992 (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)

M Lawrence, N Xu, X Zhang, L Cong, J Han, W Zhang, and S Zhang, “Manifestation of PT Symmetry Breaking in Polarization Space with Terahertz Metasurfaces”, Physical Review Letters, 113, 093901 (2014)

S Chen, G Li, F Zeuner, W H Wong, E Y B Pun, T Zentgraf, K W Cheah & S Zhang, “Symmetry selective third harmonic generation from plasmonic metacrystals”, Physical Review Letters, 113, 033901 (2014)

L Liu, X Zhang, M Kenney, X Su, N Xu, C Ouyang, Y Shi , J Han, W Zhang and S Zhang, "Broadband Metasurfaces with Simultaneous Control of Phase and Amplitude", Advanced Materials, 26, 5031 (2014)

L. Huang, X. Chen, H. Muhlenbernd, H. Zhang, S. Chen, B. Bai, Q. Tan, G. Jin, K.-W. Cheah, C.-W. Qiu, J. Li, T. Zentgraf, and S. Zhang, "Three-dimensional optical holography using a plasmonic metasurface", Nature Communications,4, 2808 (2013)

L Huang, X Chen, B Bai, Q Tan, G Jin, T Zentgraf & S Zhang, "Helicity Dependent Directional Surface Plasmon Polariton Excitation Using a Metasurface with Interfacial Phase Discontinuity", Nature - Light: Science & Applications, 2, e70 (2013)

X. Chen, L. Huang, H. Mühlenbernd, G. X. Li, B. Bai, Q. Tan, G. Jin, C. W. Qiu, S. Zhang, and T. Zentgraf, “Dual-polarity plasmonic metalens for visible light”, Nature Communications, 3, 1198 (2012)

S. Zhang, Z Ye, Y Wang, Y S Park, G Bartal, M Mrejen, X Yin & X Zhang, "Anti-Hermitian Plasmon Coupling of an Array of Gold Thin-Film Antennas for Controlling Light at the Nanoscale",  Physical Review Letters, 109, 193902 (2012)

L. Huang , X. Chen , H. Mühlenbernd , G. Li , B. Bai , Q. Tan , G. Jin , T. Zentgraf , and S. Zhang, "Dispersionless Phase Discontinuities for Controlling Light Propagation", Nano Letters, 12, 5750 (2012)

J Gu, R Singh, X Liu, X. Q. Zhang, Y Ma , S Zhang, S Maier, Z Tian, A Azad, H T Chen, A Taylor, J Han, W. L. Zhang, "Active control of electromagnetically-induced transparency analogue in terahertz metamaterials", Nature Communications, 3, 1151 (2012)

S. Zhang, J. F. Zhou, Y. S. Park, J. Rho, R. Singh, S. Nam, A. Azad, H. T. Chen, X. B. Yin, A. J. Taylor & X. Zhang, "Photo-induced Handedness Switching in Terahertz Chiral-Molecules", Nature Communications, 3, 942 (2012)

S Palomba , S. Zhang, Y. S. Park , G. Bartal ,X. B. Yin & X. Zhang, "Optical Negative Refraction by Four-wave Mixing in Thin Metallic Nanostructures", Nature Materials, 11, 34 (2012)

S. Zhang, Y. Xiong, G. Bartal, X. Yin & X. Zhang, "Magnetized plasma for reconfigurable subdiffraction imaging", Phys. Rev. Lett., 106, 243901 (2011)

X. Chen, Y. Luo, J. Zhang, K. Jiang, J. B. Pendry and S. Zhang, “Macroscopic Invisibility Cloaking for Visible Light”, Nature Communications, 2, 176 (2011)

D A Dentcho, S Zhangand X Zhang, “Mimicking Celestial Mechanics in Metamaterials”, Nature Physics.5, 687 (2009)

S Zhang, P Park, J Li, X C Lu, W L Zhang and X Zhang, “Negative Refractive Index in Chiral Metamaterials” Phys. Rev. Lett.102, 023901 (2009)

A Ishikawa, S Zhang, D A Genov, G Bartal and X Zhang, “Deep Subwavelength Waveguide Using Negative Permeability Metamaterials”, Phys. Rev. Lett., 102, 043904 (2009)

J Valentine*, S Zhang*, T Zentgraf*, E Ulin-Avila, D A Genov, G Bartal and X Zhang, (* equally contributed first authors) “Three Dimensional Optical Metamaterials Exhibiting Negative Refractive Index”, Nature, 455, 376 (2008)

S Zhang, D A Genov, Y Wang, M Liu and X Zhang, “Plasmonic Metamaterials with Coupling Induced Transparency”, Phys. Rev. Lett.101, 047401 (2008)

S Zhang, D A Genov, C Sun and X Zhang, “Cloaking of Matter Waves”, Phys. Rev. Lett.100, 123002 (2008)

W Fan, S Zhang, N C Panoiu, A Abdenour, S Krishna, R M Osgood, K J Malloy and S R J Brueck, “Second harmonic generation from a nanopatterned isotropic nonlinear material”, Nano Lett.6, 1027 (2006)

S Zhang, W Fan, N C Panoiu, K J Malloy, M R Osgood and S R J Brueck, “Demonstration of Near-Infrared Negative-Index Materials” Phys. Rev. Lett,95, 137404 (2005)

S Zhang, W Fan, B K Minhas, A Fraunglass, K J Malloy and S R J Brueck, “Midinfrared resonant magnetic nanostructures exhibiting a negative permeability”, Phys. Rev. Lett,94, 037402 (2005)

W Fan,S Zhang, B K Minhas, Kevin J. Malloy, and S. R. J. Brueck, “Enhanced Infrared Transmission through Subwavelength Coaxial Metallic Arrays”, Phys. Rev. Lett.94 033902 (2005)

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