Qiwen Zhan

Professor, Electro-Optics Graduate Program; Managing Director, UD-Fraunhofer Joint Research Center
Full-Time Faculty
School of Engineering: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Selected Publications 

  • Chen, W., D.C. Abeysinghe, R.L. Nelson, and Q. Zhan. 2010. Experimental confirmation of miniature spiral plasmonic lens as a circular polarization analyzer. Nano Lett 10: 2075-2079.
  • Wang, J., W. Chen, and Q. Zhan. 2010. Engineering of high purity ultra-long optical needle field through reversing the electric dipole array radiation. Opt. Express 18: 21965-21972.
  • Wu, Z., W. Chen, D.C. Abeysinghe, R.L. Nelson, and Q. Zhan. 2010. Two-photon fluorescence characterization of spiral plasmonic lenses as circular polarization analyzers. Opt. Lett. 35: 1755-1757.
  • Rui, G., Y. Lu, P. Wang, H. Ming and Q. Zhan. 2010. Generation of enhanced evanescent Bessel beam using band-edge resonance, J. Appl. Phys. 108: 074304.
  • Zhan, Q. 2009. Cylindrical vector beams: From mathematical concepts to applications. Review article in the inaugural issue of Advances in  Optics and Photonics 1: 1-57.
  • Chen, W., R.L. Nelson, D.C. Abeysinghe, and Q. Zhan. 2009. Plasmonic lens made of multiple concentric metallic rings under radially polarized illumination. Nano Lett. 9: 4320–4325.
  • Chen, W., R.L. Nelson, D.C. Abeysinghe, Q. Zhan. 2009. Optimal plasmon focusing with spatial polarization engineering. Invited review article, Optics and Photonics News (OPN) 20, no. 10: 36-41.
  • Zhou, R., B. Ibarra-Escamilla, P.E. Powers, J.W. Haus, and Q. Zhan. 2009. Fiber laser generating switchable radially and azimuthally polarized beams with 140 mW output power at 1.6 µm wavelength. Appl. Phys. Lett. 95: 191111.
  • Chen, W., and Q. Zhan. 2009. Creating spherical focal spot with spatially modulated radial polarization in 4Pi microscopy. Opt. Lett. 34: 2444-2446. [Also in the 2009 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics 4, no. 10.]
  • Yang, S., W. Chen, R. Nelson and Q. Zhan. 2009. Miniature circular polarization analyzer with spiral plasmonic lens. Opt. Lett. 34: 3047-3049.
  • Chen, W., and Q. Zhan. 2009. Realization of an evanescent Bessel beam via surface plasmon interference excited by a radially polarized beam. Opt. Lett. 34: 722-724. [Also in the 2009 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics 4, no. 5]
  • Zhan, Q. 2004. Trapping metallic Rayleigh particles with radial polarization. Opt. Express 12: 3377-3382.
  • Zhan, Q. 2003. High resolution microellipsometry. In Nondestructive Materials Characterization with Applications to Aircraft Materials, ed. Meyendorf, Nagy, Rokhlin. Springer.
  • Zhan, Q., and J.R. Leger. 2002. Focus shaping using cylindrical vector beams. Opt. Express 10: 324-331.

Selected Patents

  • Zhan, Q. 2007. Methods of polarization engineering and their applications. Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) U.S. Serial 60/805,370, (June).
  • Zhan, Q. and J.R. Leger. 2005. Optics apparatus and method using solid immersion tunneling. U.S. Patent 6,934,024.
  • Zhan, Q. and J.R. Leger. 2004. A novel imaging ellipsometry. U.S. Patent 6,798,511.
  • Zhan, Q. and J.R. Leger. 2003. Ellipsometry using radial symmetry. U.S. Patent 6,693,711.

Courses Taught

  • Geometrical Optics
  • Introduction to Lasers
  • Advanced Electro-Optics Lab
  • Nanophotonics
  • Polarization of Light
  • Discrete Signals and Systems
  • Microelectronic Devices
  • Electromagnetic Fields I


  • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2002
  • M.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2000
  • B.S., Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, 1996

Professional Activities

  • Topical Editor for Applied Optics, Guest Editor for Optics Express Focus Issue on Unconventional Polarization States of Light (UPSL), Special Issue Guest Editor on Nanophotonics for Journal of Nonlinear Optical Physics & Materials
  • Founding member and steering committee member for the International Conference on Nanophotonics (ICNP), conference co-chair for ICNP 2009 in Harbin, China and technical program committee co-chair for ICNP 2010 in Tsukuba, Japan.
  • Organizing committee member for the 6th Asia Pacific Near-field Optics Conference (Yellow Mountain, China 2007), Optical Design and Instrumentation at the Frontiers in Optics Conference (Rochester, NY 2010). Technical Program Committee member, the IEEE Photonics Global Conference 2010 (Singapore, 2010) and the SPIE Photonics West RF and Millimeterwave Photonics Conference (San Francisco, CA 2011)
  • Referee for Applied Optics, Optics Express, Optics Letters, Journal of Optical Society of America A, Journal of Optical Society of America B, Optical Engineering, Optics Communications, Journal of Optical and Lasers Technology, Physics Letters A, Journal of Lightwave Technology, Applied Physics Letters, Applied Energy, New Journal of Physics and proposal reviewer for NSF, ISF, CRDF, Petroleum Foundation, and Research Corporation
  • Short course instructor on “Nanophotonics” at the OSA and SPIE conferences
  • Member of the AAAS, OSA, SPIE, IEEE, Photonics Society and Sigma Xi.

Research Interests

  • Nanophotonics
  • Biophotonics
  • Polarization sensing and engineering
  • Wavefront sensing and engineering