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Zheshen Zhang
Zheshen ZhangAssociate ProfessorElectrical Engineering and Computer Science


New undergraduate courses prepare students for the Second Quantum Revolution

Quantum information science and engineering is one of the hottest fields in engineering – and ECE wants to make it accessible to everyone.

Quantum entanglement could make accelerometers and dark matter detectors more precise

And yes, they are looking to miniaturize it for smartphone dead reckoning.

ECE welcomes four new faculty for 2022/23

With research expertise in quantum information, optics and systems; innovative wireless systems; and biomedical AI – these faculty are striving to improve how people live and work in the world.

Joining U-M

I am officially joining the University of Michigan Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in August 2022. Please contact me if you are interested in joining my group.

News prior to joining Michigan in 2022

June 27, 2022 Our paper “Demonstration of Entanglement-Enhanced Covert Sensing” was published in Physical Review Letters. The paper reports the first experimental demonstration of using entanglement to enhance both the performance of security of sensing. Congratulations to all co-authors!

March 7, 2022 Dr. Zheshen Zhang was selected to receive a $500,000 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Over the next 5 years Dr. Zhang’s team will formulate photonic quantum machine learning architectures and develop applications for communication, sensing, and computing. We extend our deep gratitude to the academic community and the NSF for the recognition of our research and the continued funding support!

September 16, 2021 Our team led by Dr. Zhang was awarded a $5M project to develop quantum sensors that address critical challenges in precise navigation, positioning, space control, and healthcare. This project is funded by the NSF’s Convergence Accelerator that endeavors to speed the research into impactful applications. Our team comprises government laboratories including NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), industrial partners including General Dynamics Mission Systems (GDMS) and Honeywell Inc., and universities including University of Arizona, Purdue University, Texas A&M University, UCLA, and Morgan State University. Congratulations to the team and thank NSF’s Convergence Accelerator for the support! See also the NSF Press Release and the UA News.

July 19, 2021 Yi Xia defended his doctoral dissertation “Distributed quantum sensing: theoretical foundation, experimental platform and applications” and became the first PhD graduated from our group. Congratulations Dr. Xia!

June 22, 2021 Our paper “Entanglement-Assisted Communication Surpassing the Ultimate Classical Capacity” was published in Physical Review Letters. The reported experiment demonstrates for the first time how preshared entanglement can be leveraged to beat the classical communication capacity thereby achieving a quantum advantage in communication.

June 1, 2021 Our paper “Quantum-Enhanced Data Classification with a Variational Entangled Sensor Network” was published in Physical Review X. The paper reports a hybrid quantum machine learning and quantum sensing experiment to speed up data classification. See also the Viewpoint highlight article by Seth Lloyd and the UA News report by Emily Dieckman.

October 1, 2020 Dr. Zhang joins the Editorial Board of Communications Physics, a Nature Research Journal.

September 8, 2020 Dr. Yongzhou Xue joins our group as a postdoctoral researcher. John Mack and Will Roberts join us as first-year lab rotation students. Lauren McCaffrey joins us as an undergraduate researcher. Welcome Yongzhou, John, Will, and Lauren!

September 8, 2020 Dr. Zhang will lead a $1M NSF Convergence Accelerator Phase-I project to develop quantum-internconnected optomechanical transducers for entanglement-enhanced force and inertial sensing. Our partners include Purdue University, Texas A&M University, NIST, NASA, and General Dynamics Mission Systems. Congratulations to all involved!

August 26, 2020 Our team is awarded a $115M FermiLab-led Department of Energy Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center (SQMS), as part of the U.S. National Quantum Initiative. Our group will be developing novel quantum sensing technologies for SQMS. See the Engineering News article written by Emily Dieckman.

August 4, 2020 The University of Arizona will lead a five-year $26M (with an additional five-year $24.6 million option) NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Quantum Networks. The partner institutes for the new ERC include MIT, Harvard University, Yale University, and University of Chicago. Our group will build upon our INQUIRE quantum network infrastructure to lead the development of the ERC testbed at the University of Arizona, with a goal of developing enabling technologies for a quantum internet. See the news release about the new Center for Quantum Networks.

May 8, 2020 Our paper “Quantum computing with multidimensional continuous-variable cluster states in a scalable photonic platform” was published in Phys. Rev. Research. We thank our collaborator Dr. Rafael Alexander, graduate student Bo-Han Wu, and postdoc Shuai Liu for their contributions. Congratulations!

April 17, 2020 Our entangled radio-frequency photonic sensor network work is highlighted in UA News. Thank Emily Dieckman for the nice article!

April 17, 2020 Our paper “Demonstration of a Reconfigurable Entangled Radio-Frequency Photonic Sensor Network” was published in Phys. Rev. Lett. Graduate student Yi Xia and postdoc Wei Li are two co-first authors with collaborators Drs. William Clark and Darlene Hart from General Dynamics. Prof. Quntao Zhuang developed the theory framework for the experiment. Congratulations to all involved!

March 1, 2020 We received funding from the Core Facilities Pilot Program to use the Micro/Nano Fabrication Center’s facilities. Thank UA’s Research, Innovation, and Impact Office and Dr. Greg Book for supporting our research! 

January 20, 2020 Dr. Zhang was invited to participate in NASA’s Workshop on Space Quantum Communications and Networks in UC Berkeley, to develop the roadmap to quantum communications in space. 

October 31, 2019 Our new paper “Physical-layer Supervised Learning Assisted by an Entangled Sensor Network” was published in Physical Review X. This is work in collaboration with Dr. Quntao Zhuang.

September 30, 2019 Our new paper “Wave-function engineering for spectrally uncorrelated biphotons in the telecommunication band based on a machine-learning framework” was published in Physical Review Applied. Great work – congratulations to Chaohan and all involved! 

August 28, 2019 We are awarded a new NSF grant “Collaborative Research: Programmable Chip-Scale Quantum-Photonics Platform based on Frequency-Comb Cluster-States for Multicasting Quantum Networks.” This is a joint project with Dr. Chee Wei Wong’s group at UCLA. Thank NSF for the continuing support on our research and thank Dr. Wong for working together on the proposal and the project!

August 1, 2019 We kicked off a new NSF-funded three-year project “Spectrally efficient high-dimensional quantum communications in an integrated quantum photonic platform” led by Dr. Ivan Djordjevic and in collaboration with Dr. Linran Fan. The objective of this project is to develop a compact platform to generate, manipulate, and detect single and entangled photons carrying high-dimensional quantum information and utilize them in quantum-communication protocols implemented over the on-campus quantum-network testbed INQUIRE.

July 9, 2019 Congratulate to our graduate student Yi Xia for receiving the Dean’s Fund for Excellence scholarship awarded by the College of Optical Science. Well deserved for the excellent research work, Yi!

April 26, 2019 Our team will be giving three talks at CLEO 2019 in San Jose, CA: Chaohan will present wave function engineering based on machine learning; Yi Xia will present distributed quantum sensing enhanced by a quantum relay; and Quntao will present supervised learning enhanced by an entangled sensor network. In addition, Christos from Saikat’s group will present our collaborative work on covert sensing based on floodlight illumination.

April 3, 2019 Dr. Zhang’s team kicks off a new program funded by the Office of Naval Research to develop ultrasensitive nanoscale integrated quantum entanglement (UNIQUE) sensors. This program is in collaboration with Drs. Linran Fan, Saikat Guha, and Quntao Zhuang.

March 15, 2019 Reeshad Arian joins our team as an undergraduate researcher. Reeshad is a sophomore majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering and minoring in Mathematics. Reeshad’s responsibility will be developing software and hardware packages for machine learning tasks that support quantum information processing. Welcome on board Reeshad!

January 25, 2019 UA News highlights our NSF MRI interdisciplinary quantum information research and engineering (INQUIRE) project. This project is in collaboration with Profs. Ivan Djordjevic (ECE), Jennifer Barton (BIO5 Institute), Nasser Peyghambarian (Optical Sciences), and Marek Romanowski (BME).

January 18, 2019 Our paper “Repeater-enhanced distributed quantum sensing based on continuous-variable multipartite entanglement” was published in Physical Review A as an “Editor’s Suggestion” article. This work is a collaboration between graduate student Yi Xia, Dr. Quntao Zhuang of UA and UC-Berkeley, Dr. William Clark of General Dynamics, and Dr. Zheshen Zhang of UA. Congratulations to all!

January 2, 2019 Dr. Shuai Liu joined our team as a postdoctoral researcher. Shuai has extensive experience in fabricating and testing integrated photonic devices. Welcome, Shuai! 

July 31, 2018 Dr. Zhang will lead a National Science Foundation (NSF) Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program to build up a quantum network testbed at the University of Arizona for interdisciplinary quantum information research and engineering (INQUIRE). Our INQUIRE team includes Profs. J. Barton and M. Romanowski of UA’s BIO5 Institute, N. Peyghambarian of Optical Sciences, and I. Djordjevic of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The INQUIRE facility and quantum-network testbed will be comprised of entangled-photon sources and single-photon detectors connecting five major nodes over multiple buildings and disciplines including Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Optical Sciences, Physics, and Biomedical Engineering. The infrastructure of the INQUIRE facility and the quantum-network testbed is illustrated in the figures below.


July 1, 2018 Our team receives the Arizona Board of Regents’ Innovation Fund (RIF) grant to work with Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University on the development of integrated quantum photonics platform. The collaborators for this project include Profs. N. Peyghambarian, O. Monti, N. Armstrong, and S. Guha from UA, S. Goodnick and D. Ferry from ASU, and S. Hurst from NEU.

June 30, 2018 Fengyan Yang joins our group as an undergraduate summer intern student. Fengyan is sophomore in Nankai University and will develop a framework for the simulation of nonlinear optics in integrated photonic devices. Welcome Fengyan!

June 7, 2018 Our team receives the RDI – Industry Engagement and interdisciplinary Link Student Award to collaborate with the industry on quantum technology prototype development.

June 6, 2018 Dr. Zhang was invited to give a 3-hour Tutorial on quantum communications at the Biennial Symposium on Communications in Toronto, Canada. The objective of the Tutorial is to introduce the fundamentals of quantum communications to the classical communication community for fostering interdisciplinary research.

May 21, 2018 Lucas Stolberg joins our group as an undergraduate researcher. Lucas was a student in Dr. Zhang’s Numerical Methods for Materials Science and Engineering course in Fall 2017 and is currently working on building quantum-limited receivers for quantum communications and sensing applications. Welcome Lucas!

May 10, 2018 Dr. Zhang was selected by the students to receive Award for Excellence at the Student Interface, cited as “Most Supportive Junior Faculty,” from the College of Engineering, the University of Arizona.

Apr 11, 2018 Our paper “Experimental quantum key distribution at 1.3 gigabit-per-second secret-key rate over a 10-dB-loss channel” was published in Quantum Science and Technology. This paper reports the first demonstration of quantum key distribution at a rate in excess of 1 Gbit/s.

Oct 1, 2017 Dr. Zhang was jointly appointed in the College of Optical Sciences.

Aug 14, 2017 Dr. Zhang joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Arizona as an Assistant Professor.

Jun 17, 2017 Dr. Zhang is seeking motivated graduate students and postdocs to work on experimental quantum information, nanophotonics, and quantum materials in my group at the University of Arizona. We will work in a team comprising both experimentalists and theorists. Please feel free to contact Dr. Zhang via email for more information. 

Jun 17, 2017 Dr. Zhang will be joining the University of Arizona as a junior faculty member this Fall. 

Jan 27, 2017 Our paper “Optimum mixed-state discrimination for noisy entanglement-enhanced sensing” is now published in Phys Rev. Lett.

Jan 27, 2017 Our paper “Floodlight quantum key distribution: Demonstrating a framework for high-rate secure communication” is now published in Phys. Rev. A. This paper experimentally demonstrates a new quantum-communication paradigm that yields un unprecedented communication rate of 55 Mbit/s over 10 dB channel loss. Such a rate represents a 50-fold improvement over the previous record rate of ~1 Mbit/s over the same channel loss.

Jan 3, 2017 Our paper “Optimum mixed-state discrimination for noisy entanglement-enhanced sensing” (arXiv:1609.01968) has been accepted for publication in Phys. Rev. Lett. This paper introduces the optimum receiver for robust quantum-enhanced sensing, opening the door to ultrasensitive imaging, high-precision characterization, and noninvasive detection at their ultimate limits.

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