Distinguished Research Professor 2016
Yiping Zhao, professor of physics, has made tremendous contributions to the field of nanotechnology. He has developed a method to rapidly and accurately detect viruses, bacteria and chemical contaminants using a technique known as surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy, or SERS, which measures the change in frequency of a laser as it scatters off a compound. The signal produced by Raman scattering is inherently weak, but Zhao and his colleagues have arrayed silver nanorods 1,000 times finer than the width of a human hair at a precise angle to amplify the signal. This system may be used to detect pathogens and contaminants in mixtures such as food, blood or saliva. Zhao is also a recognized leader in the development of the glancing angle deposition (GLAD) technique for nanostructure design and fabrication. Using this process, Zhao is able to fabricate nanorod arrays that may be used as sensors for biological, renewable energy and nanomachine applications.
Creative Research Medal 2009