Cun-Zheng Ning obtained his Ph.D (Dr. rer. nat) in Physics under the supervision of Hermann Haken at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. He continued his research at Stuttgart thereafter as a Research Scientist with the SFB projetc, Physical and Chemical Foundation of the Molecular Electronics until the end of 1993.
Starting from 1994, he took position at University of Arizona as a postdoctoral Research Associate and Research Assistant Professor. He joined NASA Ames Research Center in 1997 as a senior research scientist, later as Group Leader in Nanophotonics and Task Manager in Nanotechnology at University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), a joint Center between NASA and University of California.
He joined Arizona State University as Professor of Electrical Engineering in 2006, where he is also an affiliate faculty member of Physics and of Materials. He was a visiting Scientist at University of Stuttgart from January 1986 to February 1987, a Lecturer at Northwestern University, China, from March 1987 to August 1988, and the ISSP Visiting Professor at Institute of Solid State Physics, University of Tokyo in 2006.
Dr. Ning is a fellow of Optical Society (OSA) and of IEEE. He has given over 120 invited talks, colloquia, or plenary talks worldwide and published over 150 papers. He served as Chair, or technical committee member, of several international conferences organized by OSA, IEEE-LEOS, or SPIE. He was Associate Editor, IEEE J. Quantum Electronics, a guest editor of several special issues of the Journal of Optical Society of America B, Optics Express, and IEEE J. Special Topics in Quantum Electronics. For his research, he has won several NASA and NASA contractor awards, such as CSC Technical Excellence Award. He was awarded IEEE LEOS or Photonics Society Distinguished Lecturer (2007-2008 and 2008-2009).
His past research interests have included laser physics and quantum optics, laser dynamics and optical instabilities, self-organizations, stochastic resonances, and geometric phases in dissipative systems. He and his group currently work in the area of semiconductor optoelectronics, nanowire based photonics, and surface-plasmonic active devices such as plasmonic nanolasers. The device applications include lasers, detectors (spectrometer on a chip), solar cells, and white light generation.