31 August 2023
Remembering Zijie Yan, a valued colleague and respected scholar
On 28 August, Optica lost a valuable member of its community with the death of Prof. Zijie Yan, a researcher at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. Yan was a group leader in the Department of Applied Physical Science, whose work focused on “transcending the boundary between photonics and materials science.” Yan received his PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he published 17 papers with his advisor Doug Chrisey. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, Yan made pioneering contributions to the development of optical matter alongside his mentor, Optica Fellow Norbert Scherer. He joined the faculty at UNC in 2019, where he continued his work on applying optical approaches to innovative material assembly processes.
A valued colleague and respected scholar, Yan impacted the Optica community through his service on the CLEO committee from 2017-2019 and his invited talk at Advanced Photonics 2020. He had accepted an invitation to speak at Frontiers in Optics 2023 on nanoparticle trapping and manipulation.
Optica extends its condolences to Prof. Yan’s family, friends and collaborators. We will continue to feel his impact on our community as we mourn his absence.
Optica Publishing Group Publications:
Optical matter machines: angular momentum conversion by collective modes in optically bound nanoparticle arrays, Optica, 2020
John Parker, Curtis W. Peterson, Yuval Yifat, Stuart A. Rice, Zijie Yan, Stephen K. Gray, and Norbert F. Scherer, "Optical matter machines: angular momentum conversion by collective modes in optically bound nanoparticle arrays," Optica 7, 1341-1348 (2020)
Polarization-Dependent Optical Binding of Plasmonic Nanoparticles, CLEO 2020, OSA Technical Digest
F. Han, F. Nan, and Z. Yan, "Polarization-Dependent Optical Binding of Plasmonic Nanoparticles," in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, OSA Technical Digest (Optica Publishing Group, 2019), paper SM1H.4.
Tuning Optical Matter Chains by Polarization Modulation, CLEO 2018, OSA Technical Digest
F. Nan and Z. Yan, "Tuning Optical Matter Chains by Polarization Modulation," in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, OSA Technical Digest (online) (Optica Publishing Group, 2018), paper SM2O.2.
Talks at Optica Conferences:
Invited Speaker at FIO 2023: Expanding Optical Control: Harnessing the Phase Gradient of Light for Versatile Nanoparticle Trapping and Manipulation (FM3B.1)
Invited Speaker at 2020 Advanced Photonics: “Optical Matter: Building Artificial Materials from Nanoparticles with Light”