Dr. Zhang is currently an Electron Microscopy Specialist at the Imaging Facility of CUNY Advanced Science Research Center. Before joining CUNY, Dr. Zhang was a postdoctoral researcher in the Materials Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory. His research has involved depositing multilayer thin films, lithographic patterning and 3D visualization of magnetic materials and nanostructures using aberration-corrected Lorentz TEM, and in situ exploration of their magnetic, electric, thermal and structural properties. He has been working on spin valve heterostructures with exchange bias and exchange coupling, magnetic multilayer thin films with topological spin structures – skyrmions, high aspect ratio ferromagnetic nanofibers, and resistance switching oxides via self assembly of block copolymers and sequential infiltration synthesis. Dr. Zhang received his Ph.D. in Physics at the Pennsylvania State University. His dissertation was mainly on geometrically frustrated nanomagnets, also known as “artificial spin ice”, which consist of lithographically fabricated nanomagnets in close proximity. An innovative protocol of thermal annealing was employed on these frustrated nanomagnets to truly achieve their ground state equilibrium and realized incipient magnetic charge crystallization for the first time.

Research Interests

Dr.Zhang's research work has involved sample preparation and characterization using aberration-corrected TEM in various modes (Bright field, Dark field, Diffraction, Lorentz mode, EDS, EELS, EF-TEM, STEM, tomography, holography) and dual-beam SEM/FIB. He has been working on metal thin films, oxide heterostructures, nanowires, nanoparticles, and crystal materials. Besides magnetic and oxide materials, Dr. Zhang is also very interested to make collaborations with scientists in many science and engineering areas, including but not limited to 2D materials, semiconductors, polymers, batteries, biomaterials, etc., to investigate their advanced properties with integrated imaging methods combined with analytical approaches and data processing.



  • S. Zhang, A.K. Petford-Long and C. Phatak, Creation of artificial skyrmions and antiskyrmions by anisotropy engineering, Scientific Reports 6, 2016, , 31248
  • S. Zhang, Z. Zhou, G. Grocke, A. Petford-Long, Y. Liu, X. Chen and C. Phatak, Visualization of Magnetization in CoFe Nanofibers by Lorentz TEM and Electron Holography, Microscopy and Microanalysis, 2016, S3, 1692-1693
  • S. Zhang, A.K. Petford-Long, O. Heinonen, and C. Phatak, Vortex jump behavior in coupled nanomagnetic heterostructures, Appl. Phys. Lett., 2014, 105, 212409
  • I. Gilbert, G. Chern, S. Zhang, L. O’Brien, B. Fore, C. Nisoli, and P. Schiffer, Emergent ice rule and magnetic charge screening from vertex frustration in artificial spin ice, Nature Physics, 2014, 10, 670–675
  • S. Zhang, I. Gilbert, C. Nisoli, G. Chern, M. J. Erickson, L. O’Brien, C. Leighton, P. E. Lammert, V. H. Crespi and P. Schiffer, Crystallites of Magnetic Charges in Artificial Spin Ice, Nature, 2013, 500, 553–557
  • S. Zhang, J. Li, I. Gilbert, J. Bartell, M. J. Erickson, Y. Pan, P. E. Lammert, C. Nisoli, K. K. Kohli, R. Misra, V. H. Crespi, N. Samarth, C. Leighton and P. Schiffer, Perpendicular Magnetization and Generic Realization of the Ising Model in Artificial Spin Ice, Phys. Rev. Lett., 2012, 109, 087201
  • S. Zhang, J. Li, J. Bartell, X. Ke, C. Nisoli, P. E. Lammert, V. H. Crespi and P. Schiffer, Ignoring Your Neighbors: Moment Correlations Dominated by Indirect or Distant Interactions in an Ordered Nanomagnet Array, Phys. Rev. Lett., 2011, 107, 117204


Job History

  • 2017 - Current : Electron Microscopy Specialist, CUNY Advanced Science Research Center
  • 2013 - 2017 : Postdoctoral Research Associate, Argonne National Laboratory
  • 2007 - 2013 : Ph.D. Candidate, Pennsylvania State University