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​ZJUI students shine at the PIERS international symposium


ZJUI Professor Tan Shurun led a team of ZJUI students who participated in the 42nd PhotonIcs & Electromagnetics Research Symposium (PIERS) in Xiamen in December. The student team included ZJUI juniors Ma Xiaoyu and Tang Zhizhan, who major in electrical engineering, and doctoral student Feng Zhaoyang. Ma Xiaoyu and Tang Zhizhan presented “An Improved Model for Soil Moisture Content Estimation from GNSS SNR Measurements.” Feng Zhaoyang’s paper, “Efficient Characterization of Topological Photonics Using the Broadband Green’s Function”, was selected from more than 1700 submissions as third prize among the best paper awards.



The two undergraduates were presenting results from the ZJUI Student Research Training Program. Their project, guided by Prof. Tan, introduced a new use of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals for soil moisture content and its vertical profile estimation. This offers a low-cost and accurate method for the future global soil moisture observation. Their paper developed a rigorous physical model for the observed GNSS signals that varies with soil moisture. 


Feng’s paper presented an innovative method to analyze wave interactions with periodic scatterers. Simple small identical objects when placed periodically with separation around the wavelength of interest interact with electromagnetic waves and lights strongly and lead to exotic wave phenomena. Only waves with special wavelengths can propagate in the structure, called photonic bands. In Feng’s paper, the photonic bands of a special periodic structure composed of gyromagnetic scatterers are computed with an innovative new method, achieving high precision and improved efficiency. Gyromagnetic materials react to external DC magnetic fields to form non-diagonal tensor constitutive parameters. Such periodic structures are found to support unidirectional waves along its boundaries. This salient feature is related to the unique topology of the bands and is a subject that leads to the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2016 ( Feng’s seminal work opens a new avenue for analyzing wave-functional periodic scatterer with complicated material properties. This work was advised by Prof. Tan Shurun. 



The Photonics and Electromagnetics Research Symposium (PIERS), also known as Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium, provides an international forum for reporting progress and recent advances in electromagnetics, photonics, and applications. PIERS is sponsored by the Electromagnetics Academy. It has been held more than 40 times in cities around the world.



Writer | Tang Zhizhan,Feng Zhaoyang,Zhang Yi

Photos | Tang Zhizhan,Feng Zhaoyang provided