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Washington State University Institute for Shock Physics


Zbigniew Dreger

Senior Scientist

(509) 335-4233

Scientific Interests and Work

Physical and chemical properties of energetic and related materials under static and dynamic loading.

Dr. Dreger’s research interests are aimed at further understanding the physical and chemical changes in molecular solids under extreme conditions of high pressure and temperature. His work uses various laser spectroscopies (linear, nonlinear, time resolved) and synchrotron x-ray diffraction, and emphasizes the molecular scale characterization of pressure effects in molecular systems, including high explosives. Currently, Dr. Dreger is investigating the optical response of energetic crystals and model organic crystals to both static (diamond anvil cell) and shock (gas gun) loading. He has co-authored over 100 scientific publications.


After receiving his doctorate degree, Dr. Dreger was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Physics at the Technical University of Gdansk. From 1989 to 1992 he was a visiting post-doctoral fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), working in the high-pressure laboratory of Professor Harry G. Drickamer. Dr. Dreger returned to UIUC in 1994 as a research scientist. He joined the faculty at the Institute for Shock Physics at Washington State University in July 1998.


Ph.D. (Physics), 1986, Technical University of Gdansk (TUG), Gdansk, Poland.

Honors and Recognition

  • Annual President’s Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievements – TUG, 1992
  • British Council Fellowship, 1988
  • National Award for Outstanding Achievements in Research – Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, 1987
  • National Award – Polish Physical Society, 1981

Representative Publications

  1. Z. A. Dreger, Y. M. Gupta, C.-S. Yoo, and H. Cynn. “High Pressure-Induced Phase Transitions in Pentaerythritol: X-ray and Raman Studies”  J. Phys. Chem. B (2005) 109, 22581
  2. Y. A. Gruzdkov, Z. A. Dreger, and Y. M. Gupta “Experimental and Theoretical Study of Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate Conformers”  J. Phys. Chem. A (2004) 108, 6216
  3. Z. A. Dreger, H. Lucas, and Y. M. Gupta “High Pressure Effect on Fluorescence of Anthracene Crystals” J. Phys. Chem. B (2003) 107 9268
  4. Z. A. Dreger, Y. A. Gruzdkov, Y. M. Gupta, and J. J. Dick “Shock wave induced decomposition chemistry of pentaerythritol tetranitrate single crystals: time-resolved emission spectroscopy”   J. Phys. Chem. B (2002) 106, 247.
  5. H. G. Drickamer, Z. A. Dreger, A. Zhu, and J. O. White I E “Two examples of pressure tuning spectroscopy in solid polymeric media”  Chem. Res. (2001) 40, 3038.
  6. Z. A. Dreger, J. O. White and H. G. Drickamer “Pressure effects on the intramolecular twist of flexible molecules in solid polymers”
  7. R. Winter, J. Jonas “High Pressure Molecular Science” Kluwer Academic Pub. Dortrecht (1999) pp. 25-44.
  8. Z. A. Dreger, G. Yang, J. O. White, Y. Li, and H. G. Drickamer, “One- and two-photon-pumped fluorescence from rhodamine B in solid poly(acrylic acid) under high pressure” J. Phys. Chem. B (1998) 102, 4380.
  9. Z. A. Dreger and H. G. Drickamer “Continuous irradiation induced luminescence from benzophenone, 4,4′-dichlorobenzophenone and 4-(dimethylamino)-benzaldehyde in solid environments and its pressure dependence” J. Phys. Chem. A (1997) 101, 1429.
  10. Z. A. Dreger, J. M. Lang, and H. G. Drickamer, “Pressure and light induced luminescence of several aldehydes dissolved in polymer matrices” J. Phys. Chem. (1996) 100, 4646.
  11. Z. A. Dreger, J. M. Lang, and H. G. Drickamer “Unusual phosphorescence and its pressure dependence in 4-N,N-dimethylaminobenzonitrile dissolved in solid polymers” Chem. Phys. Lett. (1995) 232, 351.
  12. Z. A. Dreger, J. M.Lang, and H. G. Drickamer, “The effect of high pressure on fluorescence of crystalline flexible dye molecules” Phys. Chem. (1994) 184, 173.
  13. Z. A. Dreger, J. M. Lang, and H. G. Drickamer, “High pressure study of flexible fluorescent dye molecules in solid polymeric media. II. Polyester yellow 6G-LSW Z.” Chem. Phys. (1993) 169, 361.
  14. Z. A. Dreger, J. M. Lang, and H. G. Drickamer, “High-pressure thermoluminescence and photoluminescence study of ZnS:Mn:Cu:Cl phosphor J. Appl. Phys. (1992) 71, 1914.
  15. Z. A. Dreger, J. M. Lang, and H. G. Drickamer, “Thermoluminescence study of charge carrier traps under high pressure in crystalline coronene” J. Lum. (1991) 50, 279.