Zhang, who formerly worked at Skyworks, has been charged with conspiracy to commit economic espionage, conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets, economic espionage and theft of trade secrets.
The defendants allegedly used their access to U.S. technologies to steal secrets for China's economic advantage, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin said in the Justice Department statement.
Along with Zhang, two other Tianjin professors were indicted, including a former employee of Avago.
Read MoreUS-China cyber spy spat: What it means
The indictment alleges that the stolen information allowed the university a "state-of-the-art" thin-film bulk acoustic resonator fabrication facility, to open the joint venture ROFS Microsystems, and to subsequently obtain commercial and military contracts for the technology.
Thin-film bulk acoustic resonators—FBAR or TFBAR— are used commonly used in mobile devices to help filter out unwanted signals.
The U.S. has previously charged Chinese nationals with spying for the benefit of their government or domestic companies, including allegations that cyber spies worked directly for Beijing's military.