Kai Xiao

Kai Xiao

Distinguished Staff Scientist

Dr. Kai Xiao is a distinguished staff scientist in the Functional Hybrid Nanomaterials Group at Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, ORNL and a joint faculty at Bredesen Center and Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He received his Ph.D. degree in Physic Chemistry in 2004 from Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Then he worked as a postdoc associate at CNMS and became a staff scientist in 2008. He has published about 190 papers, several patents, and 7 book chapters.

His research focuses on understanding and controlling the synthesis and processing of thin films and nanostructured materials for energy-related devices.

1. Two-dimensional nanomaterials, especially transition metal dichalcogenides. Rational design and controlled synthesis, processing, characterization, and applications of novel 2D layered materials and fundamental investigation of new chemical, optical, electronic and magnetic properties:

  • Synthesis of 2D quantum materials and their heterostructures using CVD, PLD, exfoliation, and dry transfer methods; 
  • Optical, structural, and electrical characterization of 2D materials; 
  • Growth mechanisms using in situ diagnostics at multilength scales.

2. Solution-processed organic semiconductors and hybrid perovskites for thin film electronic devices, including field-effect transistors (FETs) and photovoltaics (PVs), spin valves, organic memory, sensors.

  • Understanding the correlations between the controlled processing, structure, and device performance of solution-processed semiconductor materials (small molecules, conducting polymers, and hybrid perovskites) with the multiscale characterizations such as electron microscopy, neutron/x-ray scattering, and various optical spectroscopy; 
  • Processing those materials using various methods, including spin-coating, thermal deposition, spray printing, to form gradient or doped single/multilayer thin films for energy-related electronic devices (OFETs, OPVs, memories, sensors).


The Nano Research Young Innovators (NR45) Awards in two-dimensional materials, 2021

UT-Battelle Outstanding Scholarly Output Award, 2020

2007 The National Top 100 Excellent Ph. D. Thesis Award in China, Ministry of Education

2006 The Top 50 Excellent Ph. D. Thesis Award of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

2004 Outstanding Thesis Award of the 24th Annual Meeting, Chinese Chemical Society

“Patterned Two-Dimensional Heterocrystals”, D. B. Geohegan, M-W. Lin, M. Mahjouri-Samani, A. Puretzky, C. M. Rouleau, K. Wang, K. Xiao, 201503565, DOE S-138,201.