Kai Xiao

Staff Scientist and UT/ORNL Joint Faculty

Dr. Kai Xiao is a senior 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 (2D) nanomaterials, including transition metal dichalcogenides, metal monochalcogenides, and graphene. Rational design and controlled synthesis, characterization, processing 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 nanomaterials; Charge transport study of 2D nanomaterials;

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).

3. Inorganic/organic nanoscale electronics.Understanding the charge transport process and optoelectronic functionality in 1D and 2D nanoscale electronic devices (FETs, photodetectors, memories) of inorganic/organic nanostructures.

Professional and Synergistic Activities:

  • Steering committee member of 17th International Conference on Laser Ablation (COLA), 2023.
  • Sectary of the 69th AVS 2D Materials Technical Group (2DMTG) Executive Council (EC), 2023.
  • International Advisory Committee Member for the Centre for Advanced Electronics at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Indore since 2020.
  • A CAREER panel review for EPMD (Electronics, Photonics and Magnetic Devices) program, NSF, 2019.
  • International Advisory Committee, International Conference on Computational Mathematics in Nanoelectronics and Astrophysics, India, 2018.
  • Program Committee of 2D Materials of AVS 65th International Symposium & Exhibition (2018)
  • Symposium Organizer, Emerging 2D Non-Graphene Materials in XXVII International Materials Research Congress, Mexico (IMRC2018).
  • Workshop Organizer, Synthesis and Collective Phenomena in 2D and Layered Materials workshop in 2017 Joint Nanoscience and Neutron Scattering User Meeting, 2017
  • Proposal Reviewer: NSF Reviewer Panel on Organic Electronics, Materials Engineering and Processing Program (MEP), DOE-BES proposal reviewer, User proposal reviewer for the Molecular Foundry at Laurence Berkeley National laboratory and Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL).
  • Editorial Board: Scientific Report; AIMS Materials



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


Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) http://cnms.ornl.gov


“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.