Xi Ling


Assistant Professor Xi Ling

Degrees and Positions

  • B.A. Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Lanzhou University, China, 2007
  • Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, Peking University, China, 2012
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 2012-2016


  • Materials Science and Engineering Innovation Award, Boston University, 2017
  • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Rising Stars, MIT, 2015
  • WangShiyi Type A Scholarship, Peking University, 2011
  • Learning Award for Outstanding Individual, Peking University, 2010
  • “The Star of Nano” Award, Peking University, 2009
  • JunZheng Scholar Award, Lanzhou University, 2006
  • National Scientific Base for Talented Persons Scholarship, Lanzhou University, 2004-2006
  • National Scholarship, Lanzhou Unversity, 2004


The Ling Group focuses their research interests on the fundamental science and applications of nanomaterials and their hybrid structures. Their expertise concentrated on the synthesis of two-dimensional (2D) van der Waals materials, their characterization through spectroscopy, and their implementation to develop novel nanodevices. They aim to use their interdisciplinary knowledge to (1) explore an effective method to synthesize functional hybrid nanostructures directly in a controlled manner, (2) reveal the physical nature of such nanomaterials and the interface phenomenon of their hybrid structures using advanced spectroscopy techniques, and (3) develop high performance, multifunctional flexible and transparent devices for energy conversion and chemical sensing. The current research interests in Ling’s group include:

  • Synthesis of novel inorganic and organic 2D materials & hybrid structures (such as graphene, transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), and covalent organic frameworks (COFs)).

      2D materials are a group of materials with one or several atomic layer in thickness. Although it has been realized that there are hundreds of members in this family. Few of them can be synthesized on a surface in a large scale. In particular, the hybrid structures among the 2D materials can provide additional functions for the materials, which allows us to fabricate multifunctional nanodevices based on the controllable structures. Utilizing the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) techniques combined with surface engineering, we aim to explore effective methods to synthesize the novel inorganic and organic 2D materials and assemble them in-situ with precious alignment and clean interface.

    • Spectroscopic characterization of nanomaterials and nanostructures.

        Spectroscopy techniques (such as Raman spectroscopy, photoluminescence spectroscopy, and absorption spectroscopy) are powerful to study the properties of materials in-depth, as the light-matter interactions involve the physical particles (such as electron, phonon, exciton and trion) whose behaviors decide the properties of the materials. We aim to reveal the optical, electric and thermal properties of the nanomaterials and nanostructures using multiple spectroscopic techniques combined with other nanotechnologies. Besides, we are also interested in manipulating the light-matter interaction in 2D structures through coupling with other materials or structures (e.g. plasmonic materials and metamaterials).

      • Innovative surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) techniques for diverse chemical sensors.

          Our previous research has shown that 2D materials as SERS substrates offering numerous advantages for the quantitative micro species sensing. This project is to better understand the interaction between molecules and 2D materials to reveal the mechanisms for Raman enhancement on 2D materials. Combing 2D materials with other functional structures, we aim to craft innovative SERS techniques for highly sensitive chemical sensing in diverse systems including food safety, disease diagnosis, and environmental monitoring.

        • Nanodevices for opto-electronics.

            Controllable synthesis of the functional 2D materials and their heterostructures in a large scale allow us to fabricate nanodevices with integrated functionality. Utilizing the diverse functional hybrid structures we synthesized, we are interested in applying them into ubiquitous electronic and optoelectronic devices (such as solar cells, and LEDs).

          Assistant Professor
          SCI 273
          Phone 617-358-8584
          Office hours: Thursday 4:00-5:00 or by appointment
          Ling’s Lab Group Home Page
          Google Scholar Page