Advanced Semiconductor Laboratory
Developing cutting-edge technologies based on III-nitride semiconductors


Xiaohang Li, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator
​Assistant Professor​​​​​​​​​​​



Professor Xiaohang Li is the Principal Investigator of Advanced Semiconductor Laboratory of Electronic Engineering Program under CEMSE division at KAUST. He received Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with minor in Physics from Georgia Institute of Technology (PhD advisor: Prof. Russell D. Dupuis, U.S. National Medal of Technology laureate, MOCVD pioneer). Professor Li has extensive research experience in the field of wide-bandgap semiconductors, especially III-nitride semiconductors. He has conducted many research projects under the sponsorship of U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, U.S. Natural Science Foundation, Chinese Natural Science Foundation, and GCC Research Program. Prof Li’s team at KAUST is now committed to the research of wide bandgap semiconductor materials and devices. The field is expected to bring revolutionary impacts on the future of optoelectronic and electronic industries.

Professor Li has made outstanding contributions to the cutting edge of wide bandgap semiconductor research. He is one of the pioneers of deep UV laser research: he was the first to achieve lasers below 260 nm on sapphire; he was the first to achieve low-threshold deep UV lasers on sapphire; he was the first to achieve both TE and TM semiconductor lasers on the same type of substrates; he was the first to achieve deep UV surface stimulated emission. In addition, he was the first to grow high quality AlN/sapphire templates by MOCVD without the use of epitaxial lateral overgrowth, high temperature, or precursor modulation which is important for low-cost and large-scale manufacturing. He has also demonstrated world-leading and groundbreaking results in emerging wide bandgap semiconductor research such as B-III-N and III-O. In particular, he demonstrated that the addition of boron into III-nitride can effectively elevate the conduction band, creating the largest conduction band offset known to the III-nitride community.  Also, he holds the world record of the boron composition in BAlN ternary alloys. His research results have been frequently covered and highlighted by the major wide bandgap semiconductor media in a prominent position. In addition, Professor Li has made high-impact contributions to the development of visible LED and bionic photonics.

Professor Li has published more than 110 papers in leading journals and conferences. He has been invited to deliver more than 30 talks and seminars at international conferences, universities, research institutions, and companies. His scientific research output and impact ranks high among the wide bandgap semiconductor scientists under the age of 35. He has been invited to pen a Compound Semiconductor magazine editorial and book chapters of Elsevier and Wiley related to UV optoelectronics and MOCVD. He has more than 10 approved and pending patents. He is an active journal reviewer for prestigious wide bandgap semiconductor journals such as Nature Photonics, Applied Physics Letter and Optics Express.

He has been the recipient of many awards including most prestigious scholarship from SPIE and IEEE Photonics Society, i.e. D. J. Lovell Scholarship (one recipient per year) and IEEE Photonics Graduate Student Fellowship (10 recipient per year), respectively. He has also received Georgia Tech’s most prestigious award for graduate students, Edison Prize (one per year). He has been invited by the White House senior advisor of the Obama administration to participate in the immigrant innovation and entrepreneurship event. He has also represented Georgia Tech in the Global Young Scientist Summit. 

In addition to academic teaching and research, Professor Li has been involved in a variety of business, entrepreneurship, leadership, and mentoring activities. He has attended the graded MOOC MBA courses by Wharton School of Business and passed with certificates of accomplishment. He has been selected for the highly competitive McKinsey and BCG summer programs for advanced degree holders in the US. He has been involved in the creation of start-up companies in Boston and Atlanta in the U.S. and has been covered by many top media reports including Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Tech Crunch and Gigom. He has won prizes in several entrepreneurial competitions. He has served as President of the IEEE Photonics Society chapter at Lehigh University. He is a guest writer of the Edison Innovation Foundation of the United States and is also a mentor for many undergraduates' postgraduate academic and career development.

Research Interests

​Professor Li is devoted to innovating and perfecting growth, simulation, fabrication, and characterization of III-nitride structures for next-generation devices. The devices of particular interest include LED, laser, solar cells, transistors, and sensors. Because of excellent properties of III-nitrides, these devices are expected to become the enabling technologies to revolutionize energy, communication, biochemical, biomedical, and data storage industries and many others. 

Google Sch​olar​

Selected Publications

1. ​H. Sun, C. G. T. Castanedo, K. Liu, K.-H. Li, W. Guo, R. Lin, X. Liu, J. Li, and X. Li, “Valence and conduction band offsets of β-Ga2O3/AlN heterojunction,” Appl. Phys. Lett., accepted (2017).
2. H. Sun, Y. Park, K.-H. Li, C. G. T. Castanedo, A. S. Alowayed, T. Detchprohm, R. D. Dupuis, and X. Li, “Band alignment of B0.14Al0.86N / Al0.7Ga0.3N heterojunction,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 111, 122106 (2017).
3. H. Sun, F. Wu, Y. J. Park, T. M. Al tahtamouni, K.-H. Li, N. Alfaraj, T. Detchprohm, R. D. Dupuis, and X. Li, “Influence of TMAl preflow on AlN epitaxy on sapphire,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 110, 192106 (2017).
4. N. Alfaraj, S. Mitra, F. Wu, I. Ajia, B. Janjua, A. Prabaswara, R. A. Aljefri, H. Sun, T. K. Ng, B. S. Ooi, I. S. Roqan, and X. Li, “Photoinduced entropy of InGaN/GaN p-i-n double-heterostructure nanowires,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 110, 161110 (2017).
5. M. Zhang and X. Li, “Structural and Electronic Properties of Wurtzite BxAl1-xN from First-Principles Calculations”, Phys. Status Solidi B, 254 (8), 1600749 (2017)​


​Ph.D., Electrical Engineering (minor in Physics), Georgia Institute of Technology

M.S., Electrical Engineering, Lehigh University

B.S., Applied Physics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Certificates of graded MBA online courses (Accounting, Operation, Marketing, Corporate Finance​) in Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania

Scientific and Professional Memberships



1. Title of the Weekly News Letter (once in Jan, twice in Sept), Compound Semiconductor, 2017

2. Editor’s Select, Applied Physics Letter, 2016

3. Georgia Tech representative, Global Young Scientist Summit, 2015

4. Graduate Student Fellowship, IEEE Photonics Society, 2014

Highest award from IPS for graduate students with 10 recipients worldwide annually

5. Steve W. Chaddick Fellowship, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014

6. Anne Robinson Clough International Student Grant, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014

7. D. J. Lovell Scholarship, SPIE, 2013

Highest award from SPIE for graduate student with one recipient worldwide annually

8. Edison Prize, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013

9. Member of Insight Engineering & Science Program, McKinsey & Company, 2013 

10. Member of Bridge to BCG Program, Boston Consulting Group, 2013 

11. Most Commercializable Prize, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013

12. Best Product Showcase Prize, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013

13. Innovation Alley, Lehigh Valley, TEDx, 2013  

14. Immigrant Innovator and Entrepreneur Awarding Ceremony, the U.S. White House, 2013

15. First Place of Elevator Pitch Competition, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012

16. Michael W Levin ’87 Advanced Technology Award, Lehigh University, 2012

17. National Scholarship, China, 2008

KAUST Affiliations

Electrophysics Track

Electrical Engineering Program

​Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering (CEMSE) Division