Advanced Semiconductor Laboratory
Developing cutting-edge technologies based on the 3rd-generation semiconductors


Xiaohang Li, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator
​Assistant Professor​​​​​​​​​​​​​, Associate Editor of OSA Photonics Research, Founder of Polarization Toolbox, Vice Chair of Western Saudi Arabia Chapter of IEEE Electron Devices Society, and Recipient of Harold M. Manasevit Young Investigator Award from American Association for Crystal Growth​, SPIE D. J. Lovell Scholarship, and IEEE Photonics Graduate Student Fellowship​​​​



Professor Xiaohang Li is the PI of Advanced Semiconductor Laboratory of Electronic Engineering Program and a cofounding member and secondarily affliated with Applied Physics Program. He received Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with minor in Physics from Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also an Associate Editor of OSA Photonics Research​. Professor Li has extensive research experience in the field of wide-bandgap semiconductors. He has conducted research projects under the sponsorship of U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, U.S. Natural Science Foundation, KAUST, Chinese Natural Science Foundation, Guangdong Academy of Science, and GCC Research Program. Prof Li’s team at KAUST is now committed to the research of wide bandgap semiconductor physics software, equipment, materials, and devices. The field is expected to bring revolutionary impacts on the future of optoelectronics and electronics.

Professor Li has made pioneering and world-leading 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 deep UV lasers 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 170 papers in leading journals and conferences. He has been invited to deliver more than 60 talks and seminars at international conferences, universities, research institutions, and companies. His scientific research output and impact ranks one of the highest among the wide bandgap semiconductor scientists under the age of 35. He has been invited to pen a Compound Semiconductor magazine editorial and three book chapters of Elsevier and Wiley related to UV optoelectronics and MOCVD. He has more than 20 approved and pending patents. He is an active journal reviewer for top journals such as Nature Photonics. He is the leading guest editor of the Semiconductor UV Photonics special issue of Photonics Research. 

He has been the recipient of many prestigious awards including the bienniel Harold M. Manasevit Young Investigator Award from American Association of Crystal Growth (AACG) and the most prestigious student awards 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 extremely competitive McKinsey and BCG summer programs. 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.

Major contributions and achievements with the ASL members as the first author

From works done by my group members or me as the first author of the corresponding publications

First III-nitride device incorporating BAlN (under review)

First laser based on hyperuniformity (Laser Photonics Review 2020)

First dual-reactor III-oxide and III-nitride MOCVD system (Oct 2019)

First deep UV laser with GaN quantum well (ACS Photon 2019)

First three-dimensional device band diagram for III-nitride LED and laser (Optica 2019)

First UV LED without electron blocking layer (IEEE Photon J 2019)

First machine learning software for III-nitride semiconductors (Jan 29, 2019)


First comprehensive polarization software for III-nitride semiconductors (Dec 18, 2018)




First III-nitride dual-polarity quantum wells (Adv. Funct. Mater. 2018)

First nanowire UV edge-emitting laser structure (ACS Photon 2018)

First demonstration of α-, β- and ε-Ga2O3 films grown by MOCVD (Cryst. Growth Des. 2018)

First demonstration of strain-compensated superlattices on AlN by MOVPE (APEX 2018)

Polarization-free III-N heterojunctions on c-plane for optoelectronic devices (APL 2017)

First non-piezoelectric pyroelectric material (APL 2017)

o Cited by Wikipedia- All known pyroelectric materials are also piezoelectric with the exceptions of boron aluminum nitride (BAlN) and boron gallium nitride (BGaN) at certain compositions

Record-large electron barrier of any III-N interface (APL 2017 & ASS 2018)

Record-high boron content in monocrystalline BAlN layer (PSSB & JCG 2017)

First revelation of working principle of TMAl preflow for AlN MOCVD (APL 2017)

First deep UV surface stimulated emission from semiconductors (APL 2015)

First TE-TM optical polarization switch of semiconductor lasers (APL 2015)

First low-threshold deep UV semiconductor laser on sapphire substrates (APL 2014)

First deep UV semiconductor laser below 260 nm on sapphire substrates (APL 2014)

Research Interests

​Professor Li is devoted to innovating equipment, software, growth, simulation, fabrication, and characterization of the third-gen (wide bandgap) semiconductor structures for cutting-edge devices. The devices of particular interest include LED, laser, solar cells, power devices, and sensors. These devices are expected to become the enabling technologies to revolutionize energy, water safety, communication, biochemical, biomedical, and data storage industries and many others. 

Selected Publications

For the complete list and PDF paper files, please visit the "Publications" tab or Google Sch​olar​.

1. "Graded-Index Separated Confinement Heterostructure AlGaN Nanowires: Towards Ultraviolet Laser Diodes Implementation," ACS Photonnics. 5, 3305 (2018).
2. ​"Lateral-Polarity-Structure of AlGaN Quantum Wells: A Promising Approach for Enhancing the Ultraviolet Luminescence," Advanced Functional Material 28, 1802395 (2018).
3. “Tapering-induced enhancement of light extraction efficiency of nanowire deep ultraviolet LED by theoretical simulations,” Photonics Research 6, 124 (2018).
4. "HCl flow-induced phase change of α-, β- and ε-Ga2O3 films grown by MOCVD," Crystal Growth & Design 18, 2370 (2018).
5. "Surface-Passivated AlGaN Nanowires for Enhanced Luminescence of Ultraviolet Light Emitting Diodes," ACS Photonics 5, 964 (2018).


​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, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Scientific and Professional Memberships



1. Harold M. Manasevit Young Investigator Award, American Association of Crystal Growth (AACG), 2018

      “for significant and innovative contributions in the MOVPE growth of state-of-the-art deep UV lasers, B-III-N alloys, III-oxides, and blue and green emitters.”

       Selected biennially by experts including Nobel laureate and US NAE members 

2. Official Nominee of KAUST Distinguished Teaching Award, KAUST, 2018

         Six nominees out of 150 faculty at KAUST

3. Elected Representative in University Academic Counsel, KAUST, 2017-2019

4. Title of the Weekly News Letter (1), Compound Semiconductor, 2017

5. Title of the Weekly News Letter (2), Compound Semiconductor, 2017

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

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

8. Graduate Student Fellowship, IEEE Photonics Society, 2014

The highest award from IPS for graduate students with 10 recipients worldwide annually

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

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

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

        “for research focusing on growing high-quality InAlGaN semiconductor material for ultraviolet devices such as laser diodes, LED, and detectors”

         The most prestigious scholarship from SPIE

12. Edison Prize, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013

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

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

15. Most Commercialize Prize, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013

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

17. Innovation Alley, Lehigh Valley, TEDx, 2013  

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

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

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

21. Largest Membership Increase, IEEE Photonics Society, 2009

22. National Scholarship, China, 2008

KAUST Affiliations

Electrophysics Track

Electrical Engineering Program

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