The wide bandgap semiconductor has been revolutionizing the human society in numerous aspects, including energy, food, water, environment, and information. Our research aims to investigate fundamental science and create more cutting-edge technologies for a better world and future.
Xiaohang Li Assistant Professor EE


Professor Li's courses

  • EE206 Device Physics
  • EE208 Semiconductor Optoelectronic Devices 
  • EE390B Special Topics in Solid State Devices


Education Profile

  • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering minor in Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology 2015
  • M.S., Electrical Engineering, Lehigh University 2011
  • B.S., Applied Physics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 2008


Honors & Awards

  • Harold M. Manasevit Young Investigator Award, American Association of Crystal Growth (AACG), 2018
  • Official Nominee of KAUST Distinguished Teaching Award, KAUST, 2018
  • Elected Representative in University Academic Counsel, KAUST, 2017-2019
  • Title of the Weekly News Letter (1), Compound Semiconductor, 2017
  • Title of the Weekly News Letter (2), Compound Semiconductor, 2017
  • Editor’s Select, Applied Physics Letter, 2016
  • Georgia Tech representative, Global Young Scientist Summit, 2015
  • Graduate Student Fellowship, IEEE Photonics Society, 2014
  • Steve W. Chaddick Fellowship, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014
  • Anne Robinson Clough International Student Grant, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014
  • D. J. Lovell Scholarship, SPIE, 2013
  • Edison Prize, Georgia Institute of Technology, Edison Innovation Foundation, 2013
  • Member of Insight Engineering & Science Program, McKinsey & Company, 2013 
  • Member of Bridge to BCG Program, Boston Consulting Group, 2013 
  • Most Commercialize Prize, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013
  • Best Product Showcase Prize, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013
  • Innovation Alley, Lehigh Valley, TEDx, 2013  
  • Immigrant Innovator and Entrepreneur Awarding Ceremony, the U.S. White House, 2013
  • Best Customer Discovery Award, Georgia Tech, 2012
  • First Place of Elevator Pitch Competition, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012
  • Michael W Levin ’87 Advanced Technology Award, Lehigh University, 2012
  • National Scholarship, China, 2008
  • IEEE
  • IEEE Photonics
  • MRS
  • OSA
  • SPIE


Xiaohang Li is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering (EE) and Principal Investigator of the Advanced Semiconductor Lab. Li’s has conducted multidisciplinary research projects related to solid state lighting, colloidal particles, ferromagnetic fluid, and water purification at various research organizations. Currently, Li’s research focuses on growth, fabrication and characterization of III-nitride semiconductors for optoelectronic and electronic devices.

Education and early career

Li received a B.S. degree with the highest honor in Applied Physics from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, and a M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University, UK. He also holds a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering with minor in Physics from Georgia Institute of Technology, USA.

Areas of expertise and current scientific interests

Professor Li is interested in the investigation of 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.
Professor Li’s research activities are highly interdisciplinary. They involve electrical engineering, applied physics, material science, chemical engineering and other related disciplines.

Why wide bandgap semiconductors?

Semiconductor technology is arguably the most important technology which transforms the human beings into the digital age today. From homes, companies, organizations, government, to outer space, there are trillions of semiconductor devices empowering every aspect of the society. 

The wide bandgap semiconductor is an emerging branch of the overall semiconductor field. It has unparalleled material properties that can be made into cutting-edge solid state ultraviolet to infrared light sources, solar cells, high power devices, high-frequency devices, and sensors. One of the good examples is GaN LED which produces nearly all the light in the evenings at KAUST and in many places all over the world. The Nobel Prize in Physics 2014 is a direct result of R&D in GaN LED. However, it is just the beginning for the wide bandgap semiconductors. There are still enormous research and commercialization opportunities for anyone who is working in the field. Because of its importance, the wide bandgap semiconductor is often referred to as the third generation semiconductor. My group is all into discovery new science and develop cutting-edge technologies in this promising field. 


I was attracted to KAUST because KAUST offers strong financial support so that I can spend sufficient meaningful time advising students and discussing ideas. Saudi Arabia is also transforming into a modern society, leading to numerous opportunities—I have witnessed a similar process in China since the 1980s, with huge opportunities generated for the people. 

KAUST is also such a beautiful place, with the Red Sea just steps away—the campus is perfectly designed, making commuting, living and working a great pleasure. Every day I am learning new ideas and knowledge from discussions, seminars, and conferences on campus. I have also had ample opportunities to travel to different conferences and institutions to build academic connections and collaborations.

Selected Publications

Lin, R., Galan, S. V., Sun, H., Hu, Y., Alias, M. S., Janjua, B., … Li, X. (2018). Tapering-induced enhancement of light extraction efficiency of nanowire deep ultraviolet LED by theoretical simulations. Photonics Research, 6(5), 457. doi:10.1364/prj.6.000457
Sun, H., Li, K.-H., Castanedo, C. G. T., Okur, S., Tompa, G. S., Salagaj, T., … Li, X. (2018). HCl Flow-Induced Phase Change of α-, β-, and ε-Ga2O3 Films Grown by MOCVD. Crystal Growth & Design, 18(4), 2370–2376. doi:10.1021/acs.cgd.7b01791
Sun, H., Shakfa, M. K., Muhammed, M. M., Janjua, B., Li, K.-H., Lin, R., … Li, X. (2017). Surface-Passivated AlGaN Nanowires for Enhanced Luminescence of Ultraviolet Light Emitting Diodes. ACS Photonics, 5(3), 964–970. doi:10.1021/acsphotonics.7b01235