Designing and synthesizing exotic small and giant molecules for custom properties, Assistant Professor Yan Xia works at the interface of synthetic chemistry and materials science. His research uses a combination of catalysis, organic and polymer chemistry, and a range of advanced characterizations to create, control, and study novel (macro)molecular structures and organic materials with tailored conformations, nanostructures, properties, and functions.
Research in the Xia Group combines vigorous function-driven syntheses, rational molecular design, and in-depth understanding of (macro)molecular reactivity, property, and function. Powerful synthetic methods are the enabling force behind their development of novel organic materials. They have developed various types of chemistry to generate diverse molecular ladder materials with high microporosity, antiaromaticity, or responsive behavior; controlled polymers with defined microstructures and functionalities; and dynamic polymer networks. These new molecular materials have interesting nanostructures, optoelectronic structures, mechanical properties, stimuli-responses, and assembly behaviors, for potential applications spanning separation, electronics, and health care.
Yan Xia studied chemistry at Peking University (B.S. 2002) and McMaster University (M.S. 2005), before his doctoral research on the synthesis and study of cyclic and bottlebrush polymers at California Institute of Technology with Profs. Grubbs and Kornfield (Ph.D. 2010). Following his PhD, he spent one and a half years at Dow Chemical core R&D developing materials for electronic applications, and then performed post-doctoral research on polymer-protein conjugation and assembly at Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Prof. Olsen. He joined the chemistry faculty at Stanford in the summer of 2013 to continue his longstanding interest in developing organic materials by intimately integrating synthetic chemistry with materials science.
Liu, S., Jin, Z., Teo, Y. C., & Xia, Y. (2014). Efficient Synthesis of Rigid Ladder Polymers via Palladium Catalyzed Annulation. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136(50), 17434–17437.
Teo, Y. C., & Xia, Y. (2015). Importance of Macromonomer Quality in the Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization of Macromonomers. MACROMOLECULES, 48(16), 5656–5662.
Elling, B. R., & Xia, Y. (2015). Living Alternating Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization Based on Single Monomer Additions. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 137(31), 9922–9926.
Chen, Z., Mercer, J. A. M., Zhu, X., Romaniuk, J. A. H., Pfattner, R., Cegelski, L., … Xia, Y. (2017). Mechanochemical unzipping of insulating polyladderene to semiconducting polyacetylene. Science, 357(6350).
Jin, Z., Teo, Y. C., Zulaybar, N. G., Smith, M. D., & Xia, Y. (2017). Streamlined Synthesis of Polycyclic Conjugated Hydrocarbons Containing Cyclobutadienoids via C-H Activated Annulation and Aromatization. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 139(5), 1806–9.