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Yan Xia


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.


Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Member, Bio-X

Honors & Awards

Sloan Research Fellowship, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (2019)
Cottrell Scholar Award, Research Corporation for Science Advancement (2017)
Thieme Chemistry Journals Award, Thieme Chemistry (2017)
CAREER Award, National Science Foundation (2016)
3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, 3M (2016)
Terman Fellowship, Stanford (2014-16)
Army Research Office Young Investigator Award, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Army Research Office (2015)

Professional Education

PhD, California Institute of Technology, Chemistry (2010)
MS, McMaster University, Chemistry (2005)
BS, Peking University, Chemistry (2002)

Featured Publications