Associate Professor


Kai Xiao, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, AvH Fellow, principle investigator of Laboratory of bioinspired and artificial nanoionics ( BAN Lab). He has authored over 20 academic papers published on peer-reviewed international journals as the first or corresponding author.

All biological systems including animals and plants communicate in a language of ions and small molecules, while our modern information infrastructures and technologies rely on a language of electrons. Although electronics and bioelectronics have made great progress in the last several decades, they still face the disadvantage of “signal transformation” when communicating with biology because both sides speak “different languages”. To narrow the gap between biological systems and artificial intelligence systems, bioinspired ion transport based sensory systems should be developed as the successor of electronics because they can emulate biological functionality more directly and communicate with biology seamlessly. Our work interests mainly focus on the biological nanoionics, and bio-artificial hybrid nanoionics. The work interests of BAN lab is to learn from biological nanoionics, construct artificial nanoionics, and build bio-artificial hybrid nanoionics system, able to realize seamless signal transduction between external stimuli, responsive artificial machines, and biological systems.


We have open positions for Ph.D student and Postdoc, please contact Dr. Xiao directly.


Education & work experience:

2022.06-Now  Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology

2021.09-2022.05  Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology

2020-2021  Postdoc  IFW Dresden/Chemnitz University of Technology  Germany

2017-2020  AvH Fellow/Postdoc  Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces 

2012-2017  Ph.D  Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences 

2008-2012  B.S.  College of Chemistry, Jilin University

Honors & Awards:

2018:  Outstanding doctoral dissertation from Chinese Academy of Sciences 

2017:  Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship

2017:  Dean Scholarship of Chinese Academy of Sciences 

2016:“YOUNG RESEARCHER AWARD” of World Summit on Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine Research.

2016:Tang Auchin Chemistry Scholarship 

2016:“Zhuliyuehua” scholarship of Chinese Academy of Sciences 


Representative publications (*corresponding author; #Co-first author):

1. Jianrui Zhang, Wenchao Liu, Jiqing Dai and Kai Xiao*. Nanoionics from biological to artificial systems: An alternative beyond nanoelectronics. Adv. Sci. 2022, DOI: 10.1002/advs.202200534.

2. Tianming Li and Kai Xiao*. Solid-State Iontronic Devices: Mechanisms and Applications. Adv. Mater. Technol. 2022, 2200205.

3. Kai Xiao* and Oliver G Schmidt*. Light-driven ion transport in nanofluidic devices: photochemical, photoelectric and photothermal effects. CCS Chem. 2022, 4, 54.

4. Lu Chen#, Bin Tu#, Xubin Lu#, *, Fan Li, Lei Jiang, Markus Antonietti and Kai Xiao*. Unidirectional ion transport in nanoporous carbon membranes with a hierarchical pore architecture. Nat. Commun. 2021, 12, 4650.

5. Kai Xiao*, P Giusto, F Chen*, R Chen, T Heil, S Cao, L Chen, F Fan, L Jiang. Light-driven directional ion transport for enhanced osmotic energy harvesting. Natl. Sci. Rev. 2021, 8, 8, nwaa231.

6. Kai Xiao#,*, Changjin Wan#, Lei Jiang, Xiaodong Chen* and Markus Antonietti*. Bioinspired ionic sensory system: the successor of electronics. Adv. Mater. 2020, 2000218.

7. Lu Chen, Runyu Yan, Martin Oschatz, Lei Jiang, Markus Antonietti, and Kai Xiao*. Ultrathin 2D graphitic carbon nitride on metal films: underpotential sodium deposition in adlayers for sodium-ion batteries. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2020, 59, 9067-9073.

8. Kai Xiao#,*, Lu Chen#, Lei Jiang, and Markus Antonietti. Carbon nitride nanotube for ion transport based photo-rechargeable electric energy storage. Nano Energy. 2020, 67, 104230.

9. Kai Xiao*, Lei Jiang, and Markus Antonietti. Ion transport in nanofluidic devices for energy harvesting. Joule. 2019, 3, 2364.

10. Kai Xiao*, Lu Chen, Bin Tu, Tobias Heil, Liping Wen, Lei Jiang, Markus Antonietti. Photo‐driven ion transport for photodetector based on asymmetric carbon nitride nanotube membrane. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2019, 58, 12574.

11. Kai Xiao*, Lu Chen, Ruotian Chen, Tobias Heil, Saul Daniel Cruz Lemus, Fengtao Fan, Liping Wen, Lei Jiang and Markus Antonietti. Artificial light-driven ion pump for photoelectric energy conversion. Nat. Commun. 2019, 10, 74.

12. Kai Xiao#, Kai Wu#, Lu Chen, Xiangyu Kong*, Yuqi Zhang*, Liping Wen* and Lei Jiang. Biomimetic Peptide-Gated Nanoporous Membrane for On-Demand Molecule Transport, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2018, 57, 151.

13. Kai Xiao*, Paolo Giusto, Liping Wen, Lei Jiang and Markus Antonietti. Nanofluidic Ion Transport and Energy Conversion through Ultrathin Free-Standing Polymeric Carbon Nitride Membranes, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2018, 130, 10280.

14. Kai Xiao, Lu Chen, Zhen Zhang, Ganhua Xie, Pei Li, Xiangyu Kong, Liping Wen* and Lei Jiang*. A Tunable Ionic Diode Based on a Biomimetic Structure-Tailorable Nanochannel, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2017, 56, 8168.

15. Kai Xiao, Yahong Zhou, Xiangyu Kong, Ganhua Xie, Pei Li, Zhen Zhang, Liping Wen* and Lei Jiang*. Electrostatic-Charge- and Electric-Field-Induced Smart Gating for Water Transportation, ACS Nano, 2016, 10, 9703.

16. Kai Xiao, Ganhua Xie, Zhen Zhang, Xiangyu Kong, Qian Liu, Pei Li, Liping Wen* and Lei Jiang*. Enhanced Stability and Controllability of an Ionic Diode Based on Funnel-Shaped Nanochannels with an Extended Critical Region, Adv. Mater., 2016, 28, 3345.

17. Kai Xiao, Liping Wen* and Lei Jiang*. Biomimetic Solid-State Nanochannels: From Fundamental Research to Practical Applications, Small, 2016, 12, 2810.

18. Kai Xiao, Xiangyu Kong, Zhen Zhang, Ganhua Xie, Liping Wen* and Lei Jiang*. Construction and application of photoresponsive smart nanochannels, J. Photochem. Photobio. C-Photochem. Rev., 2016, 26, 31.

19. Qian Liu#, Kai Xiao#, Liping Wen*, Heng Lu, Yahui Liu, Xiangyu Kong, Ganhua Xie, Zhen Zhang, Zhishan Bo* and Lei Jiang*. Engineered Ionic Gates for Ion Conduction Based on Sodium and Potassium Activated Nanochannels, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137, 11976.

20. Kai Xiao, Ganhua Xie, Pei Li, Qian Liu, Guanglei Hou, Zhen Zhang, Jie Ma, Ye Tian, Liping Wen* and Lei Jiang*. A Biomimetic Multi-Stimuli-Response Ionic Gate Using a Hydroxypyrene Derivation-Functionalized Asymmetric Single Nanochannel, Adv. Mater., 2014, 26, 6560.