Assistant Professor Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering

Dr. Chen is an assistant professor at the Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology. He received his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in 2012. Later, he got his PhD degree in Physical Chemistry at University of California at Berkeley (UCB) in 2017. Between 2017 and 2021, Dr. Chen was a postdoctoral researcher at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the U.S. His research focuses on developing ultrafast spectroscopy for energy conversions systems including solar to electricity conversion (solar cells), solar to fuel conversion (including water splitting, CO2 reduction and solar driven organic synthesis). He has published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles in international journals including Science, Nature Catalysis, ACS Energy Letters, Journal of the American Chemical Society, etc. He has received over 1700 citations with H index of 20. Dr. Chen has served as reviewers for various international journals including Advanced Materials, Chemical Sciences and more.

Personal Profile


Ultrafast spectroscopy, Energy Conversion, Solar Energy and Renewable Energy

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Work Experience:

◆2021/3 – present  Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology.

◆2017/8 – 2021/2  Postdoctoral Researcher, National Renewable Energy Lab



◆2012 – 2017 Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley

◆2008 – 2012 B.S. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


Honors and Awards:

◆2020 NREL Postdoc Publication Award

◆2019 NREL Director’s Award

◆2018 Publon Peer Review Award

◆2016 Lawrence Berkeley National Lab ALS Doctoral Fellowship

◆2012 UCB Yuen T Lee Fellowship

◆2012 HKUST Academic Achievement Award

◆2008 HKUST School of Science Scholarship

Representative Publications:

1. Jingjing Xue#, Rui Wang#, Xihan Chen#, Canglang Yao, Xiaoxun Jin, Kaili Wang, Wenchao Huang, Tianyi Huang, Yepin Zhao, Yaxin Zhai, Dong Meng, Shaun Tan, Ruzhang Liu, Zhao-Kui Wang, Chenhui Zhu, Kai Zhu, Matthew C. Beard, Yanfa Yan, Yang Yang “Reconfiguring the band-edge states of photovoltaic perovskites by conjugated organic cations” Science 371, 636-640 (2021) (co-first author)

2. Xihan Chen, Ryan T. Pekarek, Jing Gu, Andriy Zakutayev, Katherine E. Hurst, Nathan R. Neale, Ye Yang, Matthew C. Beard “Transient Evolution of the Built-in Field at Junctions of GaAs” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 12, 40339-40346 (2020)

3. Kang Wang, Haipeng Lu, Xiaolin Zhu, Yixiong Lin, Matthew C. Beard, Yong Yan; Xihan Chen* “Ultrafast reaction mechanisms in perovskite based photocatalytic CC coupling” ACS Energy Letters 5, 566-571 (2020)(corresponding author)

4. Tianyang Li#, Xihan Chen#, Xiaoming Wang#, Haipeng Lu, Yanfa Yan, Matthew C. Beard; David B. Mitzi “Origin of Broad-Band Emission and Impact of Structural Dimensionality in Tin-Alloyed Ruddlesden–Popper Hybrid Lead Iodide Perovskites” ACS Energy Letters 3, 2273-2279 (2020) (co-first author)

5. Xihan Chen, Daniel J. Aschaffenburg, Tanja Cuk. “Selecting between two transition states by which water oxidation intermediates decay on an oxide surface” Nature Catalysis, 2, 820–827 (2019).

6. Jinhui Tong#, Zhaoning Song#, Dong Hoe Kim#, Xihan Chen, Cong Chen, Axel F Palmstrom, Paul F Ndione, Matthew O Reese, Sean P Dunfield, Obadiah G Reid, Jun Liu, Fei Zhang, Steven P Harvey, Zhen Li, Steven T Christensen, Glenn Teeter, Dewei Zhao, Mowafak M Al-Jassim, Maikel FAM van Hest, Matthew C Beard, Sean E Shaheen, Joseph J Berry, Yanfa Yan, Kai Zhu “Carrier lifetimes of> 1 μs in Sn-Pb perovskites enable efficient all-perovskite tandem solar cells” Science 364, 475-479 (2019)

7. Haipeng Lu#, Xihan Chen#, John E Anthony, Justin C Johnson; Matthew C Beard “Sensitizing Singlet Fission with Perovskite Nanocrystals” Journal of the American Chemical Society 141,4919-4927 (2019) (co-first author)

8. Xihan Chen, Kang Wang, Matthew C Beard “Ultrafast probes at the interfaces for solar energy conversion materials” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 21, 16399-16407 (2019)

9. Xihan Chen, Haipeng Lu, Zhen Li, Yaxin Zhai, Paul F. Ndione, Joseph J. Berry, Kai Zhu, Ye Yang, Matthew C. Beard “Impact of layer thickness on the charge carrier and spin coherence lifetime in two-dimensional layered perovskite single crystals” ACS Energy Letters 3, 2273-2279 (2018).

10. Xihan Chen, Haipeng Lu, Ye Yang, Matthew C. Beard “Excitonic effects in methylammonium lead halide perovskites” The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 9, 2595-2603 (2018)

11. Xihan Chen, Stephanie N. Choing, Daniel J. Aschaffenburg, CD Pemmaraju, David Prendergast, Tanja Cuk “The Formation Time of Ti–O• and Ti–O•–Ti Radicals at the n-SrTiO3/Aqueous Interface during Photocatalytic Water Oxidation” Journal of the American Chemical Society 139,1830-1841 (2017) (cover article)

12. Xihan Chen, Daniel J. Aschaffenburg; Tanja Cuk “One-electron intermediates of water oxidation & the role of solvation in their stability” Journal of Materials Chemistry A 5, 11410-11417 (2017)

13. Daniel J. Aschaffenburg#, Xihan Chen#, Tanja Cuk “Faradaic Oxygen Evolution from SrTiO3 Under Nano-and Femto-Second Pulsed Light Excitation” Chemical Communications 53, 7254-7257 (2017) (co-first author)

14. David M Herlihy, Matthias M Waegele, Xihan Chen, CD Pemmaraju, David Prendergast, Tanja Cuk “Detecting the oxyl radical of photocatalytic water oxidation at an n-SrTiO3/aqueous interface through its subsurface vibration” Nature Chemistry 8, 549-555 (2016)

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