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Liu Xiaogang
Assistant Professor
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Dr. Liu Xiaogang has a multidisciplinary education, work, and research background. He studied in electrical and electronic engineering (2002—2006, B.Eng.), materials science and engineering (2008—2009, M.Sc./M.Eng.) and physical chemistry (2010—2014, PhD). He also worked in the industry as a product engineer (2006—2008, semiconductor), a research engineer (2010, optics), and a research associate (2013, solar cells). He began his independent research with a SMART Scholar Fellowship (2014—2016), and joined SUTD as an Assistant Professor in 2017.

Dr. Liu Xiaogang’s current research is to study the fundamental structure-property relationships of organic fluorescent dyes and sensors, which can be used in a diverse range of applications, such as fluorescence imaging, medical diagnostics, solar cells, and dye lasers. Based on such knowledge, he is developing novel fluorophores and sensors with enhanced performance.

His long-term research vision is to set up a complete set of molecular design rules, such that one gains the ultimate ability to molecular engineer “dial-up” properties to suit a given application. He hopes to shift the chemistry of fluorophores from trial-and-error to molecular engineering.

Dr. Liu Xiaogang and his co-workers’ research has been voted as the #4 of Top 10 Breakthroughs in Physics for 2010 by Physics World of Institute of Physics, highlighted by ACS Noteworthy Chemistry (2014), and featured in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) of American Chemical Society (2020).

Dr. Liu Xiaogang is a Council Member of Singapore National Institute of Chemistry, and a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry. At SUTD, his service includes Co-Chair of Postgraduate Committee in the Science, Math and Technology Cluster, and Member of the Institutional Review Board. For community service, he served as the Vice-Chair of the Singapore Junior Chemistry Olympiad.


  • PhD, Cavendish Laboratory (Department of Physics), University of Cambridge (UK), 2014.
  • M.Eng., Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), 2009.
  • M.Sc., Singapore-MIT Alliance, National University of Singapore, 2009.
  • B.Eng., School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), 2006.


  • Advanced Math I
  • Advanced Math II
  • ILP3 (Math/Physics)

Research Interests

  • Organic dyes (fluorophores)
  • Fluorescent sensors/probes
  • Room temperature phosphorescence
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Computational Chemistry

Selected Publications

  1. W. Chi#, J. Chen#, W. Liu#, C. Wang, Q. Qi, Q. Qiao, T. Tan, K. Xiong, X. Liu, K. Kang, Y. T. Chang*, Z. Xu*, X. Liu*, “A General Descriptor ΔE Enables the Quantitative Development of Luminescent Materials based on Photoinduced Electron Transfer”, Journal of American Chemical Society2020, 142, 6777-6785. (#These authors contributed equally to this work).
  2. C. Wang#, Q. Qiao#, W. Chi, J. Chen, W. Liu, D. Tan, S. McKechnie, D. Lyu, X. Jiang, W. Zhou, N. Xu, Q. Zhang, Z. Xu*, X. Liu*, “Quantitative Design of Bright Fluorophores and AIEgens via the Accurate Prediction of Twisted Intramolecular Charge Transfer (TICT)”, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2020, 59, 10160-10172. (#These authors contributed equally to this work).
  3. Shi#, C. Yan#, Z. Guo*, W. Chi, J. Wei, W. Liu, X. Liu*, H. Tian, and W. Zhu*, “De novo strategy with engineering anti-Kasha/Kasha fluorophores enables reliable ratiometric quantification of biomolecules”, Nature Communications, 2020, 11, 793. (#These authors contributed equally to this work).
  4. Chi#, Q. Qiao#, R. Lee, W. Liu, Y. S. Teo, D. Gu, M. J. Lang, Y. T. Chang*, Z. Xu*, X. Liu*,  “A Photoexcitation-Induced Twisted Intramolecular Charge Shuttle (TICS)”, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2019, 58, 7073-7077. (#These authors contributed equally to this work).
  5. Ye#, W. Yang*#, C. Wang#, Y. Zheng#, W. Chi, X. Liu*, Z. Huang, X. Li, Y. Xiao*, “Quaternary Piperazine-Substituted Rhodamines with Enhanced Brightness for Super-Resolution Imaging”, Journal of American Chemical Society, 2019, 141, 14491-14495 (#These authors contributed equally to this work).
  6. Qi, W. Chi, Y. Li, Q. Qiao, J. Chen, L. Miao, Y. Zhang, J. Li, W. Ji, T. Xu*, X. Liu*, J. Yoon*, Z. Xu*, “A H-Bond Strategy to Develop Acid-Resistant Photoswitchable Rhodamine Spirolactams for Super-Resolution Single-Molecule Localization Microscopy”, Chemical Science, 2019, 10, 4914-4922.


  • SMART Scholar Fellowship, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, 2014—2016
  • Clean Energy Scholarship, National Research Foundation of Singapore, 2010—2014
  • Singapore-MIT Alliance Graduate Fellowship, National University of Singapore, 2008—2009
  • Singapore GLC Undergraduate Scholarship, Nanyang Technological University, 2002—2006