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Welcome to Xie group


GOLD (and SILVERforms the heart of our research life. Throughout the few thousand years of recorded human history, these precious metals have immense economic value. Besides its monetary value, science has exploited the nanosized versions of these precious metals for numerous applications. Gold (and silver) at size scale in the nano and sub-nano range, begins to have many intriguing physical and chemical properties. These exciting functionalities open up a whole new universe of possible chemistry and applications. These applications will significantly increase the values of Au and Ag as functional materials other than its current main role of wealth storage. It is this new universe that has captivated our passion to design gold- and silver-based functional materials to address challenging issues in healthcare and the environment, throughout our entire scientific journey. Our research at NUS is highly interdisciplinary and lies at the intersection of engineered metal nanoparticles/nanoclusters and the biological world. In the past ten years, we strategically blended all our research experience in the fields of chemistry, materials science, chemical engineering, biology, and medicine into our own niche area at NUS, that is, Engineering ultrasmall gold (and silver) nanoclusters for biomedical and catalytic applications.

Lastest News


  • Nov 2020 | Highly Cited Researcher 2020, in Chemistry! Congratulations, Prof. Xie!
  • Jan 2020 | Dean’s Chair Associate Professor, in NUS! Congratulations, Prof. Xie!
  • Nov 2019 | Highly Cited Researcher 2019, in Chemistry! Congratulations, Prof. Xie!
  • Sept 2019 | Admitted as a Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC)! Congratulations, Prof. Xie!
  • Nov 2018 | Highly Cited Researcher 2018, in Chemistry! Congratulations, Prof. Xie!
  • Sept 2020 | Congratulations on Yitao’s new Nature Communications paper on “Control of single-ligand chemistry on thiolated Au25 nanoclusters”!
  • Sept 2020 | Our collaborative work with Prof. Yang Huanghao, Prof. Chen Xueyuan, and Xiaorong on “A new class of NIR-II gold nanoclusters based protein biolabels for in vivo tumor-targeted imaging” has been published in Angewante. Congrats!
  • June 2020 | Zhennan’s Invited Perspective on “Aggregation-induced emission in luminescent metal nanoclusters” has been published in National Science Review. Congrats!
  • Jan 2020 | Zhennan’s paper on “Unraveling the impact of gold(I)-thiolate motifs on the aggregation-induced emission of gold nanoclusters” has been published in Angewante. Congrats!
  • Oct 2019 | Kaiyuan’s paper on “Real time monitoring of the dynamic intracluster diffusion of single gold atoms into silver nanoclusters” has been published in JACS. Congrats!
  • April 2019 | Zhennan’s paper on “Aurophilic interaction assisted self-assembly of gold nanoclusters into nanoribbons with enhanced luminescence” has been published in Angewante. Congrats!
  • March 2019 | Tiankai’s Minireview “ESI-MS: a powerful platform for noble metal nanocluster analysis” has been published in Angewante. Congrats!
  • Nov 2018 | Tiankai’s paper on the stoichiometric synthesis and real-time monitoring of Au25 NCs growth has been published in JACS. Congrats!
  • Nov 2018 | Our collaborative work with Prof. Xu Weilin on “Single cluster single molecule catalysis” has been published in PNAS. Congrats!
  • Oct 2018 | Congratulations on Qiaofeng’s two fantastic invited review articles: Toward Total Synthsis of Thiolate-Protected Metal Nanoclusters, in Accounts of Chemical Research; and Engineering Functional Metal Materials at the Atomic Level, in Advanced Materials!
  • Sept 2018 | Congratulations on Qiaofeng’s new Nature Communications paper on “Revealing isoelectronic size conversion dynamics of metal nanoclusters by a noncrystallization approach”!
  • Nov 2017 | Congratulations on Qiaofeng’s two Nature Communications on “Precise control of alloying sites of bimetallic nanoclusters via surface motif exchange reaction”, and “Understanding seed-mediated growth of gold nanoclusters at molecular level”.