Associate Professor Yunfei Xi

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Program Lead - Energy efficiency and recovery / Materials development

PhD (Queensland University of Technology)


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Queensland University of Technology, Australia, 2007
  • Master of Engineering, Nankai University (985 & 211), China, 2002
  • Bachelor (Honours), Tianjin University (985 & 211), China, 1998

Assoc. Prof. Yunfei Xi is a Principal Research Fellow (Vibrational Spectroscopy) at the Central Analytical Research Facility (CARF) and the School of Chemistry and Physics, Faculty of Science, Queensland University of Technology (QUT). His expertise and experience spanning over a decade in structures, properties and applications of minerals, particularly clay minerals, and functional materials have led to major breakthroughs on reactions on surfaces and interfaces of minerals with nano- and micro particles, heavy metals and organic molecules in water, gases (volatile organic compounds), manipulation of porosity, building materials, as well as mineral-MOF composites for hydrogen storage and water vapour capture from air. He has published/co-published more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and is a named inventor for two patents. Many of his publications are highly cited by other researchers, evidenced by more than 9,100 citations (H-index at 47, i10-index at 139, Google Scholar). His publications have been recognised with awards (one paper is ranked as Top 1‰, five papers are ranked as Top 1% by Essential Science Indicators in the fields of Geosciences, Chemistry and Engineering, and two other papers are ranked as Top Cited Article and Most Cited Article by Elsevier). He has benefited significantly from his multidisciplinary education background and experience (e.g., BE – polymer at Tianjin University; ME - applied chemistry, with organic chemistry training at Nankai University; PhD - clay minerals and materials chemistry at QUT; and Postdoc–environmental remediation, IR and Raman spectroscopy at the University of South Australia and QUT). This experience has helped build exceptional understanding of closely related disciplines (e.g., chemistry, chemical engineering, materials, minerals, geochemistry, civil engineering, geology and environmental science and engineering) and to link closely with collaborators in different fields including the proposed research. He has demonstrated strong leadership of interdisciplinary research teams by successfully initiating and delivering high-quality research (e.g., successfully led four interdisciplinary research projects to completion). He is working as a participant in the Centre for Materials Science and a program leader in the Centre for Clean Energy Technologies & Practices at QUT. In addition, he is regularly invited to deliver research lectures on minerals and mineral materials at significant international conferences and leading overseas universities/research institutes. He is also working as committee members in international organisations such as the Clay Minerals Society (US) and has organised/co-organised a few key conferences in his research field. Some of his achievements have been recognised by:

  • Stanford University’s 2020 list of the top 2% scientists in the world.
  • 2021-2024, Committee member of the Program Development Committee, Clay Minerals Society (CMS), US
  • 2020-, Program Leader of “Energy efficiency and recovery”, the Centre for Clean Energy Technologies and Practices, QUT
  • 2020-, Chief Investigator of the Centre for Materials Science, QUT
  • 06/2020-, Preparatory committee member of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Clay Minerals Society (US, CMS) and the 5th Asian Clay Conference, Hawaii, 2024
  • 06/2020, co-Chair of session ‘Clays and Functional Materials’, the 4th Asian Clay Conference (online Zoom conference), Thailand, 8-9th June 2020
  • 2019-2020, Committee member (representing EEBS) of the International and Engagement Advisory Group, QUT
  • 2019-, Editorial Board Member of “Minerals” (MDPI, Switzerland)
  • 2019-, Editorial Board Member of “International Journal of Minerals, Metallurgy and Materials” (Springer)
  • 08/2018, co-Convenor of session ‘Mineral Materials’, XXII Meeting of the International Mineralogical Association, Melbourne, Australia, 13-17th August 2018
  • 2017-, Advance Queensland Fellow (Mid-career), Queensland, Australia
  • 2017, International renowned scholar, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • 11/2016, Organising committee member of the 3rd Asian Clay Conference, Chair of session ‘Clays and Environments’, Guangzhou, China, 17-20th November 2016
  • 2014-, Committee member/the representative of Queensland, Australian Clay Minerals Society
  • 2014-2019, Adjunct Professor, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Reviewer (Award of Top Reviewers for Assorted – September 2018 by Publons) for 219 pre-publications from 54 peer-reviewed international journals within the last ten years:
  • Nine Outstanding Reviewer Awards from Elsevier for Chemical Engineering Journal, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Applied Surface Science, Applied Clay Science, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, Journal of Molecular Liquids, Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers and Journal of CO2 Utilization
  • 2013, Vice Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia
  • 2006, Representative of Australia to the 56th Meeting of Nobel Prize Winners (18th Lindau meeting in Chemistry), Lindau, Germany, 25-30th June 2006, nominated by Australian Academy of Science and approved by Lindau Council, Germany

GRANTS (selected):

  • Queensland-Chinese Academy of Sciences (Q-CAS) Collaborative Science Fund (QCAS2020-00011), Novel mineral-carbon heterogeneous Fenton catalysts, 2021-2023;
  • QUT Strategic Links Pilot Program, Development of new generation boards with high performance characteristics using natural minerals as additives and reinforcements, 2019-2020;
  • Advanced Queensland Research Fellowships, Value-added building materials using Queensland's natural mineral resources, 2017-2020;
  • Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project (DP15010717), Characterization of mechanical behaviour of TiO2 nanotube thin films, 2015-2018;
  • Guangdong Department of Science and Technology - Queensland University of Technology, Preparation and application of porous mineral-based VOCs adsorption-catalytic materials, 2017-2019;
  • Advanced Queensland Innovation Partnerships, Biomanufacturing advanced animal feed supplements, 2017-2020;
  • QUT VC’s fellowship research grant, 2013-2016;
  • Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CARE) (CRC CARE) (6-11-01-09/10), Development and assessment of modified natural clay-materials for the management of hazardous chemicals, 2010;
  • Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CARE) (CRC CARE) (2-5-02-05/6), Natural and Modified Materials for Contamination Remediation, 2006-2009.

Projects (Chief investigator)


Additional information

Characterization of Mechanical Behaviour of TiO2 Nanotube Thin Films
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
nanotube thin film; mechanical characterization; nanoindentation