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Prof. WANG Xun-Li (王循理教授)

Ph.D. in Physics, Iowa State University (USA)
BS in Physics, Peking University (China)
Fellow, American Physical Society
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Fellow, Neutron Scattering Society of America

Chair Professor and Department Head

Contact Information

Office: G6717 AC1
Phone: 34429140
Fax: 34420539
Email: xlwang@cityu.edu.hk

Research Interests

  • Neutron and synchrotron scattering
  • Phase transformation, deformation, magnetism, residual stress determination
  • Metallic glasses, nanostructured materials, magnetic shape memory alloys
In August 2012, Professor Xun-Li Wang joined City University of Hong Kong as a Chair Professor and Head of the Department of Physics and Materials Science. In July 2017, the department split and Professor Wang assumed the headship of the new Department of Physics starting with 12 faculty members. He oversaw a rapid expansion of the new department, now with a 20+ strong faculty body and growing.

Prior to coming to Hong Kong, he had been working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US, rising through the ranks to Distinguished Staff Member. He was responsible for the design, construction, and commissioning of VULCAN, a powerful engineering diffractometer at the Spallation Neutron Source, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. As a senior scientist in the Neutron Science Directorate, he led innovative research, using neutron scattering as a primary tool, to understand deformation and phase transformation behaviour in complex materials.

Since joining City University of Hong Kong, Professor Wang has dedicated his efforts to establishing Hong Kong as an international hub for neutron scattering research. With the support from the Croucher Foundation, he started the biennial Croucher Summer Course on Neutron Scattering. He was also instrumental in launching the Gordon Research Conference series on Neutron Scattering, serving as the inaugural Chair in 2015. In addition, he and Professor Hesheng Chen of the Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, co-founded a joint laboratory on neutron scattering. The joint laboratory has received financial support from The Croucher Foundation, Hong Kong’s Research Grants Council, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2020, Professor Wang helped establish the Guangdong-HongKong-Macau Joint Laboratory on Neutron Scattering, serving as the Executive Director in Hong Kong. In the meanwhile, Professor Wang has maintained an active research portfolio. His current research interests include structure and dynamics in metallic glass, deformation behaviours in high entropy alloys, and magneto-elastic coupling in magnetic shape memory alloys.

Professor Wang received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University and B.S. from Peking University, both in Physics. He is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Neutron Scattering Society of America (NSSA), and his early work on welding residual stresses was awarded an A. F. Davis Medal by the American Welding Society.

Awards and Achievements

  • 2021 “Croucher Senior Research Fellowship” The Croucher Foundation, Hong Kong. [Press Release]
  • 2020 “Elected Fellow” Neutron Scattering Society of America (NSSA). For innovative neutron scattering studies at the interface between condensed matter physics and engineering materials science, and for the development of new neutron instrumentation to enable these seminal studies. [URL]
  • 2018 “Lee Hsun Lectureship (李薰讲座奖)” Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. [Announcement]
  • 2017 “Elected Fellow” American Association for the Advancement of Science. Section B (Physics). [Press Release]
  • 2015 “Chair” Gordon Research Conference . The inaugural Gordon Research Conference on Neutron Scattering, June 21-25, 2015, Hong Kong. [Program]
  • 2010 “Elected Fellow” American Physical Society. For sustained contributions in neutron diffraction studies and his leadership in the design and construction of a versatile engineering diffractometer at the Spallation Neutron Source. [Press Release]
  • 2009 “Chang Jiang Chair Professorship (教育部长江讲座教授)” Chinese Ministry of Education.
  • 2008 “Outstanding Oversea Scholars(中国科学院海外知名学者)” Chinese Academy of Sciences. .
  • 2006 “Outstanding Oversea Young Scientist Award (基金委杰出青年B类)” National Natural Science Foundation of China.
  • 1999 “A. F. Davis Silver Medal” American Welding Society .
  • 1998 “Significant Event Award” Oak Ridge National Laboratory. for solving the cracking problems in kraft recovery boilers in the pulp and paper industry.
  • 1998 “Walter A. Mueller Memorial Award” 9th International Symposium on Corrosion in the Pulp and Paper Industry. for the best paper presented at the conference.
  • 1985 “CUSPEA Scholar” (China-US Physics Examination and Application program). [URL]

Previous Experience

  • 2009 - 2012, Distinguished Research Staff, Neutron Scattering Science Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
  • 2006 - 2008, Senior Research Staff, Neutron Scattering Science Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
  • 2006 - 2011, Group Leader, Powder Diffraction Group, Neutron Scattering Science Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Oversaw powder diffraction and neutron imaging instruments at both the Spallation Neutron Source and High Flux Isotope Reactor, two premier neutron sources in the world.
  • 1999 - 2011, Instrument Scientist and Project Manager for VULCAN, Spallation Neutron Source, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Responsible for the design, construction, and commissioning of VULCAN, the engineering diffractometer at the Spallation Neutron Source.
  • 1994 - 1999, Research Staff, Metals and Ceramics Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
  • 1992 - 1994, Postdoc Fellow, Metals and Ceramics Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Research Grants

  • Hong Kong's Participation at the China Spallation Neutron Source, Collaborative Research Fund, Research Grant Council. Hong Kong SAR, Amount: HKD $8,651,102, 2020 - 2022, Xun-Li Wang (PC).
  • CAS-Croucher Joint Laboratory on Neutron Scattering Science and Technology, Croucher Foundation and Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2014 - 2018, Xun-Li Wang (PI - CityU), Hesheng Chen (PI - CAS).

Publications Show All Publications Show Prominent Publications


  • Neem, M,. et al. (2020). Cooperative deformation in high-entropy alloys at ultralow temperatures. Science Advances. 6. eaax4002 .
  • Li, X. Y. (2020). Observation of high-frequency transverse phonons in metallic glasses. Phys. Rev. Lett. 124. 225902 .
  • Li, X. Y. et al. (2020). Ultralow Thermal Conductivity from Transverse Acoustic Phonon Suppression in Distorted Crystalline α-MgAgSb. Nature Communications. 11. 1 - 9.
  • Lan, S. et al. (2019). Engineering medium-range order and polyamorphism in a nanostructured amorphous alloy. Communication Physics. 2. 1 - 9.
  • Yuan, C. C. et al. (2019). Impact of hybridization on metallic-glass formation and design. Materials Today. 32. 26 - 34.
  • Wang, B. et al. (2018). Deformation of CoCrFeNi high entropy alloy at large strain. Scipta Mat. 155. 54 - 57.
  • Lan, S. et al. (2017). Hidden amorphous phase and reentrant supercooled liquid in Pd-Ni-P metallic glasses. Nature Communications. 8. 14679.
  • Chen, Hesheng. & Wang, Xun-Li. (2016). China's first pulsed neutron source. Nature Materials. 15. 689 - 691.
  • Lan, S. et al. (2016). Structural crossover in a supercooled metallic liquid and the link to a liquid-to-liquid phase transition. Appl. Phys. Lett. 108. 211907 .
  • Pramanick, A. et al. (2015). Nanoscale Atomic Displacements Ordering for Enhanced Piezoelectric Properties in Lead-Free ABO3 Ferroelectrics. Adv. Mat. 27. 4330 - 4335.
  • Pramanick, A. et al. (2014). "Kinetics of magnetoelastic twin boundary motion in ferromagnetic shape memory alloys". Phys. Rev. Lett. 112. 217205 .
  • Cheng, S. et al. (2013). "Uncommon Deformation Mechanisms during Fatigue-Crack Propagation in Nanocrystalline Alloys". Phys. Rev. Lett. 110. 135501 .
  • Wu, Y. et al. (2012). "Ductilizing Bulk Metallic Glass Composite by Tailoring Stacking Fault Energy". Phys. Rev. Lett. 109. 245506 .
  • Ma, D. et al. (2012). "Moduli inheritance and the weakest link in metallic glasses". Phys. Rev. Lett. 109. 085501 .
  • Wang, X.-L. et al. (2012). "Visualizing the chemistry and structure dynamics in Li-ion batteries by in-situ neutron diffraction". Sci. Rep. 2. 0747 .
  • Robertson, I. et al. (2011). Characterization of Materials Structure and Damage in Four Dimensions. J. Mat. Res. 26. 41 .
  • Cheng, S. et al. (2010). “Structure modulation in nanocrystalline NiFe driven by cyclic deformation”. Phys. Rev. Lett. 104. 174114 .
  • Ma, D. et al. (2009). "Power-law scaling and fractal nature of the medium range order in metallic glasses". Nature Mat. 8. 30 .
  • Cheng, S. et al. (2009). “Deformation cross-over: from nano to meso scales”. Phys. Rev. Lett. 103. 035502 .
  • Yang, L. et al. (2009). “Nano-scale solute partitioning in devitrified bulk metallic glass". Adv. Mat. 21. 305 - 308.
  • Liu, C. T. et al. (2007). “Magnetism and solid solution effects in NiAl (40%Al) alloys”. Prog. Mat. Sci. 52. 352 .
  • Wang, X.-L. et al. (2006). “VULCAN – The Engineering Diffractometer at the SNS". Physica B. 385-386. 673 .
  • Wang, X.-L. et al. (2003). “In-situ Synchrotron Study of Phase Transformation Behaviors in Bulk Metallic Glass Using Simultaneous X-ray Diffraction and Small Angle Scattering". Phys. Rev. Lett. 91. 265501 .
  • Lee, W. T. & Wang, X.-L. (2002). "IDEAS, a General-purpose Computer Program for Simulation of Neutron Scattering Instruments". Neutron News. 13. 30 .
  • Wang, Y. D. et al. (2002). “Development of Large Grain-Orientation-Dependent Residual Stresses in a Cyclically-Deformed Alloy". Nature Mat. 2. 103 .
  • Wang, Z. R. et al. (1994). "Antiferromagnetic Ordering and Paramagnetic Behavior of Ferromagnetic Clusters in BaCuO2+x". Science. 264. 402 .


  • Wang, X.-L. (2000). “Conceptual Design of the SNS Engineering Diffractometer". SNS Report No. IS-

External Services

Public Service

  • 15 Jul 2018 - 20 Jul 2018, Co-Chair, QENS-WINS2018, 13th International Conference on Quasinelastic Neutron Scattering; 8th Workshop on Inelastic Neutron Scattering.Hong Kong.
  • 2016 - 2020, Member of the Oversea Assessment Panel (中国科学院海外评审专家), 2016-2020. , Chinese Academy of Sciences .China.
  • 21 Jun 2015 - 26 Jun 2015, Chair, The inaugural Gordon Research Conference on Neutron Scattering. Hong Kong.
  • 11 Aug 2014 - 15 Aug 2014, Director, Croucher Summer Course on Neutron Scattering. Hong Kong.
  • 1 Jan 2014 - Now, Member, Editorial Board of Intermetallics.
  • 1 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2015, Member, Editorial Board of Scientific Report.
  • 1 Dec 2013 - 6 Dec 2013, Lead Organizer (with Brent T. Fultz, M. K. Crawford, and M. D. Lumsden), Symposium on “Neutron Scattering Study of Advanced Materials” , 2013 MRS Fall Meeting. USA.
  • Nov 2013 - May 2016, Member, The Bragg Institute Program Advisory Committee, The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO) (2013 – 2016).
  • 2012, Member of Selection Committee for “Sustained Research and Science Prize”, Neutron Scattering Society of America .
  • 11 Sep 2011 - 15 Sep 2011, Appointed to Review Committee, US Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences, Operational Review of the Advanced Photon Source. USA.
  • 2011 - 2013, Chair, Chemistry and Physics of Materials Committee, TMS (www.tms.org). USA.
  • 2010 - 2013, Member, Neutron Science Proposal Review Committee (NSPRC), Japan Proton Accelerator Complex.
  • 10 Feb 2009 - 12 Feb 2009, Member of Review Committee of Los Alamos Lujan Neutron Science Center, US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. USA.

Service in CityU

Administrative Assignment

  • 1 Jul 2017 - Now, Department of Physics, Head.
  • 13 Aug 2012 - 30 Jun 2017, Department of Physics and Materials Science, Head.

Research / Thesis Supervision

  • Aug 2017 - Now, High Temperature Deformation of Metallic Glasses, PhD Thesis - Chenyu Lu .
  • Aug 2017 - Now, Dynamics of Metallic Glasses, PhD Thesis - Zhenqiao Li.
  • Aug 2016 - Now, Atomic Structures of High Entropy Alloys, PhD Thesis - Haiyan He .
  • Aug 2015 - Now, Deformation in High Entropy Alloys, PhD Thesis - Mr. M. Naeem .
  • Aug 2015 - Now, Dynamics of Metallic Glasses, PhD Thesis - Xiyang Li (ioint student with IOP) .
  • Aug 2014 - Now, High Entropy Alloys, PhD Thesis - Ms. Bing Wang.
  • Aug 2013 - Now, Bulk Metallic Glasses, PhD Thesis - Ms. Xiaoya WEI.
  • Aug 2013 - Now, Bulk Metallic Glasses, PhD Thesis - Ms. Xuelian WU.

Teaching Service

  • Oct 2014 - Nov 2014, AP8180, Modern Scattering Methods in Materials Science.
  • Sep 2013 - Dec 2013, AP1201, General Physics .

In the news

Perspective Students

  • The Department of Physics at City University of Hong Kong is seeking outstanding PhD students in the area of the neutron and synchrotron scattering studies. All admitted students will receive a generous financial support. Currently, the stipend for PhD student is HK$17,510 (~US$2,245) per month.

    Outstanding applicants are encouraged to apply for the “Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS). HKPFS is a prestigious scholarship established by the Government of Hong Kong to attract the best and brightest students in the world to pursue PhD study at renowned institutions in Hong Kong. The Fellowship provides the following financial support,
    • Stipend: HK$26,600 (~US$3,410) per month
    • Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies Entrance Scholarship, HK$81,096 (~US$10,396)
    • Conference and Research-Related Travel Allowance: HK$13,300 (~US$1,705) per year
    • Additional academic awards, allowances, and subsidies are available
    More information about the department can be found at https://www.cityu.edu.hk/phy/research-degree/phd-physics, and from www.wangxl.hk

Last update date : 03 Dec 2020