Xiaorong Qin

Headshot of Xiaorong Qin
Associate Professor
Department of Physics
Phone number: 
(519) 824-4120 ext. 53675
MacN 449

Education and Employment Background

Dr. Xiaorong Qin received her PhD in Physics from Simon Fraser University in 1992. Between 1992 and 1995, she held a position as a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Western Ontario. Between 1995 and 2000, Qin worked as a Research Associate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Wisconsin. She joined the Department of Physics at the University of Guelph in 2000 where she is now an Associate Professor and Associate Graduate Coordinator.

Research Themes 

Qin’s research focuses on using scanning tunnelling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/STS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM) to characterize structural, electronic and optical properties of surfaces and interfaces at atomic / molecular / nanometer scale. Her research group also uses other experimental techniques including ultrahigh vacuum, surface science, and synchrotron radiation. Qin’s work is driven by the present trend of device miniaturization and emerging opportunities of molecular electronics, which increasingly requires high-precision measurement and atomic-scale manipulation of materials. When the device dimensions decrease to the point where a single molecular layer may represent a significant percentage of the device scales, surface and interface effects (surface stress and relaxation, morphological and structural irregularities, concentration of unsaturated bonds, and atomic-intermixing, etc.) can significantly influence device properties. Thus, understanding surface reactions and the ordering of atoms or molecules is highly desirable. Key areas of focus include:

  1. Structural properties of vacuum vapour-deposited thin films of organic small molecules (polyaromatic hydrocarbons). These include tetracene, on silicon-based substrates or passivated silicon surfaces. The aim is to achieve a molecular-level understanding of the interface formation mechanisms (at a few molecular layers in thickness) and to characterize the role of film crystallinity, defects and substrate properties in controlling the relevant film quality and stability in the hybrid organic-inorganic junctions.
  2. Carrier transport and other exceptional properties of the films. This research is focused on seeking the potential applications of these films in organic electronics.


  • Member, American Physical Society
  • Member, Material Research Society
  • Member, American Vacuum Society
  • NSERC University Faculty Award, 2000-2005
  • NSERC Discovery Grant, 2005