Xiao specialises in Polymer chemistry: development of novel fluorinated polymeric devices, contaminated water remediation.

​​Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a series of man-made compounds that have been widely used since the 1950’s. Although they are commonly used in daily life, the toxicity of PFAS to humans should not be neglected. Due to their uniquely stable chemical structure (arising from the strong carbon-fluorine bond) and moderate solubility in aqueous solutions, problems of water contamination and bioaccumulation have arisen, attracting novel proposals for their efficient removal. Xiao Tan's research aims to 1) develop novel fluorinated sorbents, 2) reveal the binding mechanisms between PFAS and the sorbents at molecular level, 3) optimize polymer compositions and structures, and 4) finally apply the designing rules and develop polyermic devices for selective, rapid, and high efficient removal of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances from real contaminated environments.

Originally from SuZhou in China, Xiao came to The University of Queensland (UQ) In 2017 and completed his masters’ study of Molecular Biology in 2019. In the same year, he commenced his PhD under supervision of Dr Cheng Zhang and Prof Andrew Whittaker, in Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), working in the field of polymer chemistry.

Key Publications

  1. Tan, X.; Dewapriya, P.; Prasad, P.; Chang, Y.; Huang, X.; Wang, Y.; Gong, X.; Hopkins, T. E.; Fu, C.; Thomas, K. V.; Peng, H.; Whittaker, A. K.; Zhang, C. Efficient Removal of Perfluorinated Chemicals from Contaminated Water Sources Using Magnetic Fluorinated Polymer Sorbents. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2022https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.202213071.
  2. Tan, X.; Sawczyk, M.; Chang, Y. X.; Wang, Y. Q.; Usman, A.; Fu, C. K.; Kral, P.; Peng, H.; Zhang, C.; Whittaker, A. K. Revealing the Molecular-Level Interactions between Cationic Fluorinated Polymer Sorbents and the Major PFAS Pollutant PFOA. Macromolecules 202255 (3), 1077-1087.
  3. Tan, X.; Zhong, J. X.; Fu, C. K.; Dang, H.; Han, Y. X.; Kral, P.; Guo, J. H.; Yuan, Z. G.; Peng, H.; Zhang, C.; Whittaker, A. K. Amphiphilic Perfluoropolyether Copolymers for the Effective Removal of Polyfluoroalkyl Substances from Aqueous Environments. Macromolecules 202154 (7), 3447-3457.
  4. Wang, X.; Zhang, C.; Sawczyk, M.; Sun, J.; Yuan, Q.; Chen, F.; Mendes, T. C.; Howlett, P. C.; Fu, C.; Wang, Y.; Tan, X.; Searles, D. J.; Kral, P.; Hawker, C. J.; Whittaker, A. K.; Forsyth, M. Ultra-stable all-solid-state sodium metal batteries enabled by perfluoropolyether-based electrolytes. Nat. Mater. 202221 (9), 1057-1065.
  5. Fu, C.; Demir, B.; Alcantara, S.; Kumar, V.; Han, F.; Kelly, H. G.; Tan, X.; Yu, Y.; Xu, W.; Zhao, J.; Zhang, C.; Peng, H.; Boyer, C.; Woodruff, T. M.; Kent, S. J.; Searles, D. J.; Whittaker, A. K. Low-Fouling Fluoropolymers for Bioconjugation and In Vivo Tracking. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 202059 (12), 4729– 4735.
Featured projects Duration
Novel strategies for PFAS remediation