Xiaorong Qin

Dr. Xiaorong Qin
Associate Professor
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 x53675
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.


Major funding, Awards, National or International Recognition, Prestigious affiliations, Memberships on editorial boards or societies

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


  • A. Tersigni, and X. R. Qin , Coverage-dependent crystalline domain structures of a tetracene thin film on H/Si(001), J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 37, 051506 (2019).
  • A. Tersigni, J. T. Sadowski, and X. R. Qin , Visualization of molecular packing and tilting domains and interface effects in tetracene thin films on H/Si(001), Phys. Status Solidi B, 254, 1600777 (2017) (9 pages). The cover page. 
  • J. Shi, D. T. Jiang, J. R. Dutcher, and X. R. Qin , Thickness-dependent mobility in tetracene thin-film field-effect-transistors, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 33, 050604 (2015).pdf Times cited: 7 
  • A. Tersigni, X. R. Qin, C. -Y. Kim, R. A. Gordon and D. T. Jiang, Reciprocal-space mapping of lateral single-crystal domains with GIXD for tetracene on H/Si(001), Phys. Rev. B 84, 035303 (2011). Times cited: 7
  • J. Shi and X. R. Qin, Nucleation and growth of tetracene films on silicon oxide, Phys. Rev. B 78, 115412 (2008) (6 pages). Times cited: 25
  • X. R. Qin, A. Tersigni, J. Shi, and D. T. Jiang, Structure and morphology of tetracene thin films on H/Si(001), MRS F06 meeting Symposium S Proceedings (2007).
  • A. Tersigni, J. Shi, D. T. Jiang and X. R. Qin, Structure of tetracene films on hydrogen-passivated Si(001) studied via STM, AFM, and NEXAFS, Phys. Rev. B 74, 205326 (2006) (9 pages). Times cited: 44
  • J. Shi and X. R. Qin, Flux dependence of the morphology of a tetracene film on hydrogen-passivated Si(100), Phys. Rev. B (Rapid Communication) 73, 121303 (2006). Times cited: 22
  • J. Shi and X. R. Qin, Formation of glass fiber tips for scanning near-field optical microscopy by sealed- and open-tube etching, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 76, 013702 (2005) (5 pages).Times cited: 11
  • Z. Y. Lu, F. Liu, C. Z. Wang, X. R. Qin, B. S. Swartzentruber, M. G. Lagally and K. M. Ho, Unique dynamic appearance of a Ge-Si ad-dimer on Si(001), Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 5603-5606 (2000).Times cited: 37
  • X. R. Qin, B. S. Swartzentruber and M. G. Lagally, Diffusional kinetics of SiGe dimers on Si(100) using atom-tracking scanning tunneling microscopy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 3660-3663 (2000).Times cited: 78
  • X. R. Qin, B. S. Swartzentruber and M. G. Lagally, Scanning tunneling microscopy identification of atomic-scale intermixing on Si(100)-2x1 at submonolayer Ge coverages, Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 4546-4549 (2000).Times cited: 68
  • S. Liu, C. S. Jayanthi, S. Y. Wu, X. R. Qin, Z. Zhang and M. G. Lagally, Formation of chain and V-shaped structures in the initial stage growth of Si/Si(100), Phys. Rev. B. 61, 4421-4424 (2000). Times cited: 12
  • X. R. Qin and M. G. Lagally,  View of the empty states of the Si(100)-2x1 surface via scanning tunneling microscopy imaging at very low biases, Phys. Rev. B 59, 7293-7296 (1999).Times cited: 52
  • X. R. Qin, F. Liu, B. S. Swartzentruber and M. G. Lagally, Modification of Si(100) substrate bonding by adsorbed Ge or Si dimer islands, Phys. Rev. Lett. 81, 2288-2291 (1998).Times cited: 26
  • X. R. Qin, Z. H. Lu, J. G. Shapter, L. L. Coatsworth, K. Griffiths and P. R. Norton, Surface morphology of ex-situ sulphur-passivated (1x1) and (2x1) InP(100) surfaces, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 16, 163-168 (1998).Times cited: 15
  • X. R. Qin and M. G. Lagally,   Adatom Pairing Structures for Ge on Si(100): The Initial Stage of Island Formation, Science 278, 1444-1447 (1997).Times cited: 66
  • X. R. Qin and P. R. Norton, Scanning tunneling microscopy of the phase transition between H/Si(100)-(2x1) and H/Si(100)-(3x1), Phys. Rev. B 53, 11100-11107 (1996).Times cited: 42
  • G. W. Anderson, M. C. Hanf, X. R. Qin, P. R. Norton, K. Myrtle and B. Heinrich, Epitaxial growth of Fe on sulfur-passivated GaAs(100): a method for preventing As interdiffusion, Surf. Sci. 346, 145(1996). Times cited: 27
  • X. R. Qin, D. Yang, R. F. Frindt and J. C. Irwin, Scanning tunneling microscopy of single-layer MoS2 in water and butanol, Ultramicroscopy 42-44, 630-636 (1992). Times cited: 32
  • X. R. Qin, D. Yang, R. F. Frindt and J. C. Irwin, Real-space imaging of single layer MoS2 by scanning tunneling microscopy, Phys. Rev. B (Rapid Communication) 44, 3490-3493 (1991).Times cited: 66
  • X. R. Qin and G. Kirczenow, Theory of scanning tunnelling microscopy images of intercalated graphite surfaces, Phys. Rev. B 41, 4976-4985 (1990).Times cited: 10
  • X. R. Qin and G. Kirczenow, Scanning tunneling microscopy and structural properties of intercalated graphite surfaces, Phys. Rev. B (Rapid Communication) 39, 6245-6248 (1989). Times cited: 19



Graduate Students

  • Daniel Cuthbert, MSc
  • Andrew Tersigni --- (MSc & PhD) 
  • Jun Shi --- (MSc & PhD)

Undergraduate students


  • A. Murphy 
  • E. Fernandes 
  • B. Knight 
  • H. Bidaman 
  • T. Zielinski 
  • S. Charpentier 
  • L. Rogers 
  • A. Galea 
  • D. Konstantinou 
  • J. Malcolm 
  • D. Marcy 
  • T. Sheffield 
  • J. Rock 
  • M. Bird 
  • R. Martin 
  • S. A. Graham 
  • P. Hook