Xitong Liu

xitong liu

Xitong Liu

Assistant Professor


Email: Xitong Liu
Office Phone: 202-994-4954
SEH 3520 | Office Hours: W, F: 1:00 - 3:30 pm


Dr. Liu’s research interests lie at the intersection of nanotechnology, interface and colloid science, and electrochemistry. His research aims to study fundamental interfacial phenomena and develop more efficient and cost-effective water purification and resource recovery technologies. His current research interests include mechanisms and mitigation of surface fouling and mineral scaling, electrochemical technologies for selective ion separation, and colloid transport in the environment.

  • B.E., Nanjing University, 2010
  • M.E., Nanjing University, 2013
  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 2017

A full publication list is available on Google Scholar and ORCID.

Journal papers

# denotes Liu lab students.  † denotes equal contribution. ∗ denotes corresponding author. 

  • Qi, Y.;# Tong, T.; Liu, X.;* Mechanisms of Silica Scale Formation on Organic Macromolecule-Coated Surfaces. ACS ES&T Water 2021, 1, (8), 1826–1836.
  • Feng, Y.;  Zhang, Y.;  Liu, G.;  Liu, X.;* Gao, S., Interaction of graphene oxide with artificial cell membranes: Role of anionic phospholipid and cholesterol in nanoparticle attachment and membrane disruption. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 2021, 111685.
  • Liu, X.;  Shanbhag, S.;  Bartholomew, T.;  Whitacre, J. F.; Mauter, M. S., Cost Comparison of Capacitive Deionization and Reverse Osmosis for Brackish Water Desalination. ACS ES&T Engineering 2021, 1, 2, 261–273.
  • Kong, L.;# Liu, X.;* Emerging electrochemical processes for materials recovery from wastewater: Mechanisms and prospects. Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering 2020, 14 (5).
  • Liu, X.;  Shanbhag, S.;  Natesakhawat, S.;  Whitacre, J. F.; Mauter, M. S., Performance Loss of Activated Carbon Electrodes in Capacitive Deionization: Mechanisms and Material Property Predictors. Environmental Science & Technology 2020, 54 (23), 15516–15526.
  • Liu, X.; Shanbhag S, Mauter M. Understanding and mitigating performance decline in electrochemical deionization, Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering, 2019, 25, 67–74.
  • Liu, X.; Yan C, Chen K. Adsorption of Human Serum Albumin on Graphene Oxide: Implications for Protein Corona Formation and Conformation, Environmental Science and Technology, 2019, 53, 15, 8631–8639.
  • Liu, X.; Whitacre J, Mauter M. Mechanisms of Humic Acid Fouling on Capacitive and Insertion Electrodes for Electrochemical Desalination, Environmental Science and Technology, 2018, 52 (21), 12633–12641.
  • Liu, X.* Interactions of Silver Nanoparticles Formed In Situ on AFM Tips with Supported Lipid Bilayers, Langmuir, 2018, 34 (36), 10774–10781.
  • Feng Y†, Liu X†, Huynh K, McCaffery J, Mao L, Gao S, Chen K. Heteroaggregation of Graphene Oxide with Nanometer- and Micrometer-Sized Hematite Colloids: Influence on Nanohybrid Aggregation and Microparticle Sedimentation. Environmental Science and Technology2017, 51, 6821–6828.
  • Liu, X., Chen K. Aggregation and Interactions of Chemical Mechanical Planarization Nanoparticles with Model Biological Membranes: Role of Phosphate Adsorption, Environmental Science: Nano, 2016, 3, 146−156.
  • Liu, X., Chen K. Interactions of Graphene Oxide with Model Cell Membranes: Probing Nanoparticle Attachment and Lipid Bilayer Disruption, Langmuir, 2015, 31, 12076−12086.
  • Liu, X., Song X, Zhang S, Wang M, Pan B. Non-Hydroxyl Radical Mediated Photochemical Processes for Dye Degradation. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2014, 16, 7571–7577.
  • Liu, X., Wang M, Zhang S, Pan B. Application Potential of Carbon Nanotubes in Water Treatment: A review. Journal of Environmental Sciences, 2013, 25, (7), 1263–1280.


  • 2020, American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator Award
  • 2017, Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students
  • 2017, American Chemical Society C. Ellen Gonter Environmental Chemistry Award
  • 2015, American Chemical Society Graduate Student Award in Environmental Chemistry
  • 2015, Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization Student Award
  • 2010, Outstanding Graduates of Nanjing University, Nanjing University
  • 2007–2009, People’s Scholarship for Outstanding Students, Nanjing University