B.S. Peking University 2012Ph.D. California Institute of Technology 2017

Xu Yi is an Assistant Professor in Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, courtesy Assistant Professor in Department of Physics, University of Virginia. He received his B.S. in Physics from Peking University in 2012 and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from California Institute of Technology in 2017. Xu Yi’s research is focused on the physics and applications of photonics resonators and optical frequency combs. He also extends his work to many interdisciplinary areas, including astronomy, spectroscopy, microwave photonics and etc. Dr. Yi is a recipient of NASA group achievement award in 2017 for exploring comb-based calibration system for exoplanet detection.


  • NASA Group Achievement Award 2017

Research Interests

  • Optical Microresonators
  • Optical Frequency Combs
  • Microwave Photonics
  • Comb-based spectroscopy

Selected Publications

  • Imaging soliton dynamics in optical microcavities Nature Communications, 9, 3565 (2018). X.Yi, Q.F. Yang, K.Y. Yang, K.J. Vahala.
  • “Counter-propagating solitons in microresonators” Nature Photonics 11, 560 (2017). Q.F. Yang, X. Yi, K.Y. Yang, K.J. Vahala.
  • “Stokes solitons in optical microcavities” Nature Physics 13 (1), 53 (2017). Q.F. Yang, X. Yi, K.Y. Yang, K.J. Vahala.
  • “Demonstration of a near-IR line-referenced electro-optical laser frequency comb for precision radial velocity measurements in astronomy” Nature communications, 7, 10436 (2016). X. Yi, K. Vahala, J. Li, S. Diddams, G. Ycas, P. Plavchan, S. Leifer, J. Sandhu, G. Vasisht, P. Chen, P. Gao, J. Gagne, E. Furlan, M. Bottom, E. C. Martin, M. P. Fitzgerald, G. Doppmann, C. Beichman.
  • “Soliton frequency comb at microwave rates in a high-Q silica microresonator” Optica 2 1078 (2015). X. Yi, Q.F. Yang, K.Y. Yang, M.G. Suh, K.J. Vahala.
  • “Electro-optical frequency division and stable microwave synthesis” Science 345, 309 (2014). J. Li, X. Yi, H. Lee, S.A. Diddams, K.J. Vahala.

Courses Taught

  • Optical Quantum Electronics MW 11am-12:15pm
  • Quantum Mechanics for Engineering and Computing 2019 Spring