Xia in 1987 received his bachelor's degree at the University of Science and Technology of China ( USTC ), and went in 1991 in the United States. In 1993 he received his master's degree in inorganic chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania with Alan G. MacDiarmid and he was at Harvard University in physical chemistry doctorate at George M. Whitesides 1996. He was from 2007 professor at the University of Washington (from 2008 McKelvey Professor ) and is a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He's there since 2012 Brock Family Chair and GRA Eminent Scholar in Nanomedicine in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering.
He conducted research on controlled growth of nanocrystals and developed nanotechnologies based on small gold cages, drugs are brought specifically in the body for action by which, for example, or wear the contrast agent. His group developed novel colloidal particles with special magnetic properties also with medical applications and nanofibers for medicine (for example, for repair of tissue and nerve fibers). His group is also pursuing applications of nanocrystals in environmental technology (fuel cells, solar cells, water splitting, catalytic conversion).
In 2012, he published more than 500 works and belongs in the 2000s of the most cited chemists (No. 5 in the rankings of the Times Higher Education for 1999-2009 ). His h- index is 129 ( for 2012).
Since 2002 he is Associate Editor of Nano Letters.