International  Center  for  Isotope  Effects  Research

Nanjing University

Prof. Xiaobin Cao


My research interests include origin and evolution of solid planets, C-O-S and water cycles through Earth history, and the nature of biological activities. I specialize in developing new models and theoretical frameworks for triple and clumped isotopes, and applying these new concepts to solve my interested scientific problems.


B-310, Modern Engineering Building



Ph.D.  2012   Institute of Geochemistry, CAS, Guiyang, China

Advisor: Yun Liu

B.S.   2007   Northwest University, Xi’an, China

Advisor: Yangjie Liu


Invited Presentations or Testimony

Xiaobin Cao, Huiming Bao. (2021) Small triple oxygen isotope variations in sulfate: Mechanisms and applications, Goldschmidt 2021, virtual;

Xiaobin Cao, Mao Tang, Yun Liu. (2011) New theoretical method to estimate the equilibrium distribution of clumped isotopes in nature, 241st ACS National Meeting, Anaheim, CA, USA.


Social Activities 

Reviewer for Nature Geoscience, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Environmental Science & Technology, Chemical Geology, American Mineralogist etc.;

Review for NSF;

NASA 2017 panelist;

9th International Symposium on Isotopomers (ISI 2018) Local Organizing Committee.



1. Xiaobin Cao, Huiming Bao. Concept and practice of isotopologue-specific kinetic analysis. Book Chapter (In Review).

2. Huiming Bao, Xiaobin Cao, Peter Crockford. Reconstructing Past Atmosphere O2 and CO2 Concentrations and Biosphere Gross Primary Productivity: A Triple Oxygen Isotope Approach. Book Chapter (In Review).

3. Xiaobin Cao, Huiming Bao. (2021) Small triple oxygen isotope variations in sulfate: Mechanisms and applications. Review in Mineralogy and Geochemistry 86: 463-488.

4. Xiaobin Cao, Huiming Bao, Caihong Gao, Yun Liu, Fang Huang, Yongbo Peng, Yining Zhang. (2019) Triple oxygen isotope constraints on the origin of ocean island basalts. Acta Geochimica 1-8.

5. Xiaobin Cao, Huiming Bao, Yongbo Peng. (2019) A kinetic model for isotopologue signatures of methane generated by biotic and abiotic CO2 methanation. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 249:59-75.

6. Caihong Gao, Xiaobin Cao, Qi Liu, Yuhong Yang, Siting Zhang, Yuyang He, Mao Tang, Yun Liu. (2018) Theoretical calculation of equilibrium Mg isotope fractionations between minerals and aqueous solutions. Chemical Geology 488: 62-75. 

7. Shanggui Gong, Yongbo Peng, Huiming Bao, Dong Feng, Xiaobin Cao, Peter W Crockford, Duofu Chen. (2018) Triple sulfur isotope relationships during sulfate-driven anaerobic oxidation of methane. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 504: 13-20.

8. Justin Hayles, Caihong Gao, Xiaobin Cao, Yun Liu, Huiming Bao. (2018) Theoretical calibration of the triple oxygen isotope thermometer. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 235: 237-245.

9. Yuyang He, Xiaobin Cao, Jianwei Wang, and Huiming Bao. (2018) Identifying apparent local stable isotope equilibrium in a complex non-equilibrium system. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 32: 306–310.

10. Xiaobin Cao, Huiming Bao. (2017) Redefining the utility of the three-isotope method. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 212: 16-32.

11. Justin A. Hayles, Xiaobin Cao, and Huiming Bao. (2017) The statistical mechanical basis of the triple isotope fractionation relationship. Geochemical Perspectives Letters 3: 1-11.

12. Huiming Bao, Xiaobin Cao, and Justin A. Hayles. (2016) Triple oxygen isotopes: fundamental relationships and applications. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 44: 463-492.

13. Huiming Bao, Xiaobin Cao, and Justin A. Hayles. (2015) The confines of triple oxygen isotope exponents in elemental and complex mass-dependent processes. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 170, 39-50.

14. Xiaobin Cao, Huiming Bao. (2013) Dynamic model constraints on oxygen-17 depletion in atmospheric O2 after a snowball Earth. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 110, 14546-14550.

15. Xiaobin Cao, Yun Liu. (2012) Theoretical estimation of the equilibrium distribution of clumped isotopes in nature. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 77, 292–303.

16. Xiaobin Cao, Yun Liu. (2011) Equilibrium mass-dependent fractionation relationships for triple oxygen isotopes. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 75, 7435–7445.

17. 曹晓斌,张继习,唐茂,刘耘 (2011) 氧同位素质量依赖分馏线的精确确定。地球化学, 40(2), 147–155。