Tao Xu joined the faculty of Northern Illinois University in August 2006 as an assistant professor in physical chemistry and nanotechnology. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012 and further promoted to full professor in 2017. In 2019, Prof. Xu was awarded the presitgious Presidential Research Professorship from NIU.
Xu received his bachelor's degree from East China University of Science and Technology and his Ph.D. degree in 2003 from the University of Alabama. Xu did his postdoctoral research at Texas A&M University and Argonne National Laboratory.
Professor Xu's research focuses on the design, synthesis, characterization and applications of novel energy and environment‐related materials and structures. Our group studies a variety of functionalized nanomaterials and nanoarchitectures for energy conversion, energy storage, catalysis and safety monitoring. We pursue basic science understanding of charge and atom transfer processes at the interfaces in various energy systems including solar cells, battery, fuel cells and sensors.