Dr. 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 prestigious Presidential Research Professorship from NIU and elevated to Distinguished Professor in 2023. Prof. Xu is recognized by Illinois Science and Technology Coalition as Researchers to Know 2020. Prof. Xu was awarded with National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award in 2012, and NSF Special Creativity Award in 2022. He is also the recipient of two R&D 100 awards (2006, 2020) and is recognized as the Innovator to Know 2023 by Illinois Innovation Network. View Prof. Xu's curriculum vitae.
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.
The Xu group conducts fundamental studies on electron-driven and photon-driven interactions and processes. 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.