Cliff Kubiak

Chemistry and Biochemistry


Distinguished Professor
Harold C. Urey Chair in Chemistry
National Academy of Sciences
Research Focus
Inorganic chemistry: electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide, electron transfer, organometallic chemistry.

Research Summary

Professor Kubiak's research is focused on three areas: (1) the development and study of electrocatalysts for the reduction of CO2, (2)electron transfer on the time scale of molecular vibrations in inorganic charge transfer complexes, (3) the use of electric fields to control the chemistry of molecules on electrode surfaces.

Cliff Kubiak
Lab Website


Professor Kubiak received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in chemistry from Brown University in 1975 and a Ph. D. in Chemistry from the University of Rochester in 1980, where he worked with Richard Eisenberg. Kubiak was a postdoctoral associate with Mark S. Wrighton at M. I. T. from 1980-81. From there, Kubiak went on to be a faculty member at Purdue University from 1982 – 1998. He moved to UCSD in 1998 as Harold C. Urey Endowed Chair Professor and was named Distinguished Professor at UCSD in 2008. During this time he held the position of Chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (2002-2006). He has held visiting appointments at Tohoku University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Erlangen. He was the recipient of the prestigious ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry (2012) and the ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry (2018). Kubiak is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2014), and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (2020). Kubiak has served on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Accounts of Chemical Research, Inorganic Chemistry, and Materials Science in Semiconductor Processing. He is the author of over 275 scientific articles.