Michael Tauber

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Associate Professor

Research Focus
Physical chemistry; Optical and magnetic spectroscopy; Fundamental studies of charge transport and solvation; Applications to energy conversion and energy storage.

Research Summary

Exciton dynamics and charge transport in organic molecular assemblies: At present, molecular-organic photovoltaics are much less efficient than the traditional inorganic solar cells. Our group aims to answer the followinq question: Can the unique properties of conjugated organic molecules/dyes be utilized to harvest a larger percentage of the solar energy, relative to traditional inorganic semiconductors? We will explore answers on a fundamental level, with particular attention to exciton dynamics and charge carrier mobilities. We employ a variety of laser-based spectroscopies (including ultrafast) to answer these questions. 2) Spectroscopy of the electrode/electrolyte interface of supercapacitors: The most remarkable features of electrochemical double-layer capacitors (or supercapacitors) are their high power densities and ability to be charged/discharged in seconds. These are significant advantages over batteries and fuel cells, which rely on much slower Faradaic chemistry. Furthermore, supercapacitors can be recharged 10^5-10^6 times without degradation, and have much less environmental impact in comparison with batteries. Despite these advantages for many applications, supercapacitors currently have a major shortcoming, namely low total energy density. Through the combined use of dielectric spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, my group aims for an in-depth understanding of the electrochemical double layer of confined systems that are at the heart of supercapacitors. The insights from these studies will help lead to a 10-fold improvement in energy density that is expected from theoretical considerations.

Michael Tauber
Lab Website


Michael Tauber is a highly accomplished chemist, celebrated for his significant contributions to the field of chemistry. He earned his B.A. in Chemistry and Physics from Cornell University in 1992, showcasing early academic prowess. Pursuing his passion for chemistry, Tauber attained a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2002. Throughout his academic journey, he has been recognized for his exceptional achievements, including the prestigious NSF CAREER Award in 2011 and the Hellman Faculty Fellow in 2009-2010. Tauber's dedication to advancing scientific knowledge was further highlighted during his time as a Petroleum Research Fellow of the ACS at Northwestern University from 2003 to 2005. His academic excellence is underscored by the Phi Beta Kappa honor and the NSF Predoctoral fellowship. With a distinguished career marked by outstanding research and scholarly contributions, Michael Tauber continues to make significant strides in the realm of chemistry, leaving an indelible mark on the scientific community.