Zuerch Lab
Zuerch Lab

Michael Zuerch
Michael Zuerch
Principal Investigator
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of California at Berkeley
  • Faculty Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Materials Sciences Division
  • Former positions held:
  • Max Planck Research Group Leader (W2), Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society (2018-2020)
  • Junior Research Group Leader, FSU Jena (2018)
  • Post-doc UC Berkeley, College of Chemistry (2015-2017)
  • Ph.D. in Physics, FSU Jena (2014)
  • Diploma in Physics, FSU Jena (2010)

  • PDF CV

  • Michael studied physics at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, and finished the diploma with honors in 2010. He then joined the research group of Christian Spielmann at Jena University working on high-resolution imaging with laser-driven extreme ultraviolet sources based on high harmonic generation and various projects involving nonlinear optics. In 2014 he finished his Ph. D. (Dr. rer. nat.) with summa cum laude. Subsequently, a Feodor Lynen Fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation allowed him to move to the University of California at Berkeley where he joined the research groups of Stephen Leone and Daniel Neumark in the College of Chemistry in 2015. The research at UC Berkeley was focused on studying carrier and lattice dynamics at highest temporal resolution using attosecond extreme ultraviolet sources. Besides classical semiconductor materials, the research pushed the limits in studying two-dimensional materials and magnetic nanomaterials. Following another short stay at Jena on independent funding, in 2018 Michael joined the Department of Chemistry of the Fritz Haber Institute as an independent Max Planck Research Group leader. In Fall 2019 Michael joined the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley in the Department of Chemistry. In 2020 Michael was in addition appointed as Faculty Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His research group at UC Berkeley focuses on the experimental investigation of structure and dynamics of complex, correlated solid-state materials. Specific areas if interest are the observation and control of collective phenomena between entities such as excitons, magnons and phonons, chemical material dynamics at surfaces and interfaces, symmetry-broken states and their emergence, and dynamical properties in artificial and correlated superlattices. To this end, my group develops new physical chemistry methods to directly measure and manipulate such systems away from equilibrium and push the limits of temporal and spatial resolution at the molecular level.
  • Awards:
  • 2024 Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award
  • 2024 Rose Hills Innovator Award
  • 2023 DOE Early Career Award, Department of Energy
  • 2023 Technical Development Award, Japan Society of Vacuum and Surface Science
  • 2023 Invited Committee Member Basic Research Needs (BRN) Workshop on the Future
  • of Laser Technology
  • 2022 Emerging Researcher in Physical Chemistry, Journal in Physical Chemistry C
  • 2021 Berkeley Collegium Award for Advancing Research-near Undergraduate Education
  • 2021 Hellman Fellowship, Hellman Fellows Fund
  • 2021 Fresnel Prize, European Physical Society, Quantum Electronics and Optics Division
  • 2020 W. M. Keck Science and Engineering Research Award
  • 2018 Max Planck Research Group, Max Planck Society
  • 2018 Feodor Lynen Alumni Fellowship, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
  • 2015 Feodor Lynen Fellowship, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
  • 2015 Reichart-Prize 2015, Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Erfurt (Akademie
  • der gemeinnützigen Wissenschaften zu Erfurt)
  • 2015 Dr.-Ing. Siegfried Werth Dissertation Award, Dr.-Ing. Siegfried Werth Foundation
  • 2015 Finalist Dissertation Award of the German Physical Society
  • 2014 Springer Theses Dissertation Award
  • 2010 Best diploma thesis award of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, FSU Jena
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