Stuart Licht

Image of Dr Stuart Licht
Professor of Chemistry
Exploration Hall
20101 Academic Way
Ashburn, Virginia 20147
United States
[email protected]
Licht Research Group

Areas of Expertise

Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Energy Storage – Batteries & Fuel Cells, Environmental Chemistry, Electrochemistry, and Quantum Mechanics

Prof. Stuart Licht completed his Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute, and a Postdoc at MIT. Prior to GW, he served as a Program Director at the NSF, was Chair of Chemistry at UMass, and has received awards including the Electrochemical Society Energy Technology Research Award, the Gustella Award of the Technion, and held the Carlson Endowed Chair in Chemistry at Clark University.

Current Research

The Licht research group has taken on the challenge of developing a comprehensive solution to climate change. A new solar process has been introduced, the STEP process, which efficiently removes carbon from the atmosphere and generates the staples needed by society, ranging from fuels, to metals, bleach and construction materials, at high solar efficiency and without carbon dioxide generation. In the field of battery and fuel cell research new multiple electron (per molecule) storage processes are introduced and studied, leading to batteries with greater storage capacity than gasoline. On route to new pathways to utilize renewable energy, we explore fundamental chemical processes ranging from quantum mechanics to thermodynamics of water, new analytical and environmental methodologies, and hydrogen, halide, chalcogenide and transition metal chemistry.


BA, MA Wesleyan University, 1976, 1981

PhD, The Weizmann Institute of Science , 1986

Postdoc, MIT, 1987



  • "STEP: A solar chemical process to end anthropogenic global warming," Licht, Journal of Physical Chemistry, C, 113, 16283-16292 (2009).              
  • "Ammonia synthesis by N2 and steam electrolysis in molten hydroxide suspensions of nanoscale Fe2O3," Licht, Cui, Wang, Li, Lau, Lui, Science, 345, 637-640 (2014).
  • " Sungas instead of syngas: Efficient co-production of CO and H2 from a single beam of sunlight," Li, Lau, Licht, Advanced Science, 2, 1500260 (2015).
  • "One-pot synthesis of carbon nanofibers from CO2," Ren, Li, Lau, Gonzalez-Urbina, Licht, Nano Letters, 15, 6142 (2015).
  • "A one-pot synthesis of H2 & carbon fuels from H2O & CO2" Li, Liu, Cui, Lau, Stuart, Licht, Adv. Energy Mat., 7, 140179 (2015).
  • “Comparison of alternative molten electrolytes for water splitting to generate hydrogen fuel,” Licht, Liu, Cui, Lau, Hu, Stuart, Wang, El-Gazawi, Li, J. Electrochem. Soc, 163, F1163 (2016).
  • “The adoption and mechanism of KIO4 for redox-equilibrated stabilization of FeO42− as an equalizer in water,” Zhu, Wang, Wang, Liu, Wu, Licht, Ionics, 22, 1967 (2016). Click here to access article
  • “Efficient, high yield carbon dioxide and water transformation to methane by electrolysis in molten salts,” Wu, Ji, Li, Yuan, Zhu, Wang*, Zhang, Licht, Advanced Materials Technology, 1, 60092 (2016).
  • “Improved cycle iron molten air battery performance using a robust fin air electrode,” Cui, Xin, Liu, Liu, Hao, Guo, Licht, J. Electrochem. Soc., 165, A88 (2017). Click here to access article
  • “Tracking airborne CO2 mitigation and low cost transformation into valuable carbon nanotubes,” Ren, Licht, Scientific Reports –, 6, 27760 (2016). Click here to access article
  • “Thermodynamic assessment of CO2 to carbon nanofiber transformation for carbon sequestration in a combined cycle gas or a coal power plant,” Lau, Dey, Licht, Energy Conversion & Management, 122, 400 (2016). 
  • “One-Pot Synthesis of Nanostructured Carbon Material from Carbon Dioxide via Electrolysis in Molten Carbonate Salts,” Wu, Li, Ji, Liu, Li, Yuan, Zhang, Ren, Lefler, Wang, Licht, Carbon, 106, 208 (2016). Click here to access article
  • “Sustainable Electrochemical Synthesis of large grain or catalyst sized iron,” Li, Wang, Licht, Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy, 2, 405 (2016). Click here to access article
  • “Solar Thermoelectric Field Photocatalysis for Efficient Organic synthesis Exemplified by Toluene to Benzoic Acid,” Zhu, Wang, Wang, Liu, Wu, Licht, Applied Catalysis B, 193, 151-159 (2016).
  • “Carbon Nanotubes Produced from Ambient Carbon Dioxide for Environmentally Sustainable Lithium-Ion and Sodium-Ion Battery Anodes,” Licht, Douglas, Ren, Carter, Lefler, Pint, ACS Central Science, 2, 162. Click here to access article
  • “How does amalgamated Ni cathode affect Carbon Nanotube growth? A density functional theory study,” Dey, Ren, El-Ghazawi, Licht, RCS Advances, 6, 27191 (2016).
  • “Higher capacity, improved conductive matrix VB2/air batteries,” Lefler, Stuart, Parkey, Licht, J. Electrochem. Soc., 163 A781 (2016).
  • “Carbon nanotube wools made directly from CO2 by molten electrolysis: Value Driven pathways to carbon dioxide greenhouse gas mitigation,” Johnson, Ren, Lefler, Licht, Vicini, Liu, Licht, Materials Today Energy, 5, 230 (2017).
  • “Co-Production of Cement and Carbon Nanotubes with a Carbon Negative Footprint,” Licht, J. CO2 Utilization, 18, 378 (2017).
  • “Electrochemical synthesis of ammonia directly from N2 and water over iron-based catalysts supported on activated carbons,” Cui, Zhang, Liu, Liu, Xiang, Liu, Xin, Lefler Licht, Green Chemistry, 19, 298 (2017). 
  • “Transformation of the greenhouse gas CO2 by molten electrolysis into a wide controlled selection of carbon nanotubes,” Ren, Johnson, Singhal, Licht, J. CO2 Utilization, 18, 335 (2017).
  • “Data on SEM, TEM and Raman Spectra of Doped, and Wool Carbon Nanotubes Made Directly from CO2 by Molten Electrolysis,” Johnson, Ren, Lefler, Licht, Vicini, Liu, Licht, Data in Brief, 14, 592 (2017).
  •  “A novel rechargeable zinc-air battery with molten salt electrolyte,” Cui, Xiang, Liu, Xin, Liu, Licht, J. Power Sources, B 342, 435 (2017).
  • “A long cycle life, high coulombic efficiency iron molten air battery,” Cui, Xiang, Liu, Hongyu Xin, Liu, Licht, Sustainable Energy & Fuels, 1, 474 & back cover (2017).
  • “Photoelectrochemical Conversion Processes,” Licht, Chapter 24 in Springer Handbook of Electrochemistry, Eds.: Breitkopf, Lyons, ISBN 978-3- 662-46657- 5,Springer New York (2017). Click here to access article

Selected from over 400 Peer Reviewed Patents and Publications            

Classes Taught

Chem 2122: Intro Quantitative Analysis

Chem 6320: Electrochemistry - Charge, Transfer & Storage (Selected Topics in Analytical Chemistry)