Stuart Licht

Stuart Licht

Professor of Chemistry
Address: Exploration Hall
20101 Academic Way
Ashburn, Virginia 20147
Phone: 571-553-8215

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 GWU, 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).
  • "The minimum electrolytic energy needed to convert carbon dioxide by electrolysis in carbonate melts," Ren, Lau, Lefler, Licht, J. Phys. Chem. C, 10.1021/jpcc.5b07026 (2015).
  • " Towards efficient Solar STEP Synthesis Organic of Benzoic Acid: role of the graphite electrode," Zhu, Wang, Liu, Wang Licht, Solar Energy, 113, 303-312 (2015).
  • "Critical advances for the iron molten air battery," Liu, Li, Cui, Liu , Hao, Guo, Xu, Licht, J. Mat. Chem. A, 10.1039/C5TA06069A (2015).
  • "High energy capacity TiB2/VB2 composite metal boride air batteries," Stuart, Lefler, Rhodes, Licht, J. Electrochem. Soc., 162, A432-A436 (2015).
  • "The net discharge mechanism of the VB2/Air battery" Stuart, Hohendel, Li, Xiao, Parkey, Rhodes, Licht, J. Electrochem. Soc., 162, A192-A197 (2015).

Selected from over 300 Peer Reviewed Patents and Publications            

Classes Taught

  • Chem 2122: Intro Quantitative Analysis
  • Chem 6320: Electrochemistry - Charge, Transfer & Storage (Selected Topics in Analytical Chemistry)