The Licht research group has taken on the challenge of a comprehensive solution to climate change. We’re working towards changing today’s fossil fuel, to a renewable chemical economy, replacing the largest greenhouse gas emitters, including iron & fuel production by new, inexpensive, solar, CO2-free, chemistries.

A new fundemental solar process has been introduced. This STEP process 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. By using the full spectrum of sunlight, STEP captures more solar energy than the most efficient solar cell or photoelectrochemical processes.

Sunlight converts CO2 to carbon nanofibers (shown) and drives new CO2-free syntheses for iron, cement and fertilizer.

In the field of energy storage for devices ranging from EVs to consumer electronics and peak power storage, we're pioneering the study of new multiple electron (per molecule) storage processes, to learn to create batteries and fuel cells with greater storage capacity than gasoline.

En route to new renewable energy pathways, our explorations range from water thermodynamics to new environmental methodologies & from quantum mechanics to H2, halide, chalcogenide & transition metal chemistry.

Recent Publications - Selected from over 300 Peer Reviewed Patents & Publications

  • Li, Lau, Licht, "Sungas: instead of syngas: ...CO & H2 from a single beam of sunlight," Advanced Science, 2, 1500260 (online 10-1-2015).
  • Ren, Li, Lau, Li, Gonzalez-Urbina, Licht "One-pot synthesis of carbon nanofibers from CO2," Nano Letters, 15, 6142 (2015).
  • Li, Liu, Cui, Lau, Stuart, Licht, "A one-pot synthesis of H2 & carbon fuels from H2O & CO2" Adv. Energy Mat., 7, 140179 (2015).
  • Ren, Lau, Lefler, Licht, "The minimum electrolytic energy needed to convert CO2...," J. Phys. Chem. C, 10.1021/jpcc.5b07026 (2015).
  • Zhu, Wang, Liu, Wang Licht, "Towards efficient Solar STEP Synth. Organic," Solar Energy, 113, 303 (2015).
  • Liu, Li, Cui, Liu , Hao, Guo, Xu, Licht, "Critical advances for the iron molten air battery," J. Mat. Chem. A, 10.1039/C5TA06069A (2015).
  • Stuart, Lefler, Rhodes, Licht, "High energy capacity TiB2/VB2... air batteries," J. Electrochem. Soc., 162, A432 (2015).
  • Stuart, Hohendel, Li, Xiao, Parkey, Rhodes, Licht, "The net discharge ... VB2/Air battery" J. Electrochem. Soc., 162, A192 (2015).

  • Licht, Cui, Wang, Li, Lau, Lui, "Ammonia synthesis by N2 & steam by … nanoscale Fe2O3," Science, 345, 637 (2014).
  • Li, Licht, "Advances in … the synthesis of ammonia from air & water ..," Inorg. Chem., 53, 10042 (2014).
  • Zhu, Wang, Liu, Wang, Wu, Licht, "STEP Organic Synthesis," Green Chemistry, 16, 4758 (2014).
  • Licht, Cui, "A Low Temperature Iron Molten Air Battery," J. Materials Chemistry A, 2, 10577 (2014).
  • Licht, Cui, Stuart, Wang, Lau, "Molten Air Batteries - A new, highest energy class of batteries," Energy & Environ. Sci., 6, 3646 (2013).
  • Farmand, Licht, Ramaker, "Studying Multi-electron Charge Transfer in Fe(VI)," J. Phys. Chem. C., 117, 19875 (2013).
  • Cui, Licht, "Critical STEP advances for sustainable iron production," Green Chemistry, 15, 881 (2013).
  • Licht, Wu, Hettige, Lau, Asercion, Stuart, "STEP Cement: CaO without CO2" Chem. Comm., 48, 6019 (2012).
  • Wang, Wu, Zhang, Licht, "STEP Wastewater Treatment," ChemSusChem, 5, 2000 (2012).
  • Licht, "Efficient Solar-Driven Synthesis, Carbon Capture, and Desalinization, STEP," Adv. Mat., 47, 5592 (2011).

Past Publications - Selected from over 300 Peer Reviewed Patents & Publications

  • Licht, Hodes, Tenne, Manassen, "A Light Variation Insensitive High Effic. Solar Cell," Nature, 326, 863 (1987).
  • Licht, "A Description of Energy Conversion in Photoelectrochemical Solar Cells," Nature, 330, 148 (1987).
  • Licht, "pH Measurement in Concentrated Alkaline Solutions" Analytical Chemistry, 57, 514 (1985).
  • Licht, Cammarata, Wrighton, "Time/Spatial Dependence of <105 Molecules," Science, 243, 1176 (1989).
  • Licht, Peramunage, "Efficient photoelectrochemical solar cells," Nature, 345, 330 (1990).
  • Licht, Peramunage, "Efficiency in a liquid solar cell," Nature, 354, 440 (1991).
  • Peramunage, Licht, "A Novel Solid Sulfur Cathode for Aqueous Batteries," Science, 261, 1029 (1993).
  • Licht, Wang, Ghosh, "Energetic Iron(VI) Chemistry: The Super-Iron Battery," Science, 285, 1039 (1999).
  • Licht, Wang, Mukerji, Soga, Umeno, Tributsch, "Over 18% solar conversion to H2 fuel; …," Int. J. H2 Energy, 26, 7 (2001).
  • Licht, Halperin, Kalina, Zidman, "Electrochemical Potential Tuned Solar Water Splitting," Chem. Comm., 3006 (2003).
  • Licht, Wu, Yu, Wang, " Renewable Highest Capacity VB2/Air Energy Storage," Chem. Comm., 3257 (2008).
  • Licht, "STEP: A solar chemical process to end anthropogenic global warming," J. Phys. Chem. C., 113, 16283 (2009).

Prof. Stuart Licht completed his Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute, and a Postdoc at MIT. Prior to joining the faculty at George Washington University, 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 Alcoa Aluminum Foundation Science Prize, the Trachtenburg Prize of the George Washington University, the Gustella Award of the Technion, and held the Carlson Endowed Chair in Chemistry at Clark University

For further information contact Prof. Stuart Licht, George Washington University,

More information on The George Washington University can be found at GWU's Foggy Bottom Campus is located four blocks from the White House, and GWU's Science & Technology Campus is located near Dulles Airport, in Ashburn, VA.

More information about the Chemistry department at GWU is found by following the link.

Licht group's offices & laboratories are at the Science & Technology Campus, Ashburn, VA, phone: 703-726-8225

Licht's DC Office is in the Chemistry Dept., Suite 4000, 800 22nd Street, NW, Washington, DC, phone: 202-994-6121