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Nathan S. (Nate) Lewis

George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry
Contact information for Nathan S. (Nate) Lewis
Contact Method Value
Mail Code: MC 127-72
Office: 210 Noyes
Phone: 626-395-6335
Email: nslewis@​
B.S., Caltech, 1977; M.S., 1977; Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1981. Associate Professor, Caltech, 1988-91; Professor, 1991-; Argyros Professor, 2002-.
Research Areas: Chemistry

Research Interests

Semiconductor Photoelectrochemistry, Electronic Olfaction, and Scanning Tunneling Microscopy; Chemistry Animation Project

Assistant: Barbara Miralles

Research in the Lewis Group focuses on photoelectrochemistry and chemical vapor sensing.


We study ways to harness sunlight to generate chemical fuel, specifically by splitting water to generate hydrogen. These efforts have as their final goal the creation of a photoelectrochemical cell similar to the one pictured at right.

This cell consists of nanostructured arrays of anodes and cathodes, oxidation and reduction catalysts, and a central conductive membrane that allows for ion exchange. Various subgroups are addressing the challenges inherent in developing this cell:

  • Photoanodes for Water Oxidation
  • Silicon Photocathode Arrays
  • Water-Splitting Membrane
  • Hydrogen Evolution Catalysis
  • Silicon Surface Chemistry
  • Light-Material Interactions
  • Non-conventional Solar Absorbers

Chemical Vapor Sensing

We are developing an Electronic Nose that consists of arrays of chemically sensitive conducting polymer films capable of detecting and quantifying a broad variety of analytes.