Skip to main content

James R McKone

University of Pittsburgh
PhD, chemistry, California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

James McKone earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and music from Saint Olaf College in Northfield, MN in 2008. He received PhD in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he was advised by Harry Gray and Nathan Lewis. From 2013 to 2016, he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University under Héctor D. Abruña and Francis J. DiSalvo.  In the Fall of 2016 he joined the faculty in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at Pitt. James McKone’s research group studies fundamentals and applications of electrochemistry, photochemistry, and solid-state/materials chemistry with an emphasis on renewable energy and sustainability..


The McKone group combines basic and applied research in experimental electrochemistry to advance promising technologies for sustainable energy and next-generation electronics. To this end, we are pursuing research projects related to electrochemical catalysis, battery energy storage, solar photochemistry, 2-dimensional semiconductors, and interdisciplinary chemical reaction engineering & design.
Our work draws on an interdisciplinary set of tools and expertise, including:
electroanalytical chemistry
colloidal, ceramic, and metallurgical materials synthesis
inorganic/organometallic chemistry
surface science
optical and x-ray spectroscopies
nanofabrication and characterization
engineering analysis and design


Title Position Email
Eli Bostian Graduate Student
Yifan Deng Graduate Student
Jeffrey Hoffmann Undergraduate Student
Aayush Mantri Graduate Student
Qiudi meng Graduate Student
Evan Miu Graduate Student
Rituja Patil Graduate Student
Tejal Sawant Graduate Student
Emily Siegel Undergraduate Student
Most Cited Publications

"Solar water splitting cells." Michael G Walter, Emily L Warren, James R McKone, Shannon W Boettcher, Qixi Mi, Elizabeth A Santori, Nathan S Lewis. Chemical reviews.
"Nanostructured nickel phosphide as an electrocatalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction." Eric J Popczun, James R McKone, Carlos G Read, Adam J Biacchi, Alex M Wiltrout, Nathan S Lewis, Raymond E Schaak. Journal of the American Chemical Society.
"Will solar-driven water-splitting devices see the light of day?." James R McKone, Nathan S Lewis, Harry B Gray. Chemistry of Materials.
"Photoelectrochemical hydrogen evolution using Si microwire arrays." Shannon W Boettcher, Emily L Warren, Morgan C Putnam, Elizabeth A Santori, Daniel Turner-Evans, Michael D Kelzenberg, Michael G Walter, James R McKone, Bruce S Brunschwig, Harry A Atwater, Nathan S Lewis. Journal of the American Chemical Society.
"Ni–Mo nanopowders for efficient electrochemical hydrogen evolution." James R McKone, Bryce F Sadtler, Caroline A Werlang, Nathan S Lewis, Harry B Gray. ACS catalysis.

Recent Publications

"Recent Insights into Electrocatalytic Reactions Under Exotic Conditions." James R McKone, Tejal Sawant, Rituja Patil, Evan V Miu, Dean Miller. 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting.
"Hydrogen Evolution Electrocatalysis with Core-Shell Ni-Mo@ Oxides." Rituja Patil, Stephen House, Aayush Mantri, Judith C Yang, James R McKone. 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting.
"Synthesis of an Alloy-Based Ni-Fe/C Catalyst for the Alkaline Oxygen Evolution Reaction." Margaret Orr, Rituja Patil, James R McKone. 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting.
"Synthesis of Molybdenum Trioxide and Characteristics of HxMoO3 Bronze Formation." Rebekah Habeger, Evan V Miu, James R McKone. 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting.
"Towards Efficient and Stable Nifeox Alkaline Oxygen Evolution Electrocatalysts." Jeffrey Hoffmann, Margret Orr, Rituja Patil, James R McKone. 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting.