James D. Blakemore

Assistant Professor
Member of KU faculty since 2016
Primary office:
Malott Hall
Room 1021
University of Kansas, Lawrence Main Campus
1251 Wescoe Hall Dr.
Lawrence, KS 66045


Academic Degrees and Experience

  • Senior Postdoctoral Scholar in Chemistry, 2012-2015, California Institute of Technology
  • Ph.D. in Chemistry, 2012, Yale University
  • B.S. and B.A., 2007, Wichita State University


  • DOE Early Career Award, 2018
  • NSF EPSCoR Research Fellowship, 2018
  • Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship, Caltech Resnick Sustainability Institute, 2014-2015
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, NSF CCI Solar Fuels, 2012-2014
  • Richard Wolfgang Prize, Yale University, 2012
  • Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates and Students, 2010

Areas of Specialization

Inorganic, Organometallic, Energy, Synthesis, Catalysis, Materials

Research Interests

Our research program aims to address fundamental challenges in the efficient and sustainable production of energy, fuels, and chemicals. We target synthesis and study of new molecules that provide rational control of bonding and reactivity, including molecular electrocatalysts capable of storing energy in chemical bonds. We also prepare and study electrodes featuring immobilized redox-active molecules and catalysts. Our work includes studies of both transition metals, and f-block elements.

Active projects in the group generally involve synthesis, characterization, and reactivity studies of new inorganic and organometallic complexes. Our work spans from fundamental development of custom-tailored ligands to more applied electrochemical studies of molecular catalysts and redox-active compounds. To accomplish this work, students in the Blakemore group are trained in air- and moisture-free synthetic methods, spectroscopy (e.g., NMR, EPR), electrochemistry, catalyst characterization, and surface characterization (e.g., IR, XPS).

Selected Publications

Lionetti, D., Day, V.W., Lassalle-Kaiser, B.,* and Blakemore, J.D.,* Multiple Binding Modes of an Unconjugated Bis(pyridine) Ligand Stabilize Low-Valent [Cp*Rh] Complexes, Chem. Commun., 2018, 54, 1694-1697, doi: 10.1039/C7CC09164H

Kumar, A., Lionetti, D., Day, V.W., and Blakemore, J.D.,* Trivalent Lewis Acidic Cations Govern the Electronic Properties and Stability of Heterobimetallic Complexes of Nickel, Chem. Eur. J., 2018, 24, 141-149,  doi: 10.1002/chem.201704006

Henke, W.C., Lionetti, D., Moore, W.N.G., Hopkins, J.A., Day, V.W., and Blakemore, J.D.,* Ligand Substituents Govern the Efficiency and Mechanistic Path of Hydrogen Production with [Cp*Rh] Catalysts, ChemSusChem, 2017, 10, 4589-4598, doi: 10.1002/cssc.201701416

Peng, Y., Ramos-Garc├ęs, M.V., Lionetti, D., and Blakemore, J.D.,* Structural and Electrochemical Consequences of [Cp*] Ligand Protonation, Inorg. Chem., 2017, 56, 10824-10831, doi: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.7b01895

Lionetti, D., Day, V.W., and Blakemore, J.D.,* Noncovalent immobilization and surface characterization of lanthanide complexes on carbon electrodes, Dalton Trans., 2017, 46, 11779-11789, doi: 10.1039/C7DT02577G

Sconyers, D.J. and Blakemore, J.D.,* Distinguishing between homogeneous and heterogeneous hydrogen-evolution catalysis with molecular cobalt complexes, Chem. Commun., 2017, 53, 7286-7289, doi: 10.1039/C7CC02188G

Link to full publications list

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Chemistry department receives more than $8.5 million in research grants annually
14 chemistry faculty members have NSF CAREER Awards
Longest-running chemistry Research Experience for Undergraduates in the nation
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