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


  • Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship, Caltech Resnick Sustainability Institute, 2014-2015
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, NSF Center for Chemical Innovation in Solar Fuels, 2012-2014
  • Richard Wolfgang Prize, Yale University, 2012
  • Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates and Students, 2010
  • Stipendiat, Robert-Bosch-Stiftung, 2010

Areas of Specialization

Inorganic, Catalysis, Energy, Synthesis, Materials

Research Interests

Our research program aims to address fundamental challenges in catalysis and efficient energy conversion. Development of new catalytic molecules and materials is of specific interest, targeting synthesis and study of motifs that enable efficient energy storage in chemical bonds. We are also working to incorporate these catalysts into functional materials and efficient reactor designs, which often include catalysts that are immobilized on electrode surfaces.

Active projects in the group include preparation and characterization of new molecular catalysts for reductive transformations of relevance to clean energy storage, as well as utilization and functionalization of conducting and semiconducting electrodes with catalytic groups for light-driven, selective electrocatalysis. We are also investigating new routes for preparation of electronic materials, with relevant applications in electronic device fabrication. Students in the Blakemore group are trained in techniques such as air- and moisture-free synthetic methods, spectroscopy (e.g., NMR, EPR), electrochemistry, catalyst characterization, and surface characterization (e.g., IR, XPS).

Selected Publications

Peng, Y., Ramos-Garcés, 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

Lionetti, D., Day, V.W., and Blakemore, J.D.,* Synthesis and Electrochemical Properties of Half-Sandwich Rhodium and Iridium Methyl Complexes, Organometallics, 2017, 36, 1897-1905, doi: 10.1021/acs.organomet.7b00136

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

Aguirre Quintana, L., Johnson, S.I., Corona, S.L., Villatoro, W., Goddard, W.A., III, Takase, M.K., VanderVelde, D.G., Winkler, J.R.,* Gray, H.B.,* Blakemore, J.D.*, Proton-Hydride Tautomerism in Hydrogen Evolution Catalysis, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 2016, 113, 6409-6414, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1606018113

Blakemore, J.D., Crabtree, R.H., Brudvig, G.W. Molecular Catalysts for Water Oxidation, Chem. Rev., 2015, 115, 12974-13005, doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.5b00122

Link to full publications list


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Chemistry department receives more than $6 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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