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., Room 1021
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

“Proton-Hydride Tautomerism in Hydrogen Evolution Catalysis.” Luis M. Aguirre Quintana, Samantha I. Johnson, Sydney L. Corona, Walther Villatoro, William A. Goddard, III, Michael K. Takase, David G. VanderVelde, Jay R. Winkler,* Harry B. Gray,* and James D. Blakemore.* Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 2016, 113, 6409–6414.

*** Highlighted in Chemical and Engineering News on June 13, 2016:
“Chemists announce the end of the innocence for cyclopentadienyl.” Link:  http://cen.acs.org/articles/94/i24/Chemists-announce-end-innocence-cyclopentadienyl.html ***

“Molecular Catalysts for Water Oxidation.” James D. Blakemore, Robert H. Crabtree, and Gary W. Brudvig, Chem. Rev. 2015, 115, 12974-13005.

                *** Listed as a ‘Hot Paper’ by Web of Science for January/February 2016. ***

 “Catalysis of Proton Reduction with a [BO4]-bridged Dicobalt Glyoxime.” Stephanie M. Laga, James D. Blakemore, Lawrence M. Henling, Bruce S. Brunschwig, and Harry B. Gray, Inorg. Chem. 2014, 53, 12668-12670.

 “Noncovalent Immobilization of Electrocatalysts for Fuel Production on Carbon Electrodes.”  James D. Blakemore, Ayush Gupta, Jeffrey J. Warren, Bruce S. Brunschwig, and Harry B. Gray, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2013, 135, 18288-18291.

“Distinguishing Homogeneous from Heterogeneous Catalysis in Electrode-Driven Water Oxidation with Molecular Iridium Complexes.” Nathan D. Schley, James D. Blakemore, Navaneetha K. Subbaiyan, Christopher D. Incarvito, Francis D’Souza, Robert H. Crabtree, and Gary W. Brudvig, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133, 10473-10481.  

“Anodic Deposition of a Robust Iridium Water-Oxidation Catalyst from Organometallic Precursors.” James D. Blakemore, Nathan D. Schley, Gerard W. Olack, Christopher D. Incarvito, Gary W. Brudvig and Robert H. Crabtree, Chemical Science, 2011, 2, 94-98.  

“Half-Sandwich Iridium Complexes for Homogeneous Water-Oxidation Catalysis.” James D. Blakemore, Nathan D. Schley, David Balcells, Jonathan F. Hull, Gerard W. Olack, Christopher D. Incarvito, Odile Eisenstein, Gary W. Brudvig, and Robert H. Crabtreee, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132, 16017-16029.

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Chemistry department receives more than $6 million in research grants annually
14 chemistry faculty members have NSF CAREER Awards
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