James D Blakemore

James Blakemore
  • Associate Professor
  • Member of KU faculty since 2016

Contact Info

3116 ISB (CDS1)
1567 Irving Hill Road
Lawrence, KS 66045


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


  • Inorganic
  • Organometallic
  • Energy
  • Synthesis
  • Catalysis
  • Materials


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

Henke, W.C., Stiel, J.P., Day, V.W., and Blakemore, J.D.* Evidence for Charge Delocalization in Diazafluorene Ligands Supporting Low-Valent [Cp*Rh] Complexes, Chem. – Eur. J.  2022, in press, doi: 10.1002/chem.202103970

Comadoll, C.G., Henke, W.C., Hopkins Leseberg, J.A., Douglas, J.T., Oliver, A.G., Day, V.W., and Blakemore, J.D.* Examining the Modular Synthesis of [Cp*Rh] Monohydrides Supported by Chelating Diphosphine Ligands, Organometallics 2021, 40, 3808–3818, doi: 10.1021/acs.organomet.1c00525

Kumar, A., Barr, J.L., Cruz, C.A., and Blakemore, J.D.,* Heterobimetallic [Ti,Al] Complexes: Divergent Synthesis, Redox Properties, and Ethylene Polymerization Catalysis, Organometallics 2021, 40, 2139-2148, doi: 10.1021/acs.organomet.1c00282

Kelsey, S.R., Kumar, A., Oliver, A.G., Day, V.W., and Blakemore, J.D.* Promotion and Tuning of the Electrochemical Reduction of Hetero- and Homobimetallic Zinc Complexes, ChemElectroChem 2021, 8, 2792-2802, doi: 10.1002/celc.202100358

Hopkins Leseberg, J.A., Lionetti, D., Day, V.W., and Blakemore, J.D.* Electrochemical Kinetic Study of [Cp*Rh] Complexes Supported by Bis(2-pyridyl)methane Ligands, Organometallics 2021, 40, 266-277, doi: 10.1021/acs.organomet.0c00747

Kumar, A. and Blakemore, J.D.* On the Use of Aqueous Metal-Aqua pKa Values as a Descriptor of Lewis Acidity, Inorg. Chem. 2021, 60, 1107-1115 doi: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.0c03239

Sconyers, D.J., Shaughnessy, C.I., Lee, H.-J., Subramaniam, B.,* Leonard, K.C.,* and Blakemore, J.D.* Enhancing Molecular Electrocatalysis of CO2 Reduction with Pressure-Tunable CO2-Expanded Electrolytes ChemSusChem 2020, 13, 6338-6345, doi: 10.1002/cssc.202000390

Kumar, A., Lionetti, D., Day, V.W., and Blakemore, J.D.*Redox-Inactive Metal Cations Modulate the Reduction Potential of the Uranyl Ion in Macrocyclic Complexes, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 3032-3041, doi: 10.1021/jacs.9b11903

Link to Complete List of Publications

Awards & Honors

K. Barbara Schowen Undergraduate Research Mentor Award

DOE Early Career Award

NSF EPSCoR Research Fellowship

Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship, Caltech Resnick Sustainability Institute

Postdoctoral Fellowship, NSF CCI Solar Fuels

Richard Wolfgang Prize, Yale University

Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates and Students