James D. Blakemore

James Blakemore
  • Associate Professor

Contact Info

3116 GL (ISB)
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
  • Materials
  • Catalysis


Blakemore Research Group Poster

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, and study of redox-induced reactivity in which the complexes participate. Our work spans from fundamental development of custom-tailored ligands to more applied electrochemical studies of redox-active compounds and molecular catalysts. 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). Through targeted collaborations, physicochemical insights from computational modeling, specialized spectroscopies, and structural work are pursued.

Selected Publications

Nilles, C.K., Borkowski, A.K., Bartlett, E.R., Stalcup. M.A., Lee, H.-J., Leonard, K.C., Subramaniam, B., Thompson, W.H., and Blakemore, J.D. Mechanistic Basis of Conductivity in Carbon Dioxide-Expanded Electrolytes: A Joint Experimental-Theoretical Study. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2024, 146, 2398-2410. https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.3c08145

Balduf, T., Blakemore, J.D., and Caricato, M. Computational Insights into the Influence of Ligands on Hydrogen Generation with [Cp*Rh] Hydrides. J. Phys. Chem. A 2023, 127, 6020-031. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.3c02550

Dopp, C.M., Golwankar, R.R., Kelsey, S.R., Douglas, J.T., Erickson, A.N., Oliver, A.G., Day, C.S., Day, V.W., and Blakemore, J.D. Vanadyl as a Spectroscopic Probe of Tunable Ligand Donor Strength in Bimetallic Complexes. Inorg. Chem. 2023, 62, 25, 9827-9843.  DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.3c00724

Mikeska, E.R., and Blakemore, J.D., Evidence for Reactivity of Decamethylcobaltocene with Dichloromethane. Organometallics 2023 Article ASAP. DOI: 10.1021/acs.organomet.3c00176

Henke, W.C., Peng, Y., Meier, A.A., Fujita, E., Grills, D.C., Polyansky, D.E., and Blakemore, J.D. Mechanistic roles of metal- and ligand-protonated species in hydrogen evolution with [Cp*Rh] complexes. PNAS 120 (21) e2217189120. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2217189120

Golwankar, R.R., Curry II, T.D., Paranjothi, C.J., and Blakemore, J.D. Molecular Influences on the Quantification of Lewis Acidity with Phosphine Oxide Probes. Inorg. Chem. 2023, 62, 25, 9765-9780. DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.3c00084

Stalcup, M.A., Nilles, C.K., Subramaniam, B., Blakemore, J.D., and Leonard, K.C. Distinguishing the mechanism of electrochemical carboxylation in CO2 eXpanded Electrolytes. Chem. Commun., 2023, 59, 5713. DOI:10.1039/d2cc06560f

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. – Chem. Eur. J.  2022, 28, e202103970, 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

Grant Goodman Undergraduate Mentor Award


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