Welcome to the home page of the Blakemore Group! We are a research group in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kansas.

Our aim is to improve the sustainable production of chemicals, fuels, and energy using the tools of inorganic and organometallic chemistry, molecular electrochemistry, and surface chemistry. Our active projects are diverse in scope and span a number of topics:

Molecular catalysis and metal-ligand cooperation. We are investigating the reactivity and catalytic properties of half-sandwich metal complexes, and are specifically focused on understanding the interconversion of [Cp*] and [Cp*H] ligands as a route to development of new catalysts.

Coordination chemistry of multimetallic complexes. We are synthesizing and characterizing heterobimetallic complexes, in order to understand their properties and rationally design improved complexes for new applications. Our specific focus is on understanding how two closely spaced metals impact each others' properties.

Applications of the electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance. We are using the EQCM to probe the formation and reactivity properties of metallic solids during reductive molecular electrocatalysis, a challenge that impacts understanding of mechanism and electrocatalyst function in energy research.

Structure-function studies of chemically modified electrodes. We are studying the immobilization of metal complexes on electrodes in order to understand the role of molecular structure in their behavior and stability. Our goal is to rationally design systems for applications in areas like separations science.

New media for carbon dioxide conversion. In collaboration with Profs. Kevin Leonard and Bala Subramaniam at the KU Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis, we are developing new media for carbon dioxide conversion to more useful chemicals.

Photoinduced reactivity. In collaboration with Prof. Chris Elles, our group is designing new metal complexes for studies of light-induced reactivity, in order to build up a platform of compounds for use in photodynamic therapy.

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We need the kind of courage that can withstand the subtle corruption of the cynics, so that 
we can show the world that we are not afraid of the future.
It has always been easy to hate and destroy, but to build and to cherish is [the real challenge].
–Elizabeth R.


Recent News

28 May 2020 – James has been officially awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, effective with the start of the upcoming academic year. Looking forward to more good chemistry in the years ahead!

26 May 2020 – The Blakemore Laboratory ramps up to resume experimental work in ISB following a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. We send our warmest greetings to colleagues returning to their labs elsewhere, and wish everyone a safe and healthy return to work!

15 April 2020 – Congratulations to Dr. David Sconyers on passing his Dissertation Defense with Honors! David, who joined the group in our first cohort of graduate students in 2015, is the first member of our group to complete the Ph.D. degree. Way to go, David!

Funding Sources

Our work is supported by the US Department of Energy, US National Science Foundation, KU Hall Chemical Research Fund, the Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP and the Spring Creek Fund.