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:

Synthesis and study of multimetallic coordination complexes. We are synthesizing and characterizing heterobimetallic complexes of uranium and other heavy elements, in order to understand how to predictably tune their chemical and electrochemical properties and reactivity.

Molecular catalysis and catalyst activation. We are investigating the activation pathways and catalytic activity of several classes of organometallic species, including half-sandwich rhodium complexes and early-transition metal catalysts for olefin activation.

Applications of the electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance. We are using piezoelectric gravimetry to understand interfacial reactivity during electrochemistry and electrocatalysis. Interfacial processes, like metal deposition, are often difficult to study but impact the efficiency of most electrode processes.

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.

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 and chemistries for carbon dioxide conversion to more useful chemicals.

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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.

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«Вода долбит не силой, а частым падением.»
Gutta cavat lapidem non vi, sed saepe cadendo.
Water carves not with force, but with frequent falling. –Ovid


Recent News

26 February 2021 – James presents an invited virtual departmental seminar at SUNY Binghamton on our group's work in unraveling the mechanism of H2 evolution by [Cp*Rh] complexes. Thanks to Prof. John Swierk for the invitation, and all the faculty and students at Binghamton for their warm welcome and hospitality. Great to connect and talk science!

1 January 2021 – Dr. Victor Day, our close collaborator since the start of our research group in 2016 and Director of the KU Small-Molecule X-ray Crystallography Laboratory, has retired from the University effective at the end of 2020. We congratulate Victor on this milestone, and look forward to continuing our productive collaboration in the months and years ahead!

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!

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, Lam Research Corporation, and the Spring Creek Fund.