Davide Lionetti

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Chemistry
Postdoctoral Scholar
Primary office:
lab: 785-864-4633
University of Kansas
1251 Wescoe Hall Dr.
Lawrence, Kansas 66045


Davide Lionetti is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the group of Assistant Professor James Blakemore in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kansas. Originally from Milan, Italy, Davide received his B.S. in Chemistry (with a minor in Medieval Studies) from the University of Notre Dame, where he was an undergraduate researcher in the laboratory of Professor Seth Brown. Davide carried out his doctoral studies at the California Institute of Technology in the group of Professor Theodor Agapie, receiving his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2016. Davide’s graduate research in bioinorganic chemistry focused on synthesis and small-molecule reactivity studies of heterometallic metal complexes as models of enzymatic active sites.

Davide joined the Blakemore group at KU in January 2016, leading the initial setup of the laboratory of Prof. Blakemore and training and mentoring the first several classes of graduate and undergraduate researchers in the group. At KU, Davide’s research focuses on mechanistic and thermochemical studies on candidate catalysts for transformations of relevance to energy science and immobilization of molecular metal complexes on electrode surfaces. Davide’s research interests are centered on tackling the challenge of environmental sustainability via the development of inorganic and organometallic compounds as catalysts that can efficiently perform the molecular transformations necessary to enable storage of renewable energy in chemical bonds and generation of useful chemicals from renewable feedstocks. Davide’s contributions to environmental sustainability at KU as a researcher and mentor in the Blakemore group have been recognized with the University of Kansas Sustainability Leadership Award for Staff Scholarship in April 2018.

Google Scholar Profile


PhD, Caltech, 2016
BS, University of Notre Dame, 2009

Selected Publications

Publications from the University of Kansas

13. Boyd, E.A., Lionetti, D., Henke, W.C., Day, V.W., and Blakemore, J.D.* Preparation, Characterization, and Electrochemical Activation of a Model [Cp*Rh] Hydride, Inorg. Chem.2018, Article ASAP, doi: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.8b02160
     *** Selected to be featured on the journal Front Cover! ***

12. Lionetti, D., Day, V.W., Lassalle-Kaiser, B., and Blakemore, J.D., Multiple Binding Modes of an Unconjugated Bis(pyridine) Ligand Stabilize Low-Valent [Cp*Rh] Complexes, Chem. Commun., 201854, 1694-1697, doi: 10.1039/C7CC09164H
     ** Selected to be featured on the journal cover! doi: 10.1039/C8CC90069H

11. Kumar, A., Lionetti, D., Day, V.W., and Blakemore, J.D., Trivalent Lewis Acidic Cations Govern the Electronic Properties and Stability of Heterobimetallic Complexes of Nickel, Chem. Eur. J., 2018, 24, 141-149,  doi: 10.1002/chem.201704006
     ** Chosen as a "Hot Paper" by the Editors for its importance in the rapidly evolving field of Lewis Acid-modulated redox chemistry.
     ** Selected to be featured on the Journal cover! doi: 10.1002/chem.201705512

10. Henke, W.C., Lionetti, D., Moore, W.N.G., Hopkins, J.A., Day, V.W., and Blakemore, J.D., Ligand Substituents Govern the Efficiency and Mechanistic Path of Hydrogen Production with [Cp*Rh] Catalysts, ChemSusChem201710, 4589-4598, doi: 10.1002/cssc.201701416
     ** Invited contribution for special issue Artificial Photosynthesis for Sustainable Fuels

9. Lionetti, D., Day, V.W., and Blakemore, J.D., Noncovalent immobilization and surface characterization of lanthanide complexes on carbon electrodes, Dalton Trans.201746, 11779-11789, doi: 10.1039/C7DT02577G

8. Peng, Y., Ramos-Garcés, M.V., Lionetti, D., and Blakemore, J.D., Structural and Electrochemical Consequences of [Cp*] Ligand Protonation, Inorg. Chem.201756, 10824-10831, doi: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.7b01895

7. Lionetti, D., Day, V.W., and Blakemore, J.D., Synthesis and Electrochemical Properties of Half-Sandwich Rhodium and Iridium Methyl Complexes, Organometallics201736, 1897-1905, doi: 10.1021/acs.organomet.7b00136

Previous Publications

6. Lionetti, D., deRuiter, G., and Agapie, T., A Trans-Hyponitrite Intermediate in the Reductive Coupling and Deoxygenation of Nitric Oxide by a Tricopper–Lewis Acid Complex, J. Am. Chem. Soc.2016138, 5008-5011, doi: 10.1021/jacs.6b01083

5. deRuiter, G., Thompson, N.B., Lionetti, D., and Agapie, T., Nitric Oxide Activation by Distal Redox Modulation in Tetranuclear Iron Nitrosyl Complexes, J. Am. Chem. Soc.2015137, 14094-14106, doi: 10.1021/jacs.5b07397

4. Lionetti, D. and Agapie, T., How Calcium Affects Oxygen Formation, Nature2014513, 495-496, doi: 10.1038/nature13753  (News and Views article)

3. Herbert, D.E., Lionetti, D., Rittle, J., and Agapie, T., Heterometallic Triiron-Oxo/Hydroxo Clusters: Effect of Redox-Inactive Metals, J. Am. Chem. Soc.2013135, 19075-19078, doi: 10.1021/ja4104974

2. Lionetti, D., Day, M.W., and Agapie, T., Metal-Templated Ligand Architectures for Trinuclear Chemistry: Tricopper Complexes and Their O2 Chemistry, Chem. Sci.20134, 785-790, doi: 10.1039/c2sc21758a 

1. Lionetti, D., Medvecz, A.J., Ugrinova, V., Quiroz-Guzman, M., Noll, B.C., and Brown, S.N., Redox-Active Tripodal Aminetris(aryloxide) Complexes of Titanium(IV),  Inorg. Chem.201049, 4687-4697, doi: 10.1021/ic100347h 

Recent News

21 August 2022 – James attended the ACS National Meeting in Chicago this week, and delivered an invited talk on our electrochemical uranyl functionalization chemistry. Thanks to Korey Carter and Tori Forbes (U. Iowa) for the invitation to present in their symposium "Macromolecular, Supramolecular, and Solid-State Structural Chemistry of Actinides." Great to see many folks at the meeting and talk about new chemistry!

15 August 2022 – Congratulations to our grauate student Christian Nilles on being awarded a Best Poster Presentation Prize at the 2022 Great Plains Catalysis Society Annual Meeting! The meeting was held in Ames, Iowa, and Christian presented his work on developing new media for carbon dioxide conversion. He was selected for the Prize by a panel of expert judges working in catalysis in both academia & industry. Well done, Christian!

26–30 June 2022 – James and Riddhi attend the 29th Rare Earth Research Conference (RERC29) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. James delivered an invited talk on the first morning of the meeting on the topic of "Redox Tuning of Tripodal Cerium Complexes with Secondary Metal Cations," and Riddhi was awarded a Best Poster Prize for her work on "Electrochemical Activation of the Uranyl Ion." Thanks to Prof. Eric Schelter and Dr. Marta Guron (U. Penn) for organizing such a great meeting—a truly inspirational experience!


Funding Sources

Our work is supported by the US Department of Energy, US National Science Foundation, the Chevron Phillips Chemical, Lam Research Corp., and the Spring Creek Fund.