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  • Ian Tonks

    Assistant Professor

    • Inorganic & Organometallic Chemistry, Organometallic Synthesis and Catalysis
    • Organic Chemistry, Organometallic Synthesis and Catalysis
    • Polymer Chemistry, Polymer Synthesis
    • Environmental & Green Chemistry, CO2 Conversion
    • Energy & Catalysis
    • B.A. Columbia University, 2006 (Ged Parkin)
    • Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, 2011 (John Bercaw)
    • Post Doctorate University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2012 (Clark Landis)
    Office: 568A Kolthoff Hall

Principal Research Interests

Research in the Tonks group is focused on designing new and practical organometallic catalytic transformations for the atom-economical synthesis of complex chemicals from simple feedstocks. We currently have three major research interests:

  1. Using early transition metal catalysts for new redox reactions, and understanding how to access early transition metal redox manifolds. 
  2. Investigating cooperative effects in olefin polymerization toward new reactions such as CO2/ethylene copolymerization. 
  3. Exploring fundamental inorganic syntheses involving multimetallic and other potentially redox noninnocent regimes.

Our work involves a significant amount of organic, organometallic and inorganic synthesis, as well as detailed mechanistic studies. We regularly collaborate with theorists, organic chemists, and polymer chemists, with an eye toward translating our chemistry into practical, useful protocols.

Honors and Awards

  • University of Minnesota McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, 2018-2020
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Chemistry, 2017
  • National Institutes of Health Outstanding Investigator Award (MIRA-Maximizing Investigators' Research Award), 2016
  • American Chemical Society new investigator program grant, 2014

Mailing Address

  • Ian Tonks, University of Minnesota, Department of Chemistry
  • B-17, 139 Smith Hall, 207 Pleasant St SE
  • Minneapolis, MN 55455-0431