Robert Crabtree

Robert Crabtree's picture
Conkey P. Whitehead Professor of Chemistry
225 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511-8499
203 432 3925

Member of Yale faculty since 1977

The 7th edition of my The Organometallic Chemistry of the Transition Metals (Wiley) is available from July 2019.


Design and synthesis of inorganic, coordination or organometallic molecules with unusual structures and properties. These are typically catalytic properties for atom economic (green) transformations, bioinorganic relevance or utility in alternative energy strategies, such as solar energy and hydrogen storage. Molecular recognition is applied to homogeneous catalysis to obtain high selectivity. Computational and physicochemical insights are obtained from collaborative work.


B.A. New College, Oxford 1970
Ph.D. Sussex University 1973
Postdoctoral Fellow, CNRS, Gif-s-Yvette, France, 1973-75
Attaché de Recherche, Gif, 1975-77


DuPont Young Faculty Fellow, 1977
A.P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, 1981
Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, 1982
Corday-Morgan Medal, 1984
Albright and Wilson Visiting Prof., Warwick, 1986
Editorial Board, Chemical Reviews, 1990
Organometallic Chemistry Prize of RSC, 1991
Organometallic Chemistry Prize of ACS, 1993
Mack Award, Ohio State Univ., 1994
Chair, Div. of Inorg. Chem., ACS., 1998
Dow Lecturer, Univ. of Ottowa, 1999
ISI Highly Cited Author Award, 2000
Bailar Medal, Univ. of Illinois, 2001
Ed. Board, Coor. Chem. Rev., 2002-present
Dow Lecturer, Berkeley, Williams Lecture, Oxford, 2004
Sabatier Lecture, Toulouse; Brewster Lecture, Kansas, 2006
Board of Regional Editors, Science, 2006-present 
Karcher Medal (Oklahoma), 2007
Pedersen Lecture (duPont), Lutz Lecture (U Va), 2008
John Osborn Lecturer (Strasbourg); Mond Lecture Series, Roy. Soc. Chem; Shore Lecture (Ohio State U), 2009
Kosolapoff Award (ACS and Auburn Univ), 2010
Rothchild Lecture (Rochester U), 2010
Stauffer Lecture (USC), 2010
C.P. Whitehead Professor, Yale, 2010
King Lecture (U Ga), 2011
Fellow of ACS, 2011
Fellow of IUPAC, 2011
Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, 2011
McElvain Lecture (U Wisc., Madison), 2013
Yale Postdoctoral Mentoring Award, 2013
Siedle Lecture (U Indiana), 2014
Centenary Award (Roy. Soc. Chem.), 2014
Goates Award (Wyoming), 2015
D.Sc.(Hon) Bath Univ. UK, 2016
Eisch Lecture (SUNY, Binghampton), 2016
Hillger Lecture (Wm. & Mary), 2016
Nat. Acad. Sci. (USA), 2017
Encycl. Reagents Org. Synth. Best Reagent Award, 2018
Connecticut Academy of Sciences, 2018
Fellow of the Royal Society, 2018

Recent Publications

Sharninghausen, L. S.; Sinha, S. B.; Shopov, D. Y.; Balcells, D.; Brudvig, G. W.; Crabtree, R. H., Synthesis and Characterization of Iridium(V) Coordination Complexes With an N,O-Donor Organic Ligand. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 12047-51.

Crabtree, R.H. Nitrogen-Containing Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers: Progress and Prospects. ACS Sustain. Chem. 2017, 5, 4491-4498.

Michaelos, T.; Shopov, D. Y.; Sinha, S. B.; Sharninghausen, L. S.; Fisher, K.; Lant, H.; Crabtree, R. H.; Brudvig, G. W. A Pyridine Alkoxide Chelate Ligand that Promotes Both Unusually High Oxidation States and Water-Oxidation Catalysis, Acc. Chem. Res., 2017, 50, 952-959.

Fisher, K. J.; Materna, K. L.; Mercado, B. Q.; Crabtree, R. H.; Brudvig, G. W. Electrocatalytic Water Oxidation by a Copper(II) Complex of an Oxidation-Resistant Ligand, ACS Catal., 2017, 7, 3384.

Sinha, S. B.; Shopov, D. Y.; Sharninghausen, L. S.; Stein, C. J.; Mercado, B. Q.; Balcells, D.; Pedersen, T. B.; Reiher, M.; Brudvig, G. W.; Crabtree, R. H. Redox Activity of Oxo-Bridged Iridium Dimers in an N,O-Donor Environment: Characterization of Remarkably Stable Ir(IV,V) Complexes. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 9672-83. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b04874.

Shopov, D. Y.; Rudshteyn, B.; Campos, J.; Vinyard, D. J.; Batista, V. S.; Brudvig, G. W.; Crabtree, R. H. A Full Set of Iridium(IV) Pyridine-Alkoxide Stereoisomers: Highly Geometry-Dependent Redox Properties, Chem. Sci., 2016, 138, 15917-15926.

Jewess, M. J.; Crabtree, R. H. Electrocatalytic Nitrogen Fixation for Distributed Fertilizer Production?, ACS Sustainable Chem. & Eng., 2016, 4, 5855-5858.

Huang, D.; Beltrán-Suito, R.; Thomsen, J.; Hashmi, S.; Materna, K.; Sheehan, S.; Mercado, B.; Brudvig, G. W.; Crabtree, R. H. A new Ir bis-carbonyl precursor for water oxidation catalysis. Inorg. Chem., 2016, 55, 2427-2435.

Blakemore, J. D.; Crabtree, R. H.; Brudvig, G. W. Molecular Catalysts for Water Oxidation. Chem. Rev., 2015, 115, 12974-13005.

Sinha, S. B.; Shopov, D. Sharninghausen, L.; Vinyard, D.; Mercado, B.; Brudvig, G. W.; Crabtree, R. H. A Stable Coordination Complex of Rh(IV) in an N,O-donor Environment. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137, 15692-15695.

Research Interests

Room Number: 
CRB 230