Research in the Yoon group focuses on the development of new reaction methods for organic synthesis.

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Lab Work

We use catalysis to increase process efficiency, controlling reaction selectivity, and reducing the environmental impact of chemical synthesis.

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Yoon Group News

  • Triplet Rebound

    Jian, Wes, Hoimin, Kaz, and Jesse have identified an unusual mechanism of enantioselective photoactivation in a JACS full paper. This study required synthetic and kinetic studies from our group, transient absorption spectroscopy in Jerry Meyer‘s …

  • Enantioselective [2+2] Cinnamate Photocycloadditions

    Mary Beth and BJ’s study of asymmetric cinnamate ester photocycloadditions appears in JACS. Part of a great collaboration with the Baik group at KAIST!

  • Photocatalytic Pyrrolidine Synthesis

    We are pleased to contribute Adrian and Evan’s article on a Photocatalytic Strategy for Pyrrolidine Synthesis to the Asian JOC Special Issue on Heterocyclic Chemistry.

  • Counteranion Effects in Photoredox Catalysis

    Elliot, Steven, and Wes have published a full paper in JACS analyzing the origins of a surprising counteranion effect in photocatalytic radical anion Diels–Alder cycloadditions. A paper six years in the making!

  • Cope Scholar Award

    Tehshik is honored to be a recipient of a 2019 Cope Scholar Award — along with colleague Bob McMahon!

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The Yoon Research Group is a collaborative team of researchers in synthetic organic chemistry. We specialize in organic photochemistry, radical chemistry, and stereoselective synthesis. We are particularly interested in the development of novel catalytic methodology as a strategy for increasing process efficiency, controlling reaction selectivity, and reducing the environmental impact of chemical synthesis.


A central theme of research in the Yoon lab is the development of synthetically useful photochemical reactions that can be conducted using visible light. Most organic compounds, however, absorb light only at short UV wavelengths that are relatively poorly emitted in the solar spectrum. We are investigating strategies to use transition metal photosensitizers that can catalyze interesting new photochemical reactions at long wavelengths of visible light that are abundant in the solar spectrum.

Oxidation Chemistry

Another research thrust in our lab involves the investigation of novel oxidation reactions that can be induced by activation of heteroatom-heteroatom bonds. We have been particularly interested in the chemistry of oxaziridines, which are three-membered heterocycles composed of nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon. We are developing transition metal-catalyzed processes that induce oxaziridines to react with organic substrates in a variety of useful transformations.