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

  • Bronsted acid triplet activation

    Evan and Hoimin’s discovery of Bronsted acid catalyzed triplet sensitization is online at Chem Sci. This third chapter in our triplet activation story is again in collaboration with the Baik group at KAIST.

  • Welcome Matthew!

    The Yoon lab is pleased to welcome its newest graduate student, Matthew Rossler!  

  • Benzylic Alkoxylation

    BJ and Kimberly have developed a method for alkoxylation of benzylic C–H bonds with a range of alcohol nucleophiles, featuring very high site-selectivity and functional group compatibility. The method, first reported on ChemRxiv, has now …

  • 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!

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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.