Research interests in the Yoon laboratory include: Organic synthesis, Asymmetric Catalysis, Photochemistry, Reaction mechanisms, and Organometallics

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One major theme of research in the Yoon laboratory is the use of photochemistry to assemble otherwise unaccessible structures with precise stereocontrol

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Yoon Group News

  • Cooperative Photocatalytic Stereocontrol

    In the process of developing an enantioselective [2+2] photocycloaddition of vinylpyridines, Steven and Wes discovered stereochemical cooperativity between a chiral Brønsted acid catalyst and a chiral Ir photocatalyst. It’s a gratifying demonstration that matched/mismatched effects …

  • Cu-mediated Decarboxylative Coupling

    The Yoon lab’s first publication of 2022 is a new oxidative decarboxylative coupling process based on the intrinsic photochemistry of Cu(II) carboxylate complexes. Check out the paper in Nature Chemistry. Congratulations Yukki, Sam, Grace, Kimberly, …

  • Chiral Photocatalyst Review

    How have photochemists approached the design of chiral photocatalysts? Matt, Jesse, and Wes have thoughts in their new comprehensive review in Chem Rev.

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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

A common research interest across our research projects involves the investigation of novel oxidation reactions. In one area, we have investigated the chemistry of oxaziridines, which are three-membered heterocycles that undergo a wide range of unusual oxidative functionalization reactions. We are also identifying the reaction parameters that are most important for successful oxidative photochemical reactions.