Jom Amtawong, PhD

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Science - Chemistry

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

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Assistant Professor, Faculty of Science - Chemistry


Area of Study / Keywords

Inorganic Chemistry Coordination Chemistry (Electro)catalysis Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer


Postdoc, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2021 - 2023)

PhD (Chemistry), University of California, Berkeley (2016 - 2021)

BS (Chemistry), University of California, Irvine (2012 - 2016)


Goal: Design new (electro)catalysts with improved efficiency, durability, and cost-effectiveness for sustainable energy applications.

Motivation: The continuous consumption of fossil fuels, such as oil and coal, is a major threat to the global economy and the environment. As we strive for a sustainable future, there is an urgent need to refine existing processes and develop new innovations to reduce cost and energy requirements and eliminate nonrenewable byproducts. 

Approach: A potential solution to the current energy and environmental issues may be found by taking inspiration from nature, as natural systems are able to perform challenging chemical transformations under ambient conditions. Proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) processes are foundational chemical transformations involving the transfers of protons and electrons critical in many, if not most, energy conversion and storage applications. Our research focuses on creating (electro)catalysts that can help perform versatile PCET reactions, inspired by biological systems. We aim to develop transition metal complexes that mimic important aspects of enzymatic systems, capable of facilitating energy conversion and storage reactions under benign conditions. 

Tools: We use a range of synthetic, spectroscopic, and electroanalytical methods to explore the functions of our novel catalysts in facilitating PCET reactions. Students will acquire skills in synthesizing organic compounds and transition metal complexes using both standard bench-top and advanced air-free techniques. Various spectroscopic and diffraction techniques will be used to characterize the synthesized molecules. Additionally, electroanalytical techniques including cyclic voltammetry, spectroelectrochemistry, controlled-potential electrolysis, and open circuit potential measurements will be employed to investigate the electrocatalytic properties of our complexes.

Featured Publications

Jaruwan Amtawong, Charlotte L. Montgomery, Gabriella P. Bein, Austin L. Raithel, Thomas W. Hamann, Chun-Hsing Chen, and Jillian L. Dempsey

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2024 February; 146 (6):3742–3754 10.1021/jacs.3c10408

Jaruwan Amtawong, Andy I. Nguyen, and T. Don Tilley

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2022 January; 144 (4):1475–1492 10.1021/jacs.1c11445

Jaruwan Amtawong, David Balcells, Jarett Wilcoxen, Rex C. Handford, Naomi Biggins, Andy I. Nguyen, R. David Britt, and T. Don Tilley

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019 November; 141 (50):19859–19869 10.1021/jacs.9b10320