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Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

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Faculty Detail

Coates, Geoffrey W

Tisch University Professor

phone: 607/255-5447
room: Olin Chemistry Research Wing, Room 560A


Department Appointments

  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CHEM)

Graduate Fields

  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Other Affiliations

  • Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR)
  • Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR) Polymer Characterization Facility
  • Energy Materials Center at Cornell
  • Kavli Institute at Cornell for NanoScale Science
  • Nanobiotechnology Center (NBTC)
  • Polymer Outreach Program (POP)


Polymer synthesis, stereoslective catalysis, mechanism of metal catalyzed reactions


The Coates Group studies the development of new catalysts that can be used for the synthesis of small molecules and polymers. Projects in the Coates Group are interdisciplinary,  addressing problems at the interface of organic, inorganic, organometallic, and polymer chemistry.


The research focus of my group is the development of new synthetic strategies for producing polymers of defined structure. The control of polymer composition, architecture, stereochemistry, and molecular weight allows the indirect control of polymer properties via polymer morphology. Our research projects are interdisciplinary, addressing problems at the interface of organic, inorganic, organometallic, and polymer chemistry.

Selected Publications

Robertson, N. J.; Kostalik IV, H. A.; Clark, T. J.; Mutolo, P. F.; Abruña, H. D.; Coates, G. W. “Tunable High Performance Crosslinked Alkaline Anion Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 3400-3404.

Dunn, E. W.; Coates, G. W, “Carbonylative Polymerization of Propylene Oxide: A Multicatalytic Approach to the Synthesis of Poly(3-Hydroxybutyrate)” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 11412–11413.

Thomas, R. M.; Widger, P. C. B.; Ahmed, S. M.; Jeske, R. C.; Hirahata, W.; Lobkovsky, E. B.; Coates, G. W. “Enantioselective Epoxide Polymerization Using a Bimetallic Cobalt Catalyst” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 16520-16525.

Kramer, J. W.; Treitler, D. S.; Dunn, E. W.; Castro, P. M.; Roisnel, T.; Thomas, C. M.; Coates, G. W. “Polymerization of Enantiopure Monomers Using Syndiospecific Catalysts: A New Approach To Sequence Control in Polymer Synthesis” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 16042-16044.

Edson, J. B.; Wang, Z.; Kramer, E. J.; Coates, G. W. “Fluorinated Bis(phenoxyketimine)titanium Complexes for the Living, Isoselective Polymerization of Propylene: Multiblock Isotactic Polypropylene Copolymers via Sequential Monomer Addition" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 4968-4977.

Rowley, J. M.; Lobkovsky, E. B.; Coates, G. W. “Catalytic Double Carbonylation of Epoxides to Succinic Anhydrides: Catalyst Discovery, Reaction Scope, and Mechanism” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 4948-4960.

Awards and Distinctions

  • 2009 Carl S. Marvel Creative Polymer Chemistry Award, American Chemical Society
  • 2009 Award for Affordable Green Chemistry, American Chemical Society
  • 2008, NYSTAR Faculty Development Award
  • 2006 American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow
  • 2006 Stephen and Margery Russell Distinguished Teaching Award
  • 2005 NSF Special Creativity Award
  • 2001 Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award
  • 2001 Akron Section Award of the American Chemical Society
  • 2000 David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship in Science and Engineering
  • 2000 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award
  • 2000 Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, Young Investigator Award
  • 1999 A.K. Doolittle Award, American Chemical Society
  • 1999 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow
  • 1999 CAREER Award, National Science Foundation
  • 1999 MIT Technology Review Award
  • 1998 Research Corporation Innovation Award
  • 1997 Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award