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Geoffrey W. Coates

Tisch University Professor, Chemistry

Olin Chemistry Research Wing, Room 560A

Educational Background

PhD, Stanford University, 1994
BA, Wabash College, 1989



Prof. Coates is the Tisch University Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University. His teaching and research interests involve science at the interface of organic, inorganic, and materials chemistry. The broader impacts of his research include benign polymers and chemical synthesis, the utilization of renewable resources, and materials safe and economical energy storage and conversion.


Polymer synthesis, stereoslective catalysis, mechanism of metal catalyzed reactions


  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Graduate Fields

  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology


  • 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)


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.


1. Cowman, C. D.; Padgett, E.; Tan, K. W.; Hovden, R.; Gu, Y.; Andrejevic, N.; Muller, D.; Coates, G. W.; Wiesner, U. B. “Multicomponent Nanomaterials with Complex Networked Architectures from Orthogonal Degradation and Binary Metal Backfilling in ABC Triblock Terpolymers” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 6026-6033.

2. Hugar, K. M.; Kostalik IV, H. A.; Coates, G. W. “Imidazolium Cations with Exceptional Alkaline Stability: A Systematic Study of Structure–Stability Relationships” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137, 8730–8737.

3. Webb, M. A.; Jung, Y.; Pesko, D. M.; Savoie, B. M.; Yamamoto, U.; Coates, G. W.; Balsara, N. P.; Wang, Z.-G.; Miller III, T. F. “Systematic Computational and Experimental Investigation of Lithium-Ion Transport Mechanisms in Polyester-Based Polymer Electrolytes” ACS Cent. Sci., 2015, 1, 198–205.

4. Auriemma, F. A.; De Rosa, C.; Di Caprio, M. R.; Di Girolamo, R.; Ellis, W. C.; Coates, G. W. “Stereocomplexed Poly(Limonene Carbonate): A Unique Example of the Co-Crystallization of Amorphous Enantiomeric Polymers” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 1215–1218.

5. Van Zee, N. J.; Coates, G. W. “Alternating Copolymerization of Propylene Oxide with Biorenewable Terpene-Based Cyclic Anhydrides: A Sustainable Route to Aliphatic Polyesters with High Glass Transition Temperatures” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 2665–2668.

6. Vaidya, T.; Klimovica, K.; LaPointe, A. M.; Keresztes, I.; Lobkovsky, E. B.; Daugulis, O.; Coates, G. W. “Secondary Alkene Insertion and Precision Chain-Walking: A New Route to Semicrystalline “Polyethylene” from Underutilized α-Olefins by Combining Two Rare Catalytic Events” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 7213–7216.

7. Longo, J. M.; DiCiccio, A. M.; Coates, G. W. “Poly(propylene succinate): A New Polymer Stereocomplex” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 1589715900.

8. Khurana, R.; Schaefer, J. L.; Archer, L. A.; Coates, G. W. “Suppression of Lithium Dendrite Growth Using Cross-Linked Polyethylene/Polyethylene Oxide Electrolytes: A New Approach for Practical Lithium-Metal Polymer Batteries” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 7395–7402.

9. John, J.; Hugar, K. M.; Rivera-Meléndez, J.; Kostalik, H. A.; Rus, E. D.; Wang, H.; Coates, G. W.; Abruña, H. D. ” An Electrochemical Quartz Crystal Microbalance Study of a Prospective Alkaline Anion Exchange Membrane Material for Fuel Cells: Anion Exchange Dynamics and Membrane Swelling” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 5309–5322.

10. Mulzer, M.; Tiegs, B. J.; Wang, Y.; Coates, G. W.; O'Doherty, G. A. “Total Synthesis of Tetrahydrolipstatin and Stereoisomers, via a Highly Regio- and Stereoselective Carbonylation of Epoxyhomoallylic Alcohols” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 10814–10820.