Silas C. Blackstock

Silas C. Blackstock



  • Postdoctoral Associate, Yale University, 1986-1988
  • Postdoctoral Associate, University of Houston, 1985-1986
  • PhD, University of Wisconsin, 1985
  • BS, Baylor University, 1979

Research Areas

  • Electron transfer chemistry
  • Molecular charge storage
  • Redox-gradient dendrimers
  • High-spin polyradical ions
  • Electron donor-acceptor bonding
  • Crystal engineering of polar solids


Organic electron transfer (ET) chemistry is the primary topic of our research. We study how electron loss from organic compounds affects their structure, properties, and reactivity. A major goal is the mechanistic understanding of ET mediated reactions so that new transformations based on ET mediation can be predicted.

One emphasis of our program is the synthesis of organic magnetic materials.  Here, polyredox molecules are specially constructed to have stable high-spin polyradical ion states accessible via reversible redox reactions.  Understanding the structure/spin content relation for polyradical cations and developing ways to self-assemble high-spin ions into ferromagnetic assemblies are the principal goals of this work.  In addition, the preparation of redox-gradient dendrimers is underway to provide a class of macromolecular charge-funnel compounds whose charge-transport properties are intended for use in new molecular scale information storage media and other charge storage applications.

Our research group is also investigating electron donor-acceptor bonding between organic groups and the use of these attractions to control the structure of crystal lattices. Here, donor-acceptor based molecular recognition phenomena are being developed as new tools for organic crystal engineering.

Our research involves organic synthesis, electrochemistry, NMR and ESR spectroscopy, photochemistry, x-ray crystallography, optical spectroscopy and probe microscopy.

Selected Publications

“Single Molecule Charging by Atomic Force Microscopy” Chotsuwan, C.; Blackstock, S. C. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 130, 12556 (2008).

“Interfaces between Metal and Arylamine Molecular Films As Probed with the Anode Interfacial Engineering Approach in Single-Layer Organic Diodes.” Li, J. C.; Blackstock, S. C.; Szulczewski, G. J. J. Phys. Chem. B 110, 17493-17497 (2006).

“A molecular salt of tricyanomethanide anion and a N,N’-dianisylphenazinium dication: cooperative affects of methoxy…methoxy and C=N…N+ intermolecular contacts.” McKay, S. E.; Wheeler, K. A.; Blackstock, S. C. CrystEngComm 8, 129-131 (2006).

“Pyrazine-N,N’-dioxide/tetracyanoethylene electron donor-acceptor bonding and the effect of donor steric demand and symmetry on the cocrystal assembly.” Kucharski, T. J.; Oxsher, J. R.; Blackstock, S. C. Tetrahedron Lett. 47, 4569-4572 (2006).

“Patterned Redox Arrays of Polyarylamines III. Effect of Molecular Structure and Oxidation Potential on Film Morphology and Hole-Injection in Single-Layer Organic Diodes.” Li, J. C.; Kim, K.-Y.; Blackstock, S. C.; Szulczewski, G. J., Chem. Mater., 16, 4711-4714, (2004).

“Patterned Redox Arrays of Poly Arylamines II. Growth of Thin Films and their Electrochemical Behavior.” Kim, K.-Y.; Hassenzahl, J. D.; Selby, T. D.; Szulczewski, G. J.; Blackstock, S. C. Chem. Mater. 14,1691 (2002).

“Patterned Redox Arrays of Poly Arylamines I. The Synthesis and Electrochemistry of a p-Phenylenediamine (PD) and Arylamino (AA) Appended PD Arrays.” Selby, T. D.; Kim, K.-Y.; Blackstock, S. C. Chem. Mater. 14,1685 (2002).

“Reactivity of the Gaseous Radical Cations of Trimethylenemethane and 2-Isopropylidenecyclopentane-1,3-diyl” Chou, P. K.; Gao, L.; Painter, S. L.; Blackstock, S. C.; Kentt‰maa, H. I. J.Phys. Chem. 104, 5530 (2000).

“A Chiral 2-D Donor-Acceptor Array of a Bipyrazine N-oxide and Tetracyanoethylene.” McGee, B. J.; Sherwood, L. J.; Greer, M. L.; Blackstock, S. C. Organic Letters 2, 1181 (2000).

“Triamino-s-triazine Triradical Trications. An Experimental Study of Triazine as a Magnetic Coupling Unit.” Selby, T. D.; Stickley, K. R.; Blackstock, S. C. Organic Letters 2, 171 (2000).