Silas 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

Organic Host Encapsulation Effects on Nitrosobenzene Monomer-Dimer Distribution and C-NO Bond Rotation in an Aqueous Solution,” Varadharajan, R.; Kelley, S. A.; Jayasinghe-Arachchige, V. M.; Prabhakar, R.; Ramamurthy, V.; Blackstock, S. C. ACS Org. Inorg. Au, 2022, 2, 175–185.  Journal cover

Photo-Electro-Switchable Arylamino-Aobenzenes,” Saint-Louis, C. J.; Warner, D. J.; Keane, K. S.; Kelley, M. D.; Meyers, C.; Blackstock, S. C., J. Org. Chem. 2021,86, 11341-11353

Bridged Azobenzenes and Their Chemical Applications.” Warner, D. J., Keane, K. S. and Blackstock, S. C.  In The Chemistry of Nitrogen-Rich Functional Groups; Liebman, J. F., Greer, A., Eds.; Patai’s Chemistry of Functional Groups Series, John Wiley & Sons, 2019, ch 4; pp 65-113.

Bridged Azobenzenes and Their Biological Applications,” Warner, D. J., Keane, K. S., Saint‐Louis, C. J. and Blackstock, S. C.  In The Chemistry of Nitrogen-Rich Functional Groups; Liebman, J. F., Greer, A., Eds.; Patai’s Chemistry of Functional Groups Series, John Wiley & Sons, 2019, ch 9; pp 251-285

Evaluating the Large Magnetic Anisotropy of the Nitroso Group in Oriented Nitrosoarenes,” Owens, C. E.; Kelley, S. A.; Blackstock, S. C. JOSHUA (The Journal of Science and Health at the University of Alabama), 2018,15, 26-31

Redox Auxiliary Catalysis,” Blackstock, S. C.; Gray, L. T., III; Kelley, M. D.; Saint-Louis, C. J. U.S. Patent 9,469,602 B2, Oct 18, 2016