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David Jenkins

David M. Jenkins

Professor, Associate Head of Undergraduate Education


Our group’s research focuses on inorganic and organic synthesis to develop chemical systems ranging from catalysis to porous frameworks. We concentrate on two distinct areas of research, both of which are centered around the use of N-heterocycles for their distinctive properties. The first area is focused on developing macrocyclic tetra N-heterocyclic carbene ligands to stabilize metal-ligand multiple bonds for oxidative group transfer reactions.  Typical catalysis studies focus on aziridination. The second area we investigate utilizes triazoles in the development of new metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) or metal-organic nanotubes (MONTs).  Typical research focuses on making novel breathing motions for these porous materials. To characterize the broad spectrum of compounds and materials that we synthesize, we apply a wide variety of analytical techniques including nuclear magnetic resonance and other spectroscopies, mass spectrometry, porosity measurements, and X-ray diffraction, including both powder and single crystal.


Dr. Jenkins completed his B.A. in chemistry from Cornell University in 2000, where he conducted research with Prof. Héctor Abruña on the synthesis and electrochemistry of phenanthroline-based copper complexes. He received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 2005, under the direction of Prof. Jonas Peters, for his study of low-spin pseudo-tetrahedral cobalt(II) complexes. While at Caltech, Dr. Jenkins synthesized the first cobalt-imide complex. Dr. Jenkins then joined the laboratory of Prof. Jeffrey Long as a Miller Institute for Basic Research postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. His research at U.C. Berkeley focused on the development of pentadentate capping ligands for utilization in single-molecule magnets and other magnetic materials. Dr. Jenkins joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee in 2008 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014.


B.A., Cornell University (2000)
Ph.D., California Institute of Technology (2005)

Awards and Recognitions

NSF Graduate Fellow, NSF CAREER Award
Miller Instistute for Basic Research in Science Postdoctoral Fellow
Gleb Mamantov Professor


Synthesis of Fully Aliphatic Aziridines with a Macrocyclic Tetracarbene Iron Catalyst, Chandrachud, Preeti P.; Jenkins, David M., Organometallics201635, 1652–1657.
Cover art for the June 13, 2016 edition of Organometallics

Insights into the Morphology and Kinetics of Growth of Silver Metal–Organic Nanotubes, Etampawala, Thusitha; Mull, Derek L.; Keum, Jong K.; Jenkins, David M.; Dadmun, Mark, Cryst. Growth Des.201616, 1395–1403.

Isoreticular synthesis of 2D MOFs with rotating aryl rings, Hughes, Brianna C.; Murdock, Christopher R.; Jenkins, David M. Inorg. Chem. Front.20152, 1001-1005.

High valent FeIV chemistry in sustainable oxidation catalysis, Chandrachud, Preeti P.; Jenkins, David M., Tetrahedron Lett.201556, 2369-2376.

Probing the Role of an FeIV Tetrazene in Catalytic Aziridination, Cramer, S. Alan; Sanchez, Raul Hernandez; Brakhage, Desirae F.; Jenkins, David M., Chem Comm201450, 13967-13970.

Isostructural Synthesis of Porous Metal-Organic Nanotubes, Murdock, Christopher R. and Jenkins, David, M. J. Am. Chem. Soc.2014136, 10983–10988.

Overcoming NHCs neutrality: installing tetracarbenes on group 13 and 14 metals, Cramer, S. Alan; Sturgill, Forrest L.; Chandrachud, Preeti P.; and Jenkins, David M.Dalton Trans.201443, 7687-7690.

Rotating Phenyl Rings as a Guest-Dependent Switch in Two-Dimensional Metal–Organic Frameworks, Murdock, Christopher R.; McNutt, Nicholas W.; Keffer, David J.; Jenkins, David M. JAmChemSoc., 2014136, 671-678.

The final unadorned tris(azolyl)borate: finishing what Trofimenko started in 1966. Hughes, Brianna C.; Lu, Zheng; Jenkins, David M. Chem. Commun.,201450, 5273-5275.

Approaches for synthesizing breathing MOFs by exploiting dimensional rigidity. Murdock, Christopher R.; Hughes, Brianna C.; Lu, Zheng; Jenkins, David M. Coord. Chem. Rev. 2014258-259, 119-136.

Exploiting a dimeric silver transmetallating reagent to synthesize macrocyclic tetracarbene complexes. Lu, Zheng; Cramer, S. Alan; Jenkins, David M. Chem. Sci. 2012, 3, 3081-3087.

Atom-Economical C2 + N1 Aziridination: Progress towards Catalytic Intermolecular Reactions Using Alkenes and Aryl Azides.  Jenkins, D. M. Synlett, 2012, 23,1267-1270.

Utilizing a copper MOF as a reagent in a solvent mediated reaction to form a topologically distinct MOF. Murdock, Christopher R.; Lu, Zheng; Jenkins, David M. Dalton Trans. 2012, 41, 7839-7841.

Chloride binding by a polyimidazolium macrocycle detected via fluorescence, NMR, and X-ray crystallography. Do-Thanh, Chi-Linh; Khanal, Neelam; Lu, Zheng; Cramer, S. Alan; Jenkins, David M.; Best, Michael D. Tetrahedron 2012, 68,1669-1673..

Synthesis of Aziridines from Alkenes and Aryl Azides with a Reusable Macrocyclic Tetracarbene Iron Catalyst. Cramer, S.Alan.; Jenkins, David.M. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 19342-19345.

18-Atom-Ringed Macrocyclic Tetra-imidazoliums for Preparation of Monomeric Tetra-carbene Complexes. Bass, Heather.M.; Cramer, S.Alan.; Price, Julia.L.; Jenkins, David.M. Organometallics 2010, 3235-3238.

Additional Information

Lab Address: 405 Buehler Hall

David Jenkins

Contact Information