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Jon Rourke

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Jon Rourke's research group is interested in a wide variety of organometallic and materials chemistry.

In particular we are currently interested in mechanistic aspects of the C-H activation reaction, the coordination of unusual ligands and the structure and function of Graphene Oxide (GO). Details from recent projects are described briefly below (more information is available from the papers we have published).

Organo-platinum chemistry

Currently, our primary focus is on the organometallic chemistry of platinum, and we have a number of active projects in this area. More details are available in the section on organo-platinum chemistry.

One highlight has been the identification of an agostic complex that shows a delicate balance between the activation of sp2 and sp3 hybridised C-H bonds. See publication 30.


A more recent highlight has been the first definitive example of a concerted mechanism for the reductive elimination of a alkyl chloride. See publication 43.


The organometallic chemistry of complexes of the noble gas Xe.

Publications 20, 24 and 25 give more detail. We were the first to detect Xe complexes of any metal by NMR, and we able to establish coupling between the coordinated Xe and other ligands. The measurement of these coupling constants meant that theoretical studies of these complexes could be validated by experiment, and the strength of the Re-Xe bond could be estimated at 50 kJmol-1.


Studies of NHC ligands

See publications 22 and 27. We have recently established that this new class of ligands are not as unreactive as had been thought, and additionally we have established a new bonding motif for them.

Graphene Oxide (GO)

Graphene and graphene oxide are very remarkable materials, but their chemistry is still in its infancy. Our recent work is described in more detail in the GO section.


Jon Rourke is a co-author of Shriver and Atkins Inorganic Chemistry 4th Ed, (2006), 5th ed (2010), 6th ed (2014), 7th ed (2018), and a contributer to Comprehensive Organometallic Chemistry III.

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