Pierre Kennepohl

Faculty Directory Header Image

Pierre Kennepohl


Research and Teaching Interests

 My research centres on probing the relationship between electronic structure and reactivity in catalytic systems. Emphasis is placed on the application of element-specific spectroscopic techniques such as X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray Emission Spectroscopy (XES) as a means of generating experimentally-validated electronic and geometric structure descriptions of catalytically relevant species.  


Recent investigations by Thamy Sriskandakumar, in collaboration with Prof Peter J. Sadler and members of his group provided new insights into the possible mechanism of action of a series of potent cytotoxic ruthenium(II) arene complexes of interest as potential anticancer drugs. (see J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131(37), 13355–13361)

Other spectroscopic techniques (such as UV/Vis/NIR Absorption and EPR), as well as computational methods, are used as complementary methods to explore such species. We have varied interests in a number of areas spanning bioinorganic, organometallic, and physical inorganic chemistry. Specific projects are (as much as possible) tailored to the specific interests and strengths of students.


Real name: 
Office Room Number(s): 
Office Phone Number: 
Lab Room: 
Fax Number: 

Curriculum Vitae

B.Sc., Concordia - Canada Scholar (Nick Serpone, 1993)

Ph.D., Stanford - NSERC Centennial Scholar (Edward I Solomon, 2002)

PDF, Caltech (Harry B Gray & Adrian Ponce, 2002-3)


In Press

Mustoe, C. L. ; Yu, D. ; Gunabalasingam, M. ; Patrick, B. O. ; Kennepohl, P. Probing Covalency In Halogen Bonds Through Donor K-Edge X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy: Polyhalides As Coordination Complexes. Faraday Discussions In Press.


Desnoyer, A. N. ; Behyan, S. ; Patrick, B. O. ; Dauth, A. ; Love, J. A. ; Kennepohl, P. Reexamining Oxidation States During The Synthesis Of 2-Rhodaoxetanes From Olefins. Inorg. Chem. 2016, 55, 13-15.
Xue, W. ; Ruddick, J. N. R. ; Kennepohl, P. Solubilisation And Chemical Fixation Of Copper(Ii) In Micronized Copper Treated Wood. Dalton Trans. 2016, 45, 3679-3686.
Majhi, P. Kumar; Chow, K. C. F. ; Hsieh, T. H. H. ; Bowes, E. G. ; Schnakenburg, G. ; Kennepohl, P. ; Streubel, R. ; Gates, D. P. Even The Normal Is Abnormal: N-Heterocyclic Carbene C-2 Binding To A Phosphaalkene Without Breaking The P=C Pi-Bond. Chem.Commun. 2016, 52, 998-1001.


Robinson, S. W. ; Mustoe, C. L. ; White, N. G. ; Brown, A. ; Thompson, A. L. ; Kennepohl, P. ; Beer, P. D. Evidence For Halogen Bond Covalency In Acyclic And Interlocked Halogen-Bonding Receptor Anion Recognition. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 499-507.
Sriskandakumar, T. ; Behyan, S. ; Habtemariam, A. ; Sadler, P. J. ; Kennepohl, P. Electrophilic Activation Of Oxidized Sulfur Ligands And Implications For The Biological Activity Of Ruthenium(Ii) Arene Anticancer Complexes. Inorg. Chem. 2015, 54, 11574-11580.
Chong, E. ; Xue, W. ; Storr, T. ; Kennepohl, P. ; Schafer, L. L. Pyridonate-Supported Titanium(Iii). Benzylamine As An Easy-To-Use Reductant. Organometallics 2015, 34, 4941-4945.
Stirling, R. ; Ruddick, J. N. R. ; Xue, W. ; Morris, P. I. ; Kennepohl, P. Characterization Of Copper In Leachates From Acq- And Mcq-Treated Wood And Its Effects On Basidiospore Germination. Wood Fibre Chem. 2015, 47, 209-216.
Xue, W. ; Kennepohl, P. ; Ruddick, J. N. R. Reacted Copper(Ii) Concentrations In Earlywood And Latewood Of Micronized Copper-Treated Canadian Softwood Species. Holzforschung 2015, 69, 509-512.


Drover, M. W. ; Beh, D. W. ; Kennepohl, P. ; Love, J. A. 3-Rhoda-1,2-Diazacyclopentanes: A Series Of Novel Metallacycle Complexes Derived From C-N Functionalization Of Ethylene. Chem. Eur. J. 2014, 20, 13345-13355.


Chen, P. ; Gamelin, D. R. ; Kennepohl, P. Preface. Coord. Chem. Rev. 2013, 257, 1–2.
Keske, E. C. ; Zenkina, O. V. ; Asadi, A. ; Sun, H. ; Praetorius, J. M. ; Allen, D. P. ; Covelli, D. ; Patrick, B. O. ; Wang, R. ; Kennepohl, P. ; James, B. R. ; Crudden, C. M. Dioxygen Adducts Of Rhodium N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes. Dalton Trans. 2013, 42, 7414–23.


Rueda-Becerril, M. ; Sazepin, C. Chatalova; Leung, J. Cho Tak; Okbinoglu, T. ; Kennepohl, P. ; Paquin, J. - F. ; Sammis, G. M. Fluorine Transfer To Alkyl Radicals. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 4026–9.
Cipot-Wechsler, J. ; Covelli, D. ; Praetorius, J. M. ; Hearns, N. ; Zenkina, O. V. ; Keske, E. C. ; Wang, R. ; Kennepohl, P. ; Crudden, C. M. Synthesis And Characterization Of Cationic Rhodium Peroxo Complexes. Organometallics 2012, 31, 7306–7315.


Martin-Diaconescu, V. ; Perepichka, I. ; D Bohle, S. ; Kennepohl, P. Electronic Structure Of S -Nitrosothiols From Sulfur K-Edge X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy. Can. J. Chem. 2011, 89, 93–97.


Delgado-Jaime, M. Ulises; Mewis, C. Philip; Kennepohl, P. Blueprint Xas: A Matlab-Based Toolbox For The Fitting And Analysis Of Xas Spectra. J. Syncr. Rad. 2010, 17, 132–7.
Delgado-Jaime, M. Ulises; Kennepohl, P. Development And Exploration Of A New Methodology For The Fitting And Analysis Of Xas Data. Journal of synchrotron radiation 2010, 17, 119–28.


Sriskandakumar, T. ; Petzold, H. ; Bruijnincx, P. C. A. ; Habtemariam, A. ; Sadler, P. J. ; Kennepohl, P. Influence Of Oxygenation On The Reactivity Of Ruthenium-Thiolato Bonds In Arene Anticancer Complexes: Insights From Xas And Dft. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 13355–61.
Bates, J. €I. ; Kennepohl, P. ; Gates, D. P. Abnormal Reactivity Of An N-Heterocyclic Carbene (Nhc) With A Phosphaalkene: A Route To A 4-Phosphino-Substituted Nhc. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 9844–9847.
Kennepohl, P. ; Wasinger, E. C. ; George, S. DeBeer X-Ray Spectroscopic Approaches To The Investigation And Characterization Of Photochemical Processes. J. Syncr. Rad. 2009, 16, 484–8.


Praetorius, J. M. ; Allen, D. P. ; Wang, R. ; Webb, J. D. ; Grein, F. ; Kennepohl, P. ; Crudden, C. M. N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes Of Rh: Reaction With Dioxygen Without Oxidation. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 3724–5.
Getty, K. ; Delgado-Jaime, M. Ulises; Kennepohl, P. Assignment Of Pre-Edge Features In The Ru K-Edge X-Ray Absorption Spectra Of Organometallic Ruthenium Complexes. Inorg. Chim. Acta 2008, 361, 1059.


Gilroy, J. B. ; McKinnon, S. D. J. ; Kennepohl, P. ; Zsombor, M. S. ; Ferguson, M. J. ; Thompson, L. K. ; Hicks, R. G. Probing Electronic Communication In Stable Benzene-Bridged Verdazyl Diradicals. J. Org. Chem. 2007, 72, 8062–8069.
Martin-Diaconescu, V. ; Kennepohl, P. Sulfur K-Edge Xas As A Probe Of Sulfur-Centered Radical Intermediates. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 3034–5.



Solomon, E. I. ; Basumallick, L. ; Chen, P. ; Kennepohl, P. Variable Energy Photoelectron Spectroscopy: Electronic Structure And Electronic Relaxation. Coord. Chem. Rev. 2005, 249, 229–253.
Kennepohl, P. ; Neese, F. ; Schweitzer, D. ; Jackson, H. L. ; Kovacs, J. A. ; Solomon, E. I. Spectroscopy Of Non-Heme Iron Thiolate Complexes: Insight Into The Electronic Structure Of The Low-Spin Active Site Of Nitrile Hydratase. Inorg. Chem. 2005, 44, 1826–36.


Funk, T. ; Kennepohl, P. ; Di Bilio, A. J. ; Wehbi, Wa; Young, A. T. ; Friedrich, S. ; Arenholz, E. ; Gray, H. B. ; Cramer, S. P. X-Ray Magnetic Circular Dichroism Of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Nickel(Ii) Azurin. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 5859–66.



Westre, T. E. ; Kennepohl, P. ; DeWitt, J. G. ; Hedman, B. ; Hodgson, K. O. ; Solomon, E. I. A Multiplet Analysis Of Fe K-Edge 1S → 3D Pre-Edge Features Of Iron Complexes. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1997, 119, 6297–6314.


Holm, R. H. ; Kennepohl, P. ; Solomon, E. I. Structural And Functional Aspects Of Metal Sites In Biology. Chem. Rev. 1996, 96, 2239–2314.