Jonas C. Peters

Bren Professor of Chemistry; Executive Officer for Chemistry
B.S., University of Chicago, 1993; Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 1998. Assistant Professor, Caltech, 1999-2004; Associate Professor, 2004-06; Professor, 2006-09; Bren Professor, 2010-; Executive Officer, 2013-.

Assistant: Julianne Just

Jonas Peters received his bachelor of science degree in chemistry at the University of Chicago in 1993, where he worked with Professor Gregory Hillhouse on synthetic methods in inorganic chemistry, specifically with regard to the stabilization of reactive species including HN=NH and HNO. Jonas then spent a year as a Marshall Scholar at the University of Nottingham, UK, working with Professor James J. Turner, FRS. Jonas studied physical inorganic chemistry including photochemical generation and the detection of short-lived transients by rapid time-resolved methods. In the fall of 1994, Jonas left Nottingham to begin his doctoral studies under the direction of Professor Christopher C. Cummins at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jonas' research focused on the activation and functionalization of small molecules using low coordinate tris-amido molybdenum and titanium complexes. After receiving his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry in 1998, Jonas was a Miller Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, under the guidance of Professor T. Don Tilley. At Berkeley, Jonas concentrated on the synthesis and employment of novel phosphine, silane, and phosphino silane ligands relevant to late metal Si-C, Si-H, C-H, and C-C bond breaking and forming processes. Jonas began as assistant professor in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Caltech in August of 1999, was promoted to associate professor in 2004, and to Professor of Chemistry in 2006. In July of 2007, he relocated to the MIT Department of Chemistry as the W. M. Keck Professor of Energy. His research program is centered on the development of preparative inorganic chemistry with a strong emphasis in the chemistry of transition elements. Jonas returned to Caltech in January 2010.

Research Interests

  • Multi-Electron Redox Reactions of Small Molecule Substrates Using Late First Row Transition Metals 

  • Dicopper Cores as Multi-Electron Redox Shuttles and Photochemical Reductants 

  • Electrocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution at Positive Potentials 

  • Zwitterionic Approach to Catalysis Mediated at Late Transition Metal Centers 
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