Carnegie Mellon University

Kevin Noonan

Kevin Noonan

Professor, Associate Department Head, Chemistry

  • Mellon Institute 849A
  • 412-268-3128


Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of British Columbia, 2003–2008


Polymer chemistry, organometallics, homogeneous catalysis, organophosphorus chemistry

Research in our group is focused on the synthesis of new compounds possessing main group elements to impact polymer chemistry and catalysis. The advent of synthetic polymer chemistry has had an enormous impact on our modern world. Though most commercial polymeric materials are made from organic synthons, the incorporation of main group elements or transition metals into polymer backbones can afford materials with unique properties. The synthetic preparation of these materials remains challenging and continued development will result in unique macromolecular architectures. New design strategies to incorporate inorganic elements such as boron and phosphorus into electronic materials will be explored.

The chemistry of transition metals and their use as catalysts to install functionality while controlling regio- and stereochemistry remains an important challenge in chemical synthesis. Sophisticated ligand design can offer mechanistic insight to known reactions while also leading to new catalytic activity. Our research group aims to build unique ligand frameworks using organophosphorus chemistry and apply these in catalyst systems. Many areas of catalysis will be explored including polyolefin synthesis and the development of methodologies to prepare functional organic substrates.


Rapid Analysis of Tetrakis(dialkylamino)phosphonium Stability in Alkaline Media
C. Tyler Womble, Jamie Kang, Kristina M. Hugar, Geoffrey W. Coates, Stefan Bernhard, and Kevin J. T. Noonan
Organometallics, 2017, 36 (20), 4038-4046 DOI: 10.1021/acs.organomet.7b00663

Nickel-Catalyzed Suzuki Polycondensation for Controlled Synthesis of Ester-Functionalized Conjugated Polymers
Qiu, Y.; Worch, J. W.; Fortney, A.; Gayathri, C.; Gil, R. R.; Noonan, K. J. T., Macromolecules. 2016, 49, 4757-4762.

Conjugated Polymers with Repeated Sequences of Group 16 Heterocycles Synthesized through Catalyst-​Transfer Polycondensation
Tsai, C.-H.; Fortney, A.; Qiu, Y.; Gil, R. R.; Yaron, D. Kowalewski, T.; Noonan, K. J. T. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2016, 138, 6798–6804.

Synthesis of Polyfuran and Thiophene-Furan Alternating Copolymers Using Catalyst-Transfer Polycondensation
Qiu, Y.; Fortney, A.; Tsai, C.-H.; Baker, M. A.; Kowalewski, T.; Noonan, K. J. T. ACS Macro Letters 2016, 5, 332-336.

Tetrakis(dialkylamino)phosphonium Polyelectrolytes Prepared by Reversible Addition Fragmentation Chain Transfer Polymerization
Womble, C. T.; Coates, G. W.; Matyjaszewski, K.; Noonan, K. J. T., ACS Macro Letters 2016, 5, 253-257.

Stability and Reactivity of 1,​3-​Benzothiaphosphole: Metalation and Diels-​Alder Chemistry
Worch, J. C.; Hellemann, E.; Pros, G.; Gayathri, C.; Pintauer, T.; Gil, R. R.; Noonan, K. J. T.,Organometallics 2015,34, 5366-5373.

Electron-​poor thiophene 1,​1-​dioxides: synthesis, characterization, and application as electron relays in photocatalytic hydrogen generation
Tsai, C.-H.; Chirdon, D. N.; Kagalwala, H. N.; Maurer, A. B.; Kaur, A.; Pintauer, T.; Bernhard, S.; Noonan, K. J. T., Chemistry — A European Journal 2015, 21, 11517-11524.

Stille catalyst-transfer polycondensation using Pd-PEPPSI-IPr for high molecular weight regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene)
Qiu, Y.; Mohin, J.; Tsai, C.-H.; Tristram-Nagle, S.; Gil, R. R.; Kowalewski, T.; Noonan, K. J. T., Macromolecular Rapid Communications 2015, 36,840-844.

Tuning thiophene with phosphorus: synthesis and electronic properties of benzobisthiaphospholes
Qiu, Y.; Worch, J. C.; Chirdon, D. N.; Kaur, A.; Maurer, A. B.; Amsterdam, S.; Collins, C. R.; Pintauer, T.; Yaron, D.; Bernhard, S.; Noonan, K. J. T., Chemistry — A European Journal 2014, 20, 7746-7751.

Towards sustainable polymer chemistry with homogeneous metal-based catalysts
Schröder, K.; Matyjaszewski, K.; Noonan, K. J. T.; Mathers, R. T., Green Chemistry 2014, 16, 1673-1686.

Synthesis of thiophene 1,1-dioxides and tuning their optoelectronic properties
Tsai, C.-H.; Chirdon, D. N.; Maurer, A. B.; Bernhard, S.; Noonan, K. J. T.. Organic Letters 2013, 15, 5230-5233.

Synthetic tuning of electronic and photophysical properties of 2-aryl-1,3-benzothiaphospholes
Worch, J. C.; Chirdon, D. N.; Maurer, A. B.; Qiu, Y.; Geib, S. J.; Bernhard, S.; Noonan, K. J. T., Journal of Organic Chemistry 2013, 78, 7462–7469.


Years Position
2024–present Associate Department Head, Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University
2024–present Professor of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University
2017–2024 Associate Professor of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University
2011–2017 Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University
2008–2011 Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell University

Awards and Distinctions

Years Award
2015 NSF Career Award
2013 Army Research Office Young Investigator Award
2009–2011 NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship
2006–2008 NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship (Doctoral Level)
2005–2006 NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship (Masters Level)