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Department of Chemistry
The Johns Hopkins University
138 Remsen Hall
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

Kenneth Karlin
Department Chair

Phone 410-516-7429
Fax 410-516-8420


John D. Tovar

Organic and Materials Chemistry

Johns Hopkins University
New Chemistry Building
3400 North Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21218

Phone:  410.516.4358
Tovar Group Website

Ph.D. - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Postdoctoral Fellow - Northwestern University

The Tovar group is interested in the synthesis and investigation of organic materials with extended pi-electron conjugation.  These types of materials are currently receiving significant attention due to their useful properties akin to those of traditional semiconductors or metals such as luminescence, electrochromism and light harvesting. We use molecular design as a tool to predict, control and seek a better understanding of energy transport processes through these organic electronic materials to enable their employment in emerging applications ranging from inexpensive flexible circuitry and devices to active biomedical materials.  Research projects in our group provide students with extensive experience in organic synthesis (aromatic, polymer and peptide chemistries) along with optical and electrochemical characterization techniques.  You can learn more specifics about these projects on our group webpage linked above.

Recent publications:

B. D. Wall, A. E. Zacca, A. M. Sanders, W. L. Wilson, A. L. Ferguson and J. D. Tovar, “Supramolecular polymorphism: Tunable electronic interactions within pi-conjugated peptide nanostructures dictated by primary amino acid sequence,” in Langmuir, 2014 (30) 5946-5956. (DOI: 10.1021/la500222y)

D. R. Levine, M. A. Siegler and J. D. Tovar, “Thiophene-fused borepins as directly functionalizable boron-containing p-electron systems,” in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2014 (136) 7132-7139. (DOI: 10.1021/ja502644e)

J. D. Tovar, “Prospecting in Hückel space: from Hinokitiol to non-benzenoid organic electronic materials,” invited by The Chemical Record as an introductory essay for the Tetsuo Nozoe Autograph Book project, 2014 (14) 214-225. (DOI: 10.1002/tcr.201300034)

A. M. Fraind, G. Sini, C. Risko, L. R. Ryzhkov, J.-L. Brédas and J. D. Tovar, “Charge delocalization through benzene, naphthalene, and anthracene bridges in pi-conjugated oligomers: an experimental and quantum chemical study,” in the Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2013 (117) 6304-6317. (DOI: 10.1021/jp401448a)

J. D. Tovar, “Supramolecular construction of optoelectronic biomaterials,” invited by Accounts of Chemical Research, 2013 (46) 1527-1537. (DOI: 10.1021/ar3002969)

A. M. Sanders, T. J. Dawidcyzk, H. E. Katz and J. D. Tovar, “Peptide-based supramolecular semiconductor nanomaterials via Pd-catalyzed solid-phase ‘dimerizations’,” in ACS Macro Letters, 2012 (1) 1326-1329. (DOI: 10.1021/mz3004665)

B. C. Streifel, P. A. Peart, J. F. Martinez-Hardigree, H. E. Katz and J. D. Tovar, “Torsional influences within disordered organic electronic materials based upon non-benzenoid 1,6- methano[10]annulene rings,” in Macromolecules, 2012 (45) 7339-7349. (DOI: 10.1021/ma301408w)