Derek Schipper

Professor, Chemistry; Canada Research Chair in Organic Material Synthesis

Research interests: synthesis of organic materials for applications in organic solar cells, field effect transistors, imaging, displays


Professor Derek Schipper's research is focused on tackling synthetic challenges posed in the context of conjugated organic materials. The ability as synthetic chemists to efficiently construct diverse sets of organic materials is rapidly becoming an important parameter in the development of cutting-edge, flexible, lightweight, low-cost electronic devices such as photovoltaics, light emitting diodes and field-effect transistors . The Schipper group is developing powerful new synthetic capabilities that are essential to addressing many of the challenges hindering exciting technology.

Schipper received his B.Sc. degree from the University of Prince Edwards Island. He then moved to University of Ottawa to pursue his graduate studies investing novel catalytic transformations. His NSERC postdoctoral appointment involved the development of novel aromatic and heteroaromtic structures for potential applications as organic electronic at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Institute For Soldier Nanotechnologies. Schipper joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Waterloo in October 2013.


  • NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow, Organic Materials, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2013

  • PhD, Organic Chemistry, University of Ottawa, 2011

  • BSc, Honours Chemistry, University of Prince Edward Island, 2006

Derek Schipper

Awards and Honours

Year Awards and Honours
2014 Thieme Chemistry Journal Award, Germany


My research program will focus on finding creative solutions to long-standing problems in organic materials chemistry using cutting edge organic chemistry. One approach will be the development of novel synthetic methods that will both enable the cost effective and environmentally benign synthesis of leading-edge conjugated materials as well as render previously inaccessible classes of conjugated materials easily obtainable. As such, we are taking a bottom-up approach to the nano scale and will generate significant quantities of novel conjugated materials which will prove extremely relevant to applications such as organic photovoltaics, light emitting diodes and field-effect transistors.


Recent publications include:

  • Derek J. Schipper, Lionel C. H. Moh, Peter Müller, Timothy M. Swager* “Dithiolodithiole: a New Building Block for Conjugated Materials.” Submitted

  • MacDonald, M. J.; Hesp, C. R.; Schipper, D. J.; Pesant, M.; Beauchemin, A. M. Highly Enantioselective Intermolecular Hydroaminations of Allylic Amines Using Chiral Aldehydes as Tethering Catalysts. Chem. Eur. J. 2013, 19, 2597.

  • Brett VanVeller, Derek J. Schipper, Timothy Swager* “Polycyclic Aromatic Triptycenes: Oxygen Substitution Cyclization Strategies.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 7282.

  • Melissa J. MacDonald, Derek J. Schipper, Peter Ng, Joseph Moran, Andre M. Beauchemin* “A Catalytic Tethering Strategy: Simple Aldehydes Catalyze Intermolecular Alkene Hydroaminations.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 20100. These authors contributed equally. Highlighted: Nature Chemistry 2012, 4, 253. Synfacts 2012, 8, 210.

  • Derek J. Schipper,* Keith Fagnou “Direct Arylation as a Synthetic Tool for the Synthesis of Thiophene-Based Organic Electronic Materials.” Chem. Mater., 2011, 23, 1594. Highlighted: Nature Chemistry 2013, 5, 369.

  • Derek J. Schipper,* Marieke Hutchinson, Keith Fagnou “Rh(III)-Catalyzed Intermolecular Hydroarylation of Alkynes.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 6910. Among top 6 most read JACS articles of May 2010.

  • Derek J. Schipper, Sophie Rousseaux, Keith Fagnou* “Kinetic Resolution of Quaternary and Tertiary β-Hydroxy Esters.” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 8343. Highlighted: Organic Process Research & Development 2010, 14, 300-310.

  • Derek J. Schipper, Mohammed El-Safiti, Chris Whipp, Keith Fagnou* “Direct Arylation of Azine N-Oxides with Aryl Triflates.” Tetrahedron. 2009, 65, 4977. Invited submission.

  • Derek J. Schipper, Louis-Charles Campeau, Keith Fagnou* “Catalyst and Base Controlled Site-Selective sp2 and sp3 Direct Arylation of Azine N-Oxides.” Tetrahedron. 2009, 65, 3155. Invited submission.

  • Louis-Charles Campeau, Derek J. Schipper, Keith Fagnou* “Site-Selective sp2 and Benzylic sp3 Palladium-Catalyzed Direct Arylation.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 3266. Highlighted: Organic Process Research & Development 2008, 12, 548-555

  • Rabin Bissessur,* Derek Schipper “Exfoliation and Reconstruction of SnS2 Layers: A Synthetic Route for the Preparation of Polymer-SnS2 Nanomaterials.” Materials Letters. 2008, 62, 10.

Please see Derek Schipper's Google Scholar profile for a current list of his peer-reviewed articles.