James Cullen Martin

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James Cullen Martin
JC Martin 1991.jpg
JC Martin in Tokyo, Japan,
December 19, 1991
Born(1928-01-14)January 14, 1928
DiedApril 20, 1999(1999-04-20) (aged 71)
Alma materVanderbilt University, MS 1952
Harvard University PhD 1956
Known forDess–Martin periodinane
AwardsAlexander von Humboldt Prize
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Illinois 1956–1985
Vanderbilt University 1985–1992
Doctoral advisorPaul Doughty Bartlett

James Cullen Martin (January 14, 1928 – April 20, 1999) was an American chemist. Known in the field as "J.C.", he specialized in physical organic chemistry with an emphasis on main group element chemistry.

Martin received his undergraduate and master's degree at Vanderbilt University. His PhD work was conducted with Paul Bartlett at Harvard. Most of his professional career was at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was a colleague of Roger Adams, Speed Marvel, David Y. Curtin, Nelson J. Leonard, and Reynold C. Fuson. Late in his career, he moved back to Vanderbilt, but soon succumbed to poor health.[1]

Professor Martin is best known for his work on bonding of main group elements. He is responsible for the hexafluorocumyl alcohol derived "Martin" bidentate ligand and a tridentate analog. With his doctoral student Daniel Benjamin Dess, he invented the Dess–Martin periodinane that is used for selective oxidation of alcohols. He is also known for the creation of the Martin's sulfurane. His later work included studies of the hexaiodobenzene dication that indicated σ-delocalization ("aromaticity") between the iodine atoms.

Martin's sulfurane, illustrating J.C. Martin's interests in hypervalent molecules.[2]

J.C. Martin received much recognition during his career, including Senior Research Prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He was chair of the Organic division of the American Chemical Society.[3]


  1. ^ Akiba, K.-Y. (2006). "Memoirs of Professor James Cullen Martin". Phosphorus, Sulfur, and Silicon and the Related Elements. 181 (5): 1201–1215. doi:10.1080/10426500500326321. S2CID 98437087.
  2. ^ Martin, J. C.; Arhart, R. J.; Franz, J. A.; Perozzi, E. F.; Kaplan, L. J. "Bis[2,2,2-trifluoro-1-phenyl-1-(trifluoromethyl)ethoxy]diphenyl sulfurane". Organic Syntheses. 57: 22. doi:10.15227/orgsyn.057.0022.
  3. ^ ACS Organic Division Archive. – Retrieved 2010-12-28.