Javier Read de Alaniz

Associate Director of the California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI)

Office Hours

By Appointment

Contact Phone

(805) 893-6103

Office Location

PSBN 1631-D


Cascade Rearrangements


Macromolecular Synthesis

Photochromic Material

High-Strain Rate Sensors 




Javier Read de Alaniz is an Associate Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry and Associate Director of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Javier was born in Las Vegas, New Mexico. He attended Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado and received his B.S. degree in 1999 where he conducted undergraduate research under the direction of Professor William R. Bartlett. He obtained his Ph.D. under the supervision of Professor Tomislav Rovis at Colorado State University in 2006 with a research focus on asymmetric catalysis. Javier then moved to California, where he worked in the area of total synthesis with Professor Larry E. Overman at the University of California, Irvine. He began his independent career at University of California, Santa Barbara in 2009. 


Research Group Website: http://www.chem.ucsb.edu/~read/Read_de_Alaniz/Home.html

Research Objective

The Read de Alaniz lab is interested in a wide range of fundamental and applied chemistry that extends from the development of new synthetic transformations to the creation of a novel class of organic photochromic material. We are particularly interested in harnessing the synthetic utility of highly reactive intermediates for development of new bond-forming reactions used in synthesis and material science. Our highly interdisciplinary work can be broken down into four distinct research areas: (1) functionalization of organic molecules using nitroso compounds, (2) synthesis of molecular building blocks from non-edible biomass, (3) development and application of a novel class of organic photochromic material, and (4) efficient synthetic approaches to well-defined and functionalized polymers.


Selected Research Publications

  1. Versatile Method for Synthesis of 4-Aminocyclopentenones via a Dysprosium (III) Triflate-Catalyzed Aza-Piancatelli Rearrangement Veits, G. K.; Wenz, D. R.; Read de Alaniz, J. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2010, 49, 9484–9487.
  2. Electrophilic a-Amination Reaction of b-Ketoesters Using N-Hydroxycarbamates: Merging Aerobic Oxidation and Lewis Acid Catalysis Sandoval, D,; Frazier, C. P.; Bugarin, A.; Read de Alaniz, J. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 18948–18951.
  3. Photoswitches Using Visible Light: A New Class of Organic Photochromic Molecules Helmy, S.; Leibfarth, F. A.; Oh, S.; Poelma, J. E.; Hawker, C. J.; Read de Alaniz, J. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 8169–8172.
  4. Nitrosocarbonyl Hetero-Diels–Alder Cycloaddition: A New Tool for Conjugation Samoshin, A.; Hawker, C. J.; Read de Alaniz, J. ACS Macro Lett. 2014, 3, 753–757.
  5. Metal-Free, Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization Treat, J. N.; Sprafke, H.; Kramer, J. W.; Clark, P. G.; Barton, B. E.; Read de Alaniz, J; Fors, B. P.; Hawker, C. J. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 16096–16101.
  6. Cascade Rearrangement of Furylcarbinols with Hydroxylamines: Practical Access to Densely Functionalized Cyclopentane Derivatives Veits, G. K.; Wenz, D. R.; Palmer, L. I.; Read de Alaniz, J. Org. Biomol. Chem. 2015, 13, 8465–8469.