Prof Jannie Swarts
2 5
051 4012781
Chemistry Building 5

Short CV

Jannie C. Swarts completed an M.Sc. working on mechanistic and synthetic aspects of gold complexes at the University of the Orange Free State in 1978. He then studied science education at the University of Stellenbosch (1979) before joining the Johannesburg Technical College as a mathematics lecturer. After gaining valuable experience on semi-conducting technology (CSIR, 1981) and rubber chemistry (Pretoria Technicon, 1982), he rejoined the Johannesburg Technical College where he became head of the Department of Science and Mathematics. In 1986 he accepted a position in physical chemistry at the University of the Free State and completed his part time Ph.D. studies at the University of the Witwatersrand (1990) working on synthetic and electrochemical aspects of metallocene-containing water-soluble polymers with biomedical applications.

He then spent a post-doctoral year in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England with Geoff Sykes (FRS), where he studied the behaviour and kinetic pathways of inactivation of ribonucleotide reductase by potential anti cancer drugs. Upon his return to the University of the Free State he launched an extensive research program on synthetic and physical chemistry aspects of metal-containing macromolecules/polymers with biomedical applications. He was between 2000 and 2015 head of physical chemistry. Metallocenes, phthalocyanine and other porpherenoid derivatives as well as platinum group metal complexes are the subjects of his kinetic, electrochemical, quantum chemical and liquid crystal phase studies. Jannie authored more than 100 international publications (four of these were cover page articles), two international patents and several technical reports. He often contributes with oral lectures at international conferences all over the world and wrote chapters for two separate subject specialist handbooks. He collaborates over a wide multidisciplinary front with researchers in South Africa, England, Norway, The Netherlands, Germany and the United States. Jannie held the prestigious James Professorial Chair in Canada twice (1997, 2007) and a Commonwealth Fellowship with Mike Cook in England (1998). He was visiting professor in New Zealand (Ted Baker, protein physical chemistry, 1994) and in the United States (Bill Geiger, electrochemistry, 2003).



 See the following sites for detail

1. Google Scholar:  ;  an h-factor of  higher than 30 is listed. 

2. ORCID ID:  0000-0003-2608-0371


Publications (Short List)

 A selection of publications from different areas of his research includes

  • A. Roodt, J.G. Leipoldt, J.C. Swarts and G.J.J. Steyn, The crystal structure of (3-benzylacetylacetonato-k2-O,O`)carbonyltriphenylphosphinerhodium(I), Acta Cryst., C48, 547-549 (1992).

  • J.C. Swarts, E.W. Neuse, A.G. Perlwitz, A. Stephanon and G.J. Lamprecht, Water-soluble polyamides as potential drug carriers(VI).  Synthesis of amine and carboxyl functionalized carrier polymers by high temperature solution polymerization in polyphosphoric acid, Angew. Makromol. Chem., 207, 123-135 (1993). 

  • J.C. Swarts, G.J. Lamprecht and E.W. Neuse.  Synthesis and characterization of water-soluble polyaspartamide-ferrocene conjugates for biomedical applications, J. Inorg. Organomet. Polymers, 4, 143-153 (1994).

  • J.C. Swarts, M.A.S. Aquino, J.-Y. Han, K.-Y. Lam and A.G. Sykes, Kinetic studies on the reduction of the Tyrosyl radical (Tyr·) of the R2 protein of E. Coli Ribonucleotide Reductase, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 215-224 (1995).   

  • J.-Y. Han, J.C. Swarts and A.G. Sykes, Kinetic Studies on the Hydrazine and Phenylhydrazine reductions of the Escherichia coli R2 Subunit of Ribonucleotide Reductase, Inorg. Chem., 35, 4629-4634 (1996).

  • P.J. Swarts, M. Immelman, G.J Lamprecht, S.E. Greyling and J. C. Swarts, Ferrocene derivatives as high burning rate catalysts in composite propellants, S.Afr. J. Chem., 50, 208-216 (1997).

  • W.C. du Plessis, T.G. Vosloo and J.C. Swarts, ß-Diketones containing a ferrocenyl group: Synthesis, structural aspects, pKa/-values, group electronegativities and complexation with rhodium(I),J. Chem. Soc. Dalton Trans., 2507-2514 (1998). 

  • W.C. du Plessis, J.J.C. Erasmus, G.J. Lamprecht, J. Conradie,T.S. Cameron, M.A.S. Aquino and J.C. Swarts, Cyclic voltammetry of ferrocene-containing ß-diketones as a tool to obtain group electronegativities. The structure of 3-ferrocenoyl-1,1,1-trifluoro-2-hydroxyprop-2-ene, Can. J. Chem., 77, 378-386 (1999). 

  • M.W. Cooke, C.A. Murphy, S.T. Cameron, J.C. Swarts and M.A.S. Aquino, Structure and electrochemistry of a tetrakis(ferrocenylcarboxylato)diruthenium(II,III) diadduct: Evidence for ferrocenyl-ferrocenyl communication, Inorg. Chem. Comm., 3, 721-725 (2000).

  • J.C. Swarts, E.H.G. Langner, N. Krokeide-Hove and M.J. Cook, Synthesis and electrochemical characterisation of some long chain 1,4,8,15,22,25-octa-alkylated metal-free and zinc phthalocyanines possessing discotic liquid crystalline properties, J. Mater. Chem., 11, 434-443 (2001).

  • C.E.J. Van Rensburg, E. Kreft, J.C. Swarts, S.R. Dalrymple, D. M. MacDonald, M.W. Cooke and M.A.S. Aquino, Cytotoxicity of a series of water-soluble mixed valent diruthenium tetracarboxylates, Anticancer Research, 21, 889-892 (2002). 

  • J. Conradie, J. C. Swarts and A. Ghosh, Models of high-valent heme protein intermediates:A quantum Chemical Study of iron(IV) porphyrins with two univalent axial pi-bonding ligands, J. Phys. Chem. (B), 108, 452-456 (2004). 

  • J.C. Swarts D. Laws and W.E. Geiger, An organometallic electrode based on covalent attachment of the cobaltocenium group to carbon, Organometallics, 24, 341-343 (2005).

  • I. Chambrier, D.L. Hughes, J.C. Swarts, B. Isare and M.J. Cook, First Example of a Di-Cadmium Tris-Phthalocyanine Triple-Decker Sandwich Complex, Chem. Comm., 3504-3506 (2006).

  • E. Erasmus, J. Conradie, A. Muller and J.C. Swarts, Synthesis, crystal structure and electrochemistry of tetrahedral mono-beta-diketonato titanocenyl complexes, Inorg. Chim. Acta., 360, 2277-2283 (2007).

  • A. Auger, A.J. Muller and J.C. Swarts,Remarkable isolation, structural characterization and electrochemistry of unexpected scrambling analogous of 5-ferrocenyl-10,20-diphenyl porphyrin, Dalton Transactions, 3623-3633 (2007). (Cover page article).

  • K.C. Kemp, E. Fourie, J. Conradie and J.C. Swarts, Ruthenocene-containing betadiketones:   Synthesis, pKa/ values, keto-enol isomerisation kinetics and electrochemical aspects, Organometallics, 27, 353-362 (2008).   

  • M.J. Cook, I. Chambrier, G.F. White, E. Fourie and J.C. Swarts, “Electrochemical and EPR studies of two substituted bis-cadmium tris-phthalocyanine complexes: elucidation of unexpectedly different free-radical character”, Dalton Transactions, 1136-1144 (2009).

  • E. Fourie, J.C. Swarts, I. Chambrier, M.J. Cook, Electrochemical and spectroscopic detection of self-association of octa-alkyl phthalocyaninato cadmium compounds into dimeric species, Dalton Transactions, 1145-1154 (2009).

  • J.C. Swarts, A. Nafady, J. Roudebush, S. Trupia and W.E. Geiger, The One-Electron Oxidation of Ruthenocene: Reactions of the Ruthenocenium Ion in Gentle Electrolyte Media Inorg. Chem. 48, 2156-2165 (2009).

  • G. Osthoff, A. Hugo, H. Bouwman, P. Buss, D. Govender, C.C. Joubert and J.C. Swarts; Comparison of the lipid properties of captive, healthy wild, and pansteatitis-affected wild Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus), Comp. Biochem. Phys. - Part A: Mol. Int. Phys. 155(1), 64-69 (2010).

  • E. Fourie, J.C. Swarts, D. Lorcy and N. Bellec; Synthesis, Substitution Kinetics, and Electrochemistry of the First Tetrathiafulvalene-Containing ß-Diketonato Complexes of Rhodium(I); Inorg Chem, 49(3), 952-959 (2010). 

  • J. Conradie and JC Swarts, The relationship between the electrochemical and chemical oxidation of ferrocene-containing carbonyl-phosphane-ß-diketonato-rhodium(I) complexes. Cytotoxicity of [Rh(FcCOCHCOPh)(CO)(PPh3)], Eur. J. Inorg Chem., 2439-2449 (2011). 

  • J. Conradie and J. C. Swarts, Relationship between electrochemical potentials and substitution reaction rates of ferrocene-containing ß-diketonato rhodium(I) complexes; cytotoxicity of [Rh(FcCOCHCOPh)(cod)]. Dalton Trans. 40, 5844-5851 (2011).  (Cover page article).

  • H Zhao, K. Pierloot, E.H.G. Langner, J.C. Swarts, J. Conradie and A. Ghosh, Low-energy States of Manganese-Oxo Corrole and Corrolazine: Multiconfiguration Reference ab Initio Calculations, Inorg. Chem. 51, 4002-4006 (2012).

  • B. Van der Westhuizen, P.J. Swarts, L.M. Van Jaarsveld, D.C. Liles, U. Siegert,J.C. Swarts, I. Fernandez and D.I. Bezuidenhoudt, Substituent effect on the electrochemical, spectroscopic and structural properties of Fischer mono- and biscarbene complexes of chromium(0), Inorg. Chem., 52, 6674-6684 (2013).

  • D.I. Bezuidenhout,B. Van der Westhuizen, P.J. Swarts, T. Chatturgoon, O.Q. Munro, I. Fernández and J.C. Swarts, Redox behaviour of cymantrene Fischer carbene complexes in designing organometallic multi-tags, Chem. Eur. Journal, 20, 4974-4985 (2014). 

  • A. Van As, C.C. Joubert, B.E. Buitendach, E. Erasmus, J. Conradie, A.N. Cammidge, I. Chambrier,M.J. Cook and J.C. Swarts, Tetrabenzoporphyrin and -mono-, -cis-, -di- and tetrabenzotriazaporphyrin derivatives: Electrochemical and spectroscopic implications of meso CH group replacement with nitrogen, Inorg. Chem., 54, 5329-5341 (2015).

  • B.E. Buitendach, E. Erasmus, M. Landman, J.W. Niemantsverdriet and J.C. Swarts, Consequences of Electron-Density Manipulations on the X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopic Properties of Ferrocenyl-ß-diketonato Complexes of Manganese(III). Structure of [Mn(FcCOCHCOCH3)3], Inorganic Chemistry, 55, 1992-2000 (2016). 

  • C.R. Dennis, R. Meintjies, C. Marais, R. Versteeg and J.C. Swarts, The Extended BSc Programme: Performance of students in Chemistry. South African Journal of Science, 113, 1-4 (2017).

  • B.H. Buitendach, E. Erasmus, J.W. Niemandtsverdriet and J.C. Swarts,  Can Electrochemical Measurements Be Used To Predict X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopic Data? The Case of Ferrocenyl-ß-Diketonato Complexes of Manganese(III). Inorganic Chemistry, 57, 6606-6616 (2018).

  • C.R. Dennis, I.M. Potgieter, E.H.G. Langner, E. Fourie and J.C. Swarts, The oxidation of acetaldehyde by the octacyanomolybdate(V) ion in an aqueous alkaline medium, Transition Metal Chemistry44, 161-165 (2019).


Area(s) of Interest

  • Syntheses: Metallocenes, phthalocyanine and other porpherenoids, platinum group metal complexes and metal-containing condensation polymers.
  • Electrochemistry: Mainly cyclic voltammetry, square wave analyses, linear sweep analyses and bulk electrolyses.
  • Kinetics: Mainly electron transfer, oxidative addition and substitution kinetics.
  • Phase studies: Mainly thermodynamics of liquid crystals.
  • Medicinal chemistry: Mainly the use of metallocenes, phthalocyanines and platinum group metals in chemotherapy.
  • Heterogeneous and Electrocatalysis:  Mainly of systems supported on two-dimensional matrices.

Courses Presented

  • Electrochemistry
  • Kinetics
  • Phase studies
  • Thermodynamics
  • Nuclear chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Molecular structure and quantum chemistry
  • Surface Chemistry
  • Heterogeneous Catalysis


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We are currently not in our offices, as per the lockdown measures in place for South Africa.

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T: +27 51 401 2531

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