Current Research and Development Activities
Molecular sensors for selective recognition of cations/anions
Designing of artificial receptors capable of binding metal ions selectively has received intense attention owing to their implications as sensor for ion recognition. In the last few years, we have been working in this area and have developed series of calix-crown hybrid ionophores for selective binding of various cations. Series of molecular sensors incorporating metal-polypyridyl-based fluorophores and azacrown/calixarene/calix-crown/macrocycle-based ionophore have been synthesized for their application for recognition of various cations and anions. In a number of cases, very high selectivity was obtained for alkali metal ions such as K+, toxic metal ions such as Hg2+ and Pb2+, transition metal ions such as Fe3+ and Cu2+, toxic anions like F- and biologically important anion H2PO4-.
Recognition of analytes and neutral molecules in physiological condition
Despite biological and environmental significance, examples for the recognition of many cationic/anionic analytes and neutral molecules in physiological condition are not common. Limiting factors for design of such sensor or chemodisimeter are low solubility in water, cross-sensitivity towards other a specific ion, spectral/optical sensitivity in physiological conditions and response time. Apart from these the deleterious aquation energy in case of ions and the weaker ion-dipole interaction for neutral analytes also contribute to the challenge in design and development of such biologically important ions (Hg2, Cu2+, Cr2+, Lnn+, phosphate, cyanide, ATP, pyrophosphate, certain ologopeptides etc) and neutral molecules (NO, CO2, CO, certain aminoacides, etc.). At CSMCRI, scientists have a active research program to address these crucial issues.
Supramolecular metal complexes to study photo-induced energy/electron transfer processes
Photoactive supramolecular metal complexes are currently being much investigated because of their rich photophysical properties and potential applications as electronic and photomolecular devices. We have studied a number of redox and photoactive supramolecular systems containing bis-bipyridylruthenium(II)/osmium(II) unit as building block and fully/partially conjugated extended aromatic moiety as spacer. Redox, luminescence properties (emission spectra, quantum yield and life-time) and intercomponent energy transfer processes for all these supramolecular complexes have been studied.
Nanocrystallinedye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC)
Research in the area of nanocrystalline dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) has attracted considerable interest owing to their application potential as cost-effective alternative to present p-n junction photovoltaic devices. One of the major strategies is to achieve a total power conversion efficiency over 12 % using appropriate and tailored made sensitizer molecules those could harvest a larger portion of the solar spectrum. Ideally scientists are looking for a secsitizer dye that absorb through the entire wavelength region of visible to near infra red for more efficient utilization of the solar emission, this spans over the region 400 nm to 800 nm. Apart from this, achieving the better efficiency of the forward electron injection and the slower rate for the deleterious back electron transfer are important for obtaining the better photocurrent conversion efficiency. It has been argued by many researchers that this could be addressed through proper design of the sensitizer dye having appropriate HOMO-LUMO gap, certain stability of the excited state of the sensitizer dye and having an integrated sacrificial electron donor within the dye molecule itself. We approach this challenge from the view point of synthetic chemistry and on based on studies on interfacial electron transfer dynamics.
Structure-functions correlations of supramolecular architectures (metallohelicates) & applications of these smart-materials for solvatochromism, enantioseparation, nanomaterials, chiral sensor, molecular recognition and catalysis.
Green Processes of halogenation (Br & I) of organic compounds, vicinal functionalization of alkenes and alkynes, synthesis of pharmaceutical & industrial intermediates. Synthesis of nitrogen heterocyclic compounds (Isoindoles, Naphthyridines, 3°-amines, etc.). Green reagents for oxidation of various organic functional groups, Green methods for the syntheses of alkyl/benzyl ethers, bromo alkylethers. Cu-catalyzed oxidative homocoupling of terminal alkynes to 1,3-diynes, Hydroarylation reactions. transesterification Jatropha Curcus seeds through base catalyzed process.
Recovery of precious metal ions from natural sources
Our country imports the entire requirement of potash; therefore it is important to develop technology to extract potassium from natural sources. Extensive work in this area has been done using series of existing and newly synthesized extractants (ligands) for extraction of potassium with high selectivity from the natural source such as bittern. One of the extractants, precipitates out K+ almost instantaneously with >98% selectivity from shoneite/bittern. The process for extraction of potassium as KCl from schoneite by-product and the use of aqueous KCl for the production of sulphate of potash (SOP) has been developed. CSMCRI is continuing this work with the target to recover other precious metal ions.
X-ray crystallography, metal organic framework, supramolecular chemistry, crystal engineering, anion recognition.
Computational chemistry/molecular modelling techniques applied to variety of research problems in the area of crystal morphology, sensors, mechanistic studies in organic/inorganic reactions and enzyme modelling with small molecules including drugs.
Division is engaged with many national and international organizations in different R & D activities.
- Performance in the last two years
- Funding agencies for the current research projects
No. of research scholars pursuing Ph D: 27
- Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore: 1
- CRSI Medal: 2
- CSIR Young Scientist Award: 1
- BOYSCAST Fellow: 3
- JSPS Fellow: 1
- CSIR-DAAD Fellow: 1
- Raman Fellow: 3
- Dr. Vikram Sarabhai Award: 1
- INSA/DFG Research Fellow: 1
- 1. Department of Science and Technology (DST), New Delhi.
- 2. Ministry of Environment and Forests, New Delhi.
- 3. Board of Research in Nuclear Science (BRNS), DAE.
- 4. Defence Reseach and Development Organisation (DRDO), Gwalior.
- 5. Ministry of Education Science and Sports (MESS), Zagreb, Croatia.
- 6. Department of Biotechnology (DBT), New Delhi.