The Chemistry Department at IIT Palakkad started functioning with three visiting faculties for B. Tech. Teaching in the year 2015, but has expanded to a strength of eight permanent faculty members at Assistant Professor level. Several students have been enrolled for Ph.D. programs in theoretical and experimental branches of chemistry. The Chemistry Laboratory is equipped with state of the art work tables and safety equipment. The lab amenities include fume hoods, water bath, hot air oven, RO water plant, ice flake machine, electronic weighing balances, electrical conductivity meters, pH meters, hot plates, melting point determinators, electric Bunsen burners, orbital shakers, etc. UV-Vis spectrophotometers and colorimeters are available for instrumental measurements and analysis, and the lab is run on a rigorous policy of waste minimization. Started as a teaching lab for B. Tech. students, it is being upgraded to an advanced research lab with modern instrumental and computational facilities. The research lab is equipped with high temperature furnaces, hot plates with stirrers, sonicator, centrifuges, high-pressure autoclave, hot air oven, rotary evaporator, fluorescence spectro- photometer. The research is well supported by a centralized facility of sophisticated analytical instrumentation (CIF) which provides access to various chromatographic and spectroscopic equipment. Currently, the central facility has a bench top 60 MHz NMR, HPLC, LCMS, Chemisorption, TG-DTA-MS and FT-IR.
Areas of Research
Theoretical and Computational Chemistry: The research includes the theoretical study of folding mechanisms and disulfide bond making/breaking mechanisms as those in specific proteins, Calculating and simulating the mechanochemical reactions, theoretical study of various stochastic processes in biology, proposing theoretical models for dynamics and reactivity of macromolecules present in a cell at the molecular level, using the simple tools of equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics to name a few. Also of interest are, unusual types of diffusions, and diffusions driven by active noise.
Supramolecular Material Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry: We are interested in developing next-generation supramolecular materials with multifunctional capability and customize their functional properties for versatile applications in biomedicine to environmental remediation. This can be achieved by employing the concept of “molecular self-assembly” which underlies the formation of several complex biological structures. An overall grand challenge is to exploit the new insights obtained from this research programme to answer “as-yet-unsolved research questions” and to probe some fundamental research questions in supramolecular chemistry. We foresee that the outcome of our research interest would lead to the development of novel materials and devices to support both the existing and emerging technologies, aimed to give a positive impact on the environment and quality of life.
Faculty: Dr. Shanmugaraju S
Design, Synthesis and Applications of organic materials: We are focused on the design, synthesis, and applications of novel classes of organic macromolecules. In contrast to the small molecules, macromolecules have some unique properties that make them perfect fit for various applications which are otherwise challenging to meet. Synthesis of macromolecules in its absolutely pure form is still difficult to achieve. While the current trend in this field is focused on solving this issue, the immediate next goal is how to get a hand on controlling the properties of the macromolecules which is crucial for making them an efficient candidate for a given application. The fact that properties of a macromolecule are not predictable from the properties of the building blocks adds up another dimension to the complexity of this field. We aim to work on developing novel strategies to synthesize a new class of organic macromolecules and most importantly modulate their properties by the custom synthesis of building blocks and tuning organic reactions. The novelty of our system is that we can precisely control the arrangement of multiple functional groups that leads to its structure, properties, and function. Taking together Porel group is ambitious to develop a platform for the rapid and economic production of manmade materials with tunable properties for enormous applications from material to biomedical science. Currently we are focused on developing chemo-sensors for toxic analytes and antibacterial and anticancer drugs based on the newly developed organic materials.
Faculty: Dr. Mintu Porel
Materials for Environmental Sustainability: We develop new solid materials that can accelerate the rates of chemical reactions that have high relevance to a clean environment. Applications can range from finding a suitable green industrial process or a new catalyst for vehicles, to affordable food packages, air and purifiers. The bottlenecks associated with materials are our research interests. For example, minimizing the heterogeneity in sites and developing catalysts with earth abundant elements are two important material-related goals that we work on. Our approach is to understand the role of chemical synthesis in tuning the surface chemistry and its consequent effects on catalysis.
Faculty: Dr. Dinesh Jagadeesan
Chemical Biology: We are interested in deciphering the role of various protein post-translational modifications (PTMs) in physiological and pathological conditions using chemical biology toolbox. To date, more than 300 different types of PTMs have been identified and almost all of them are correlated with various human diseases including cardiac diseases, diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders. Therefore, an in-depth understanding of how and when those PTMs occur is crucial not only for gaining a perception of broad biological processes but also towards developing therapeutics for many life-threatening diseases. We integrate the aspects of chemical synthesis, enzymology, metabolomics, and proteomics along with cellular and animal models as our arsenal. Our long-term goal is to further capitalize on the findings to develop novel therapeutics (such as target-specific small molecule inhibitors) for the treatment of human diseases.
Faculty: Dr. Sushabhan Sadhukhan
Biophysical Chemistry: Protein folding is a critical process and plays a crucial role in its structure and function relationship. Incorrect structure of proteins lead to a number of diseases making it even more important to study its folding dynamics from a therapeutic standpoint. We take an interdisciplinary experimental approach to study this complex mechanism of protein folding misfolding and aggregation using different state of the art single molecule techniques and thereby identify small drug-like molecules (aggregation inhibitors) to prevent protein misfolding and aggregation.
Faculty: Dr. Supratik Sen Mojumdar
B.Tech (All branches): At the B.Tech level, the Discipline mainly offers the basic conditioning courses and labs to the first year B.Tech engineering streams.
M.Sc Chemistry: Chemistry Discipline started their M. Sc program in Chemistry from July, 2019 onwards. Historically, Chemistry is taught as three major subdivisions, viz., Organic, Inorganic and Physical. As a result, students get the impression that chemistry is divided into these, three separate, almost independent streams, and they usually graduate without acquiring a vision of the subject as one integrated whole. Needless to say, such a vision is important if one decides to pursue a career in Chemistry. Advances in technology in the past few decades, have helped us to understand the structures of molecules, and their reactivity at a much more fundamental level than ever before. Because of this, the unity of chemistry as an integrated whole has become very much clearer. However, unfortunately, at present, there are no courses in the country, taught at any level, which imparts such a vision of the subject. The present course is an attempt to do this. Currently, we have our second batch and the first batch is in their final semester and the intake is normally ~20 students per year.
Ph.D: Chemistry Discipline at IIT Palakkad started the Ph.D program for June 2017 onwards. Presently, the stream offers Ph.D in the areas of Biophysical chemistry and molecular dynamics simulations, Mechanochemistry, Equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics of soft matter, Structure and dynamics of polymers and supramolecules, Nanostructures for Biomedicine, Materials Chemistry and Heterogeneous Catalysis, Organic macromolecules - Design, Synthesis and Applications. The Research facilities to carry out both theoretical and experimental research works @IITPKD includes a High Performance Computing Cluster (HPC) consisting of 64 compute nodes, each having a dual 12-core Intel processor running at 2.2 GHz with 4 GB of RAM per core is available for faculty,research staff and students at IIT Palakkad to investigate complex research problems in science and engineering. A well-equipped chemical synthesis lab is available for the research in experimental chemistry. Analytical facilities include chromatography and spectroscopy equipment such as HPLC, LCMS, TG-DTA-MS, Bench-top NMR, FT-IR, Chemisorption, UV-vis and Fluorescence spectrophotometer. In addition to this, major research equipment such as X- ray diffractometer, Raman spectrophotometer and an electron microscope are installed at the Central Instrumentation Facility of IIT Palakkad.
The Discipline has an undergraduate/graduate Chemistry Laboratory (~150 sq. m), well equipped with several basic Physical, Inorganic, and Organic experimental infrastructure such as Analytical balance, Benchtop conductivity meter, Benchtop pH meter, Digital colorimeter with micro control and 8 filters, Ice flake machine, Melting point apparatus, spectrophotometer, Ultrasonic bath, UV-vis spectrophotometer, Fluorescence spectrophotometer, Microwave reactor, Cyclic Voltammeters, Optical microscope, Polarimeter, Bomb Calorimeter, Electrophoresis. A number of analytical equipment required for chromatography and spectroscopy such as TG-DTA-MS, Benchtop NMR, FT-IR, Chemisorption, UV-vis, and Fluorescence spectrophotometer are available.