Inorganic & Physical Chemistry
The Inorganic and Physical Chemistry Division of CSIR-IICT, one of the oldest Divisions of the institute, adopts a multi-disciplinary approach for achieving advancement in both basic and applied industrial research related to catalysis, nanomaterials, and inorganic chemicals. The areas of interest of this division span a diverse range, that include catalysis (heterogeneous and homogeneous for bulk and fine chemicals synthesis employed as drugs and drug intermediates), nano-materials development (with applications as sensors, bio-based drug delivery systems, and materials for solar energy conversion), sustainable energy (catalytic biomass conversion into chemicals and fuels), computational chemistry as well as organometallic and bio-inorganic chemistry. This Division is engaged in the development of novel technologies for the conversion of solid waste like used plastics into fuels. The division has the expertise in the state-of-art reforming reactions to generate hydrogen for fuel cell and other applications. Extensive work has also been conducted on development of adsorbents for carbon dioxide capture, removal of toxic gases from thermal power plant effluents, and fluoride from drinking water. This division has been developing novel materials being employed as photocatalysts, nanocomposites, solid electrolytes, mesoporous materials, and solid acid-base catalysts for various organic transformations.
A highly experienced interdisciplinary group of scientists from this division are working in the area of solar energy conversion. This Division is also known for theoretical computation and modeling studies aimed at the design of function materials such as non-linear optics. Synthetic inorganic and organometallic chemistry being practiced in this division caters to the development of efficient ligands for applications as catalytic materials, sensors, and bioactive substances.
The significant strength of this Division is having adequate number of highly qualified scientific strength on the design and development of materials that can be categorised broadly as nano-structured materials based on inorganic, organic, polymeric and hybrid functional-materials suitable for application in energy devices, sensors, catalysis, etc. Additionally, the major activities deal with tailoring the physical and chemical properties by appropriate surface engineering, characterizing the materials and studying their device properties.
The Division has undertaken several projects from governmental agencies like DST, DBT, DRDO, DAE, ISRO and others to support the basic and applied research. The scientists have been successful in developing novel catalysts, materials, and process technologies that are in commercial use. The untiring efforts of this division resulted in good number of high quality publications, national and international patents, and training of young researchers. The research activities and accomplishments of the division have attracted a large number of Ph.D. students from all over the country for pursuing their research, which resulted in more than 500 Ph.D.s. The high quality training enabled many of them occupying vital positions in the industry and institutions both in India and abroad, besides becoming very successful entrepreneurs. The outstanding contributions of the division have been recognized in the form of various prestigious honours, awards and collaboration with various countries like, UK, Australia, Korea, Russia, France, Germany, Poland, Japan and Kazakhstan.