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T. Pradeep

Institute Professor and Professor of Chemistry
Department of Chemistry
Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Chennai - 600 036, INDIA
Phone: +91-44-2257 4208
Fax: +91-44-2257 0509/0545

E.mail: pradeep@iitm.ac.in

h­-index 54; h5-­index 48;
citations ~12,400 (Google Scholar)​

Research Summary

Pradeep’s work is in the area of molecular materials and surfaces. In his formative years, he studied molecular aggregates in the gas phase. He measured the very first vibrationally resolved photoelectron spectrum of Ar2. These days most of his work is on nanomaterials and ice surfaces.

His group studied the dynamics of monolayers in monolayer protected nanoparticles and showed that monolayers existed in a rotationally frozen state on nanoparticle surfaces. His group found a 'transverse electrokinetic effect' in which a potential is generated on nanoparticle assemblies anchored on surfaces, when a liquid is flown over them. His group also discovered that in the presence of metal nanoparticles, single walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) bundles emit light in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum, irrespective of whether it is metallic or semi-conducting.

His group found that noble metal nanoparticles can completely degrade halocarbons into amorphous carbon and metal halides. This discovery has lead to world’s first nanotechnology based filter for pesticide removal. This technology is estimated to have reached about 7.5 million people. His group developed several technologies to remove contaminants from drinking water. Combining several such materials, an all-inclusive affordable drinking water purifier has been developed. Exciting aspect of this technology is the creation of advanced materials by simple and environment-friendly methods. This technology is being implemented now in the arsenic affected regions of India. About 300,000 people are benefitted from these installations. To take such technologies forward, a company has been incubated with the participation of IIT Madras.

A large part of his recent research is on atomically precise clusters. His group discovered several new clusters called quantum clusters or nanomolecules. These have been used for diverse applications ranging from luminescent labels to metal ion sensors.

He and collaborators showed that equilibrium constant of the prototypical proton transfer reaction, NH3 + HCl→NH4Cl, is orders of magnitude lower on ice. Most recently he found that diffusion of chemically similar molecules through ultra thin ice films exhibits several surprises. A new structural transition on the top-most layers of ice surfaces has been discovered at low temperatures. His group showed that ultra-low energy ion collisions at ice surfaces manifest several surprises.
Education Top

1980 - 85 B.Sc., M.Sc. Calicut University
1986 - 91 Ph.D. Indian Institute of Science
1992 - 93 Post-doctoral fellow:
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley
1993 Post-doctoral fellow:
Purdue University, Indiana
Career Top

1993 - 95 Visiting Faculty, IIT Madras
1995 - 00 Asst. Professor, IIT Madras
2000 - 03 Associate Professor, IIT Madras
2004 - Professor, IIT Madras
Interests Top

Nanomaterials, clusters, drinking water purification, advanced mass spectrometry, ion/surface collisions, instrumentation
Other interests Top

Education, popular science in English and Malayalam, teaching aids
Visiting assignments Top
  • Visiting Scientist, Purdue University, Indiana 1994, 1998
  • Visiting Scientist, Institute of Chemistry, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Visiting Professor, Pohang University of Science and Technology, South Korea
  • Visiting Professor, University of Leiden, Netherlands, 2002 (two times)
  • Visiting Scientist, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Visiting Scientist, Institute of Molecular Science, Okazaki, Japan
  • Visiting Scientist, University of Hyogo, Japan
Awards/Honors Top
  • National Talent Test Award 1975-78
  • Calicut University Merit Scholarship 1983-85
  • Indo-US Science and Technology Fellowship 1992-93
  • Rajiv Gandhi Award for Innovative ideas in Science and Technology, 1995
  • Young Affiliate of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, 1996
  • Senior Fulbright Fellowship, 1998
  • Tamilnadu Scientist Award 2000
  • Materials Research Society of India Medal 2002
  • Young Scientist Award, Chemical Research Society of India, 2003
  • B.M. Birla Science Prize of 2000 awarded in 2003
  • Swarnajayanti Fellowship (Project) of the DST
  • Chemical Research Society of India Medal 2004
  • Fellow, Madras Science Foundation, 2005
  • Editorial board member of two journals in chemistry
  • Swadeshi Sastra Puraskaram – 2007, Swadeshi Science Movement of Kerala, part of Vignana Bharati
  • National Research Award in Nano Science and Technology by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, 2008
  • Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Prize in chemical sciences, 2008
  • Elected fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, 2009
  • Editorial Board Member of the journal, Nano Reviews 2010-
  • Kerala Sahitya Academy Award for Knowledge Literature 2010
  • Professor S. S. Deshpande National Award 2011
  • Editorial Board Member of the journal, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 2012-
  • International Editorial Advisory Board Member of the journal, Particle 2012-
  • International Editorial Advisory Board Member of the journal, Surface Innovations 2012-
  • India Nanotech Innovation Award 2012
  • Adjunct Professor, Institute of Life Sciences, Ahmedabad University 2013-
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor, PSG Institute of Advanced Studies, Coimbatore 2013-
  • Elected fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, 2014
  • Member, Editorial Board of the journal, Chemistry – An Asian Journal, 2014-
  • Associate editor, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 2014-
  • Member, Advisory Board of the journal, Nanoscale 2014-
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, FRSC 2014-
  • JC Bose National Fellowship 2015-
  • Lifetime Achievement Research Award of IIT Madras 2015
  • Member, Editorial Board of the journal, Scientific Reports (Nature Group) 2015­ -
  • Elected fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, 2016
  • Elected fellow of The National Academy of Sciences, 2015
Research projects at hand Top
  • DST Unit of Nanoscience Phase II, Rs. 555.5 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Chemistry at ice surfaces, DST, Rs. 450 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Thematic Unit of Excellence (TUE) on water purification using nanotechnology at IIT Madras, DST, Rs. 1081 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Luminescent quantum clusters of noble metals in bio-molecules, ICMR, Rs. 160 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Metal nanoclusters for fluorescence, catalysis and heavy metal ion scavenging, DST and Academy of Finland, Rs. 40.5 lakhs (principal investigator) with Hannu Hakkinen and Robin Ras (principal investigators from Finland)
  • Quantum cluster solar cells, DST, Rs. 165.61 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Organized CNT-noble metal cluster conjugates, Indo-Korean project with Haiwon Lee, Rs. 40.1 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Soft ionization ion mobility mass spectrometry of atomically precise clusters of noble metals, Rs. 608 lakhs (principal investigator)
Research projects completed Top
  • Fluoride removal from drinking water, Rs. 8 lakhs (socially relevant projects, supported by a group of individuals)
  • Chemistry of functionalised and corrugated self assembled monolayers, DST, Rs. 3.28 lakhs
  • Chemistry of metallocarbohedrenes, Department of Science and Technology, Rs. 21.25 lakhs with Prof. P. T. Manoharan
  • Chemical writing on organised molecular assemblies, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre, Bangalore, 2 lakhs
  • Feasibility of preparing fullerenes from local graphite, Gem Graphites Pvt. Ltd., Rs. 0.5 lakhs
  • Tandem mass spectrometry and ion/surface collisions, Department of Science and Technology, Rs. 58.6 lakhs
  • Oxidation of CO on palladium clusters, Defence Research Development Organisation, Gwalior 4.91 lakhs (Research based industrial consultancy)
  • Chemistry of monolayers on metal clusters, CSIR, Rs. 6.63 lakhs
  • Structure of monolayer assembled cluster superlattices, IUC-DAE, Rs. 2.55 lakhs
  • Nanocomposites as light sensors, ISRO-IITM Cell, Rs. 9.6 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Nanoscopic optical limiters, MIT, Rs. 29.5 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, DST, Rs. 105 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Dynamics of aminoacids in ices, CSIR, Rs. 3.3. lakhs, (principal investigator)
  • Molecular and ionic chemistry at ice surfaces, DST, Rs. 108.5 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Fundamental studies on thermal conductivity of nanofluids DRDO, Rs. 19 lakhs (investigator)
  • Thermal and electrical conductivity of nanofluids, DST, Rs. 9 lakhs (Investigator)
  • Excitonic superlattices, DST-JSPS collaborative project, 3 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Gold nanoparticles in drinking water purification, World Gold Council, 20 lakhs (Principal Investigator)
  • DST Unit of Nanoscience, DST, Rs. 1165.8 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Field tests of drinking water purifiers, IGCAR, Rs. 6 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Field trials of drinking purification sachets, NanoHoldings, Rs. 20 lakhs (Research based industrial consultancy)
Instruments developed Top
  • Designed and fabricated a molecular beam photoelectron spectrometer to study molecular interactions in the gas phase
  • Made significant additions to an existing electron energy loss spectrometer used for the study of vacuum ultraviolet transitions of molecules
  • Developed fullerene generators
  • Developed a combined arc/discharge/thermal evaporation system
  • Developed a variable energy ion irradiation system for reactions with self assembled monolayers
  • Two high pressure reaction cells have been developed
  • A variable temperature (down to 12 K) infrared set-up has been put to operation. The system has been interfaced with a PC
  • A high/low temperature cell for in-situ FT-IR studies has been constructed
  • A metal-carbon cluster source has been coupled with a quandrupole mass spectrometer
  • A tandem mass spectrometer for ion/surface collisions has been constructed
  • An apparatus to study gaseous reactions at surfaces of ices has been developed
  • Apparatus for the preparation of carbon clusters/molecular species by microwave discharge has been developed
  • Microwave discharge source for the synthesis of new molecules has been coupled to a residual gas analyser for in-situ investigations
  • Reactor for the study of monolayer reactions has been coupled to a residual gas analyzer
  • A state-of-the-art UHV ion scattering spectrometer with two mass spectrometers has been constructed. This is one of the very first of its kind to conduct studies on molecular surfaces at 10-11 torr
  • An ultra-low evergy (1-10 eV) mass selected ion scattering instrument working in the range of 7-1000 K to study ice surfaces has been developed. The instrument is coupled with low energy sputtering and reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy
Invited Lectures(Since 1994) Top
  • Over 360
Selected Publications Top
  • Molecular ionization from carbon nanotube paper, Rahul Narayanan Depanjan Sarkar, R. Graham Cooks and T. Pradeep, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 53 (2014) 5936–5940 (DOI: 10.1002/anie.201311053)
  • Supramolecular functionalization and concomitant enhancement in properties of Au25 clusters, Ammu Mathew, Ganapati Natarajan, Lauri Lehtovaara, Hannu Häkkinen, Ravva Kumar, Venkatesan Subramanian, Abdul Jaleel, T. Pradeep, ACS Nano, 8 (2014) 139-152 (DOI: 10.1021/nn406219x)
  • Biopolymer reinforced synthetic granular nanocomposites for affordable point-of-use water purification, M. Udhaya Sankar, Sahaja Aigal, Amrita Chaudhary, Anshup, Shihabudheen M. Maliyekkal, A. Anil Kumar, Kamalesh Chaudhari and T. Pradeep, PNAS, 110 (2013) 8459-8464 (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1220222110)
  • The superstable 25-kDa monolayer protected silver nanoparticle: Measurements & interpretation as an icosahedral Ag152(SCH2CH2Ph)60 cluster, I. Chakraborty, A. Govindarajan, J. Erusappan, A. Ghosh, B. Yoon, R. L. Whetten, U. Landman and T. Pradeep, Nano Lett., 12 (2012) 5861-5866
  • Selective visual detection of TNT at the sub-zeptomole level, Ammu Mathew, P. R. Sajanlal, and T. Pradeep, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 51 (2012) 9596-9600
  • Ag7Au6: A 13 atom alloy quantum cluster, T. Udayabhaskararao, Yan Sun, Nirmal Goswami, Samir K. Pal, K. Balasubramanian and T. Pradeep, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 51 (2012) 2155-2159
  • Understanding the evolution of luminescent gold quantum clusters in protein templates, Kamalesh Chaudhari, P. L. Xavier and T. Pradeep, ACS Nano, 5 (2011) 8816-8827
  • Ag9 quantum cluster through a solid state route, T. U. B. Rao, B. Nataraju and T. Pradeep, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 132 (2010) 16304-16307
  • Luminescent Ag7 and Ag8 Clusters by Interfacial Synthesis T. Udaya Bhaskara Rao and T. Pradeep, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 49 (2010) 3925-3929
  • Noble metal nanoparticles for water purification: A critical review, T. Pradeep and Anshup, Invited critical review, Thin Solid Films, 517 (2009) 6441-6478
  • Fluorescent gold nanoparticle superlattices, Naoki Nishida, Edakkattuparambil S. Shibu, Hiroshi Yao, Tsugao Oonishi, Keisaku Kimura and T. Pradeep, Adv. Mater., 2(2009) 220-234
  • Electric field assisted growth of highly uniform and oriented gold nanotriangles on conducting glass substrates, P. R. Sajanlal and T. Pradeep, Adv. Mat. 20 (2008) 980-983
  • Ligand exchange of Au25SG18 leading to functionalized gold clusters: Spectroscopy, kinetics and luminescence, E. S. Shibu, M. A. Habeeb Muhammed, T. Tsukuda and T. Pradeep, J. Phys. Chem. C., 112 (2008) 12168 - 12176
  • Visible fluorescence induced by the metal semiconductor transition in composites of carbon nanotubes with noble metal nanoparticles, Chandramouli Subramaniam, T. S. Sreeprasad, T. Pradeep, G. V. Pavan Kumar, Chandrabhas Narayana, T. Yajima, Y. Sugawara, Hirofumi Tanaka, Takuji Ogawa and J. Chakrabarti, Phys. Rev. Lett., 99 (2007) 167404
  • Novel MoS2 clusters in the gas phase, D. M. David Jeba Singh, T. Pradeep, Joydeep Bhattacharjee and U. V. Waghmare, J. Phys. Chem. A 109 (2005) 7339-7342
  • Flow induced transverse electrical potential across an assembly of gold nanoparticles, C. Subramaniam, T. Pradeep and J. Chakrabarti, Phys. Rev. Lett. 95 (2005) 164501
  • Unique chemistry at ice surfaces: Incomplete proton transfer in H3O+-NH3 system, S. -C. Park, K.-W. Maeng, T. Pradeep and H. Kang, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Eng., 40 (2001) 1497-1500
Full list