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T. Pradeep

Institute Professor
Deepak Parekh Institute Chair 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 68; h5-­index 53; citations ~19,200 (Google Scholar)​
  • h­-index 57; citations 13,370 (SCOPUS)

Research Summary

Pradeep’s work is in the area of molecular materials and surfaces.

His group found that noble metal nanoparticles degrade halocarbons efficiently to amorphous carbon and metal halides at room temperature and at low concentrations. This discovery has led to the world’s first nanochemistry based water filter for pesticide removal as many pesticides of relevance are halocarbons. This technology is estimated to have reached about 7.5 million people. His group developed several technologies to remove other 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, named AMRIT, is being implemented now in the arsenic affected regions of India. About 600,000 people have been benefitted from these installations. Several other drinking water technologies have been rolled out from his lab.​ To take such technologies forward, four companies been incubated with the participation of IIT Madras. This activity is now being expanded globally.

A large part of his recent research is on atomically precise clusters of noble metals. 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. Very recently his group has shown that such small pieces of matter behave like simple molecules, in their chemical reactions between each other. To account for their unique properties, including reactions, a nomenclature system has been introduced. They are named as aspicules, meaning ’shielded molecules’.

His group discovered new methods to transform ions to novel materials. Several new phenomena have been discovered using such materials. His group introduced new methods to create ions in air and developed mass spectrometric techniques using them.

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.

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 1 eV proton collisions at water ice surfaces make dihydrogen cation. From all these, it is clear 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
2010 – Senior Professor, IIT Madras
2015 –Institute Professor (the second person on campus to have this title)
2016 –Institute Chair Professor (one of the first such appointments)
Interests Top

Molecular & nanoscale materials; nanoscience & nanotechnology; molecular surfaces; ion scattering; instrumentation; water purification
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
  • Member, Editorial board of International Journal of Water and Wastewater Treatment, 2015
  • Institute Chair Professor, 2016-
  • Deepak Parekh Institute Chair Professor, 2017-
  • Member, Editorial Advisory Board of the journal, Chemistry of Materials, 2018-
  • Member, Editorial Advisory Board of the journal, ACS Nano, 2018-
  • The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Prize in Chemistry, 2018
Research projects at hand Top
  • Thematic Project on Frontiers (TPF) of nano science and nanotechnology, DST, Rs. 580 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Thematic Unit of Excellence (TUE) on water purification using nanotechnology at IIT Madras, DST, Rs. 1081 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Soft ionization ion mobility mass spectrometry of atomically precise clusters of noble metals, Rs. 608 lakhs (principal investigator)
Important research projects completed Top
  • 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)
  • DST Unit of Nanoscience Phase II, Rs. 555.5 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Chemistry at ice surfaces, DST, Rs. 450 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)
  • Tandem mass spectrometry and ion/surface collisions, Department of Science and Technology, Rs. 58.6 lakhs
  • Nanoscopic optical limiters, MIT, Rs. 29.5 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, DST, Rs. 105 lakhs (principal investigator)
  • Molecular and ionic chemistry at ice surfaces, DST, Rs. 108.5 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 trials of drinking purification sachets, NanoHoldings, Rs. 20 lakhs (Research based industrial consultancy)
Instruments developed in the recent past Top
  • 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, temperature programmed desorption and reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy. Recently, a thermal evaporator to deposit metals has also been added.
Invited Lectures(Since 1994) Top
  • Over 440
Selected Publications Top
  • Organic solvent-free fabrication of durable and multifunctional superhydrophobic paper from waterborne fluorinated cellulose nanofiber building blocks, Avijit Baidya, Mohd Azhardin Ganayee, Swathy Jakka Ravindran, Kam (Michael) Tam, Sarit Das, Robin Ras,T. Pradeep, ACS Nano, 11 (2017) 11091–11099 (DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b05170).
  • Sequential dihydrogen desorption from hydride protected atomically precise silver clusters and the formation of naked clusters in the gas phase, Atanu Ghosh, Mohammad Bodiuzzaman, Abhijit Nag, Madhuri Jash, Ananya Baksi, T. Pradeep, ACS Nano, 11 (2017) 11145–11151 (DOI:10.1021/acsnano.7b05406).
  • Unusual accumulation of silver in the aleurone layer of an Indian rice (Oryza sativa) landrace and sustainable extraction of the metal, Soujit Sen Gupta, Ananya Baksi, Priyabrata Roy, Debal Deb, T. Pradeep, ACS Sustain. Chem. Eng., 5 (2017) 8310−8315 (DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.7b02058).
  • Interparticle reactions: An emerging direction in nanomaterials chemistry, K. R. Krishnadas, Ananya Bakshi, Atanu Ghosh, Ganapati Natarajan, Anirban Som, T. Pradeep, Acc. Chem. Res., 50 (2017) 1988−1996 (DOI:10.1021/acs.accounts.7b00224).
  • Au22Ir3(PET)18 : An unusual alloy cluster through inter-cluster reaction, Shridevi Bhat, Ananya Baksi, Sathish Mudedla, Ganapati Natarajan, Venkatesan Subramanian, T. Pradeep, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 8 (2017) 2787-2793 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b01052).)
  • Manifestation of geometric and electronic shell structures of metal clusters in intercluster reactions, K. R. Krishnadas, Ananya Baksi, Atanu Ghosh, Ganapati Natarajan and T. Pradeep, ACS Nano, 11 (2017) 6015-6023 (DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b01912).
  • Atomically precise clusters of noble metals: Emerging link between atoms and nanoparticles, Indranath Chakraborty and T. Pradeep, Chem. Rev., 117 (2017) 8208-8271 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00769).
  • Confined metastable 2-line ferrihydrite for affordable point-of- use arsenic free drinking water, Anil Kumar Avula, Anirban Som, Paolo Longo, Chennu Sudhakar, Radha Gobinda Bhuin, Soujit Sen Gupta, Anshup, Mohan Udhaya Sankar, Amrita Chaudhary, Ramesh Kumar and T. Pradeep, Adv. Mat., 28 (2016) 2827–2833 (DOI: 10.1002/adma.201505775).
  • Structure-conserving spontaneous transformations between nanoparticles, K. R. Krishnadas, Ananya Baksi, Atanu Ghosh, Ganapati Natarajan and T. Pradeep, Nat. Commun., 7 (2016) 13447 (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13447).
  • Cooking induced corrosion of metals, Soujit Sen Gupta, Ananya Baksi, Vidhya Subramanian and T. Pradeep, ACS Sustain. Chem. Eng., 4 (2016) 4781–4787 (DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.6b00980).
  • Extraction of silver by glucose, Ananya Baksi, Mounika Gandi, Swathi Chaudhari, Soumabha Bag, Soujit Sen Gupta and T. Pradeep, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 55 (2016) 7777-7781 (DOI: 10.1002/anie.201510122).
  • Cluster mediated crossed bilayer precision assemblies of 1D nanowires, Anirban Som, Indranath Chakraborty, Tuhina Adit Maark, Shridevi Bhat and T. Pradeep, Adv. Mater., 28 (2016) 2827-2833 (DOI: 10.1002/adma.201505775).‬
  • Inter-cluster reactions between Au25(SR)18 and Ag44(SR)30, K. R. Krishnadas, Atanu Ghosh, Ananya Baksi, Indranath Chakraborty, Ganapati Natarajan and T. Pradeep, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 138 (2016) 140–148 (DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b09401).
  • Metallic nanobrushes made using ambient droplet sprays, Depanjan Sarkar, M. K. Mahitha, Anirban Som, Anyin Li, Michael Wleklinski, R. G. Cooks and T. Pradeep, Adv. Mater., (2016) ( DOI: 10.1002/adma.201505127).
  • 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