Department of Chemical Sciences
School of Natural Sciences

About Us

  • From the Chair`s Office
  • History of the Department

Welcome to the Department of Chemical Sciences, TIFR, Mumbai. The vision of the department is to blend the research activities in fundamental areas with applied chemistry directions. Modern areas like chemical biology and nanoscience are complemented well with expertise in core areas like molecular biophysics, spectroscopy and imaging. The Department has state-of-the art research facilities, some of which are home-built. You can read more about these in the attached pages.

The Department is strategically situated amidst the other allied departments such as biological sciences, and several physics departments such as Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Sciences, Theoretical Physics, School of Technology and Computer Science. Cross-disciplinary activities are hallmarks of the research programs in the Department which has traditionally fostered active inter-departmental collaborations with physicists and biologists. The composition of the faculty group within the department itself is a good blend of chemists and physicists practicing both theory and experiments. We encourage promising young researchers working in the contemporary forefront research areas of chemical or interdisciplinary science to apply for the faculty positions.

The department conducts a vibrant graduate program that offers Ph.D. degree. The structured and rigorous curriculum offers both - courses and term projects - in the first year of graduate study. The research training that the students receive is comparable to the best universities in the world. The department has a good faculty to student ratio, which enables students to seamlessly interact with the faculty members. The admission to this program is through a nationwide entrance test that is conducted on the second Sunday of December every year. Students are strongly encouraged to be on the lookout for an advertisement on the Institute’s website as well as in the national newspapers.

I hope that you will enjoy browsing through the pages of the website. I welcome you to drop a line if you have any questions or would like to know more about any of the programs listed on the website.

Shyamalava Mazumdar
Chair, Department of Chemical Sciences

The origin of the Department of Chemical Sciences at TIFR dates back to early 1950s when research activity in nuclear and electron magnetic resonance, magnetic susceptibility and related areas was initiated. A part of this Nuclear and Electron Magnetism (NEM) group led to the formation of Chemical Physics Group in the late sixties when the focus of research turned more towards chemical and biochemical systems. Activities of the Chemical Physics group in the seventies and eighties became intense on building and the using various molecular spectroscopic techniques, especially in the time-resolved mode, to address problems in chemistry and biology. As a result, the group became interested in designing novel molecular materials for specific applications. This led, once again, to retuning of the overall emphasis of the group leading to inclusion of programs such as synthetic materials chemistry. This comprehensive research group changed its name to the Department of Chemical Sciences (DCS) in 1997.

Currently, scientists at the DCS explore the link between living systems and the physical laws that govern nature. They study molecules ranging in size as small as water and as large as a virus. The laws that govern interaction in molecules are best studied in well-defined and isolated small molecules. This information becomes applicable to design novel materials with exotic properties, of value to chemical and solar energy industries and to medical applications. To understand working of biological systems, studies are made on structure, dynamics and function of biological molecules. TIFR is a leader in state-of-the-art experimental techniques such as high field NMR, ultrafast lasers and single molecule methodologies.