• 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.

Sudipta Maiti
Chair, Department of Chemical Sciences

The origin of DCS dates back to the early 1950s when research activity in nuclear and electron magnetic resonance, magnetic susceptibility and related areas was initiated. From this original Nuclear and Electron Magnetism (NEM) group a more focused Chemical Physics Group was created in the late 1960s with research activities turned more towards chemical and biochemical systems. Activities of the Chemical Physics group in the 1970-80s were intensely focused on building and using various molecular spectroscopic techniques, especially in the time-resolved mode, to address problems in chemistry and biology. As the faculty group became interested in designing novel molecular materials for specific applications the overall emphasis of the group was then tuned to include programs such as synthetic materials chemistry. This comprehensive research group was named as the Department of Chemical Sciences (DCS) in 1997. The Department of Chemical Sciences (DCS) at TIFR, Mumbai currently has 12 faculty members and 50 Ph.D. students.

Currently, scientists at the DCS explore the link between living systems and the physical laws that govern nature. They study systems of varying sizes ranging from water molecules to viruses. To understand working of biological systems, DCS researchers are studying the structure, dynamics, and function of biological molecules.  In vivo studies through TIFR-developed chemical biology tools explore the biological interaction space and also report the emergence of disease conditions. The laws that govern interaction in molecules are studied at DCS in well-defined and isolated small molecules. Information gained from such fundamental studies are applied to design novel materials with exotic properties, of value to chemical and solar energy industries and to medical applications. The interdisciplinary endeavors of DCS are constantly supported by core expertise in state-of-the-art experimental methodologies such as high field NMR, ultrafast lasers and single molecule methodologies.