The Solid State and Structural Chemistry Unit was founded in November, 1976 by Bharat Ratna Professor C. N. R. Rao. SSCU has provided major thrust to diverse frontier areas at the intersection of Chemistry, Physics and Biology. Since its beginning, SSCU has fostered a culture of excellence which is reflected in the fact that SSCU leads IISc in terms of research productivity (see the below photo). Our research is highly interdisciplinary spanning frontier areas lying at the intersection of Chemistry, Physics and Materials Science. Detailed faculty profiles and research interests can be found here.
Student and Faculty Composition
The Unit admits students for research leading to the Ph.D. degree. Several Integrated Ph.D. students as well as UGs are part of the Unit in the form of Ph.D., Masters’ and Bachelors’ research. The Unit also provides opportunities for post-doctoral research via the Institute Program, sponsored projects or National fellowships such as DST-SERB-NPDF, UGC-DSK. Teachers from Colleges/Universities are also welcome to apply to funding schemes approved by National Funding organization for conducting collaborative research with Unit faculty members. The interdisciplinary nature of our research is also reflected in the composition of our students and faculty.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has recognized the Unit as a Centre for Advanced Study (CAS) in Solid State Chemistry. The Commission has also extended support to the Unit under its Science and Technology Infrastructure Improvement Programme. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has supported the Unit under its programme of Intensification of Research in High Priority Areas (IRHPA). The unit has also been supported by DST under its FIST programme. Additionally, the Unit faculties have substantial research grants from various National funding organizations (viz. DST, DST-SERB, DST-Nano Mission, DST-SERI, CSIR, ISRO, DRDO, private industries, eminent international organizations) for setting up high quality research infrastructure relevant to their research. In recent times, several Unit faculty members have been able to attract large research funding via Consortia Projects focusing on setting up of world class infrastructure and contemporary research areas of National importance. The Unit is highly equipped with state of the common laboratory instruments, spectrometers (including ultrafast femtosecond spectrometers), instruments for energy research, X-ray diffractometers, diverse materials synthesis tools and facilities. Besides this, the Unit faculty members have access to top of the line synchrotron and neutron facilities in Italy, Germany, Japan, Australia, UK and USA. Some of these offshore facilities have been jointly developed and managed by active Unit faculty members.
Besides developing its own research, the Unit members interact closely with other departments of the Institute, various research groups at National Institutes/Universities/Organizations within India and abroad. The Unit has continuing collaborative projects with some of the best laboratories in many foreign countries, including USA, UK, countries of the European Union (France, Germany, Italy, Sweden), Australia, Israel, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Within IISc, SSCU actively collaborates with faculty in Center for Nanoscience and Engineering (CeNSE), Physics and Molecular Biophysics Unit (MBU).