Position Open


The Unit admits students for research leading to the Ph.D. degree. Newly admitted students are required to take courses within the Unit and in other departments of the Institute as a part of their training. Students are also required to give at least two seminars during their Ph.D. studies. The minimum qualification for admission to the Ph.D. program is a Masters degree in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science or a related subject.  For those with M.Sc. in Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics must have been a part of their Undergraduate curriculum. Many students join the Unit through the institute’s Integrated Ph.D. program. The qualification for the Integrated Ph.D. pram is a Bachelor’s degree in Science. Detailed information for mode of entry to Ph.D. and Int. Ph.D. Programs of IISc can be obtained from:

The Unit also provides opportunities for post-doctoral research. Announcements with regard to post-doctoral positions are posted on the SSCU website ( as and when they are available.

Apart from students joining the Unit through regular research programs of IISc, many students are selected to carry out research under specific projects as Project Assistant/Associate/Trainee (Qualification: Master’s degree in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science). Announcements with regard to Project Assistantships are posted on the SSCU website ( as and when they are available.

The Unit also welcomes every year limited number of highly meritorious students for Summer Assistantships (Qualification: 1st/2nd Yr. Master’s degree, B.Tech./BE 7th semester), Master’s degree Project Work at the Unit.  Interested candidates may directly contact faculty member/s ( matching their area of research interests. 

Courses Offered

The Unit offers the following courses in the first and second terms of an academic year:

SS 201 (AUG) 3:0 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

Formal Principles; Postulates, Conditions for Equilibrium, Legendre Transformation, Maxwell Relations. Phase Transitions; Classification, Landau Theory, Universality. Irreversible Thermodynamics; Thermodynamic Forces and Fluxes, Onsager Relations, Illustrative Applications to Electrochemistry, Thermoelectric and Thermomagnetic Effects. Introduction to Far from Equilibrium Systems. Basic Formulations of Statistical Mechanics; Ensembles, Partition Functions, Relations to Thermodynamic Functions. Ideal Systems, Quantum Statistics, Non-ideal Gases, Einstein and Debye Solids. Introduction to Statistical Mechanics of Liquids. Computer Simulations; Basics of Monte Carlo and Molecular Dynamics Techniques.  

Course Instructors: B. BAGCHI AND S. YASHONATH

1. H.B. Callen, Thermodynamics and an Introduction to Thermostatistics
2. D.A. Mcquarrie, Introduction to Statistical Mechanics
3. D. Chandler, Introduction to Statistical Mechanics

SS 202 (AUG) 3:0 Quantum Chemistry

Basic Postulates of Quantum Mechanics. Exact Solutions: Harmonic Oscillator (ladder operator approach), Particle on a ring and on a sphere. Linear Operators and Matrices. Angular Momentum, Raising and Lowering Operators and Matrices for Spin Angular Momentum. Hydrogenic Atoms, Many Electron Atoms and Slater Determinants. Approximate Methods - Perturbation Methods, Application to Many Electron Atoms and Term Symbols. Variational Method - Hartree-Fock Method for Atoms. Hartree-Fock Method for Molecules: Roothan's Approach. Time Dependent Perturbation Method - Absorption and Emission.  

Course Instructor: S. RAMASESHA

Ira Levine, Quantum Chemistry
P.W. Atkins, Molecular Quantum Mechanics
A.Szabo and N. Ostlund, Modern Quantum Chemistry

SS 204 (AUG) 3:0 Chemistry of the Solid State
1. Crystal Chemistry
A brief introduction to crystallography
Lattices, unit cells, symmetry, point groups, space groups
Packing: CCP, HCP, voids, radius ratio rules
Bonding in crystals: ionic, covalent, metallic, van der Waals, hydrogen bonds
Description of crystal structures: metallic & nonmetallic structures, AB, AB2, AB3 (ReO3), spinels, pyrochlores, perovskites, K2NiF4 etc.
Pauling’s rules for ionic crystal structures and the concept of bond valence
Methods of crystallography; powder, single crystals, X-ray, neutron and electron diffraction
2. Defects in solids
Origin of defects in crystals
Types of defects: equilibrium, non-equilibrium, point, line, planar
Nonstoichiometric solids: evolution of point defects in non-stoichiometric solids, Wadsley defect.
Experimental methods for investigating defects in solids
Case study of extended defects: crystallographic shear, Magneli phases, defect perovskite oxides.
3. Electronic structure of solids
Atoms to molecules to crystals; orbitals to bonds to bands
Electronic structure of crystalline solids, elementary band theory: metals, insulators and semi-conductors.
Transport property measurement techniques: electrical resistivity, thermopower, Hall effect
4. Magnetism
Atomic magnetism and cooperative magnetism: dia-, para-, ferro-, antiferro- and ferrimagnetism – Curie, Curie-Weiss laws – Magnetism of d vs. f metal compounds.
Magnetic measurements, susceptibility, neutron diffraction.
5. Phase transitions
Classification: nucleation, growth models, martensitic transitions
Landau theory: examples, ferroelectrics, multiferoics
6. Solid state ionics
Ionics, mixed conductors, measurements
Devices: Batteries and Fuel cells
7. Synthesis of solids
Chemistry behind synthesis; intercalations; synthesis/preparation of single crystals; hydrothermal methods; bio-mineralization
8. Framework Solids
Zeolites, Aluminophosphates and related structures; Metal-organic framework compounds – their structures and properties.

Course Instructor: S. NATARAJAN

A.R. West, Solid State Chemistry and its applications
D.M. Adams, Inorganic Solids
A.K. Cheetham and P. Day, Solid State Chemistry : 1. Techniques and 2. Applications
P.A. Cox, The electronic structure and chemistry of solids
P.A. Cox, Transition metal oxides
R.C. Evans, An Introduction to crystal chemistry
A.F. Wells, Structural Inorganic Chemistry
N.N. Greenwood, Ionic crystal, lattice defect and non-stoichiometry
L. Smart and E. Moore, Solid state chemistry : An introduction
C. Kittel, Introduction to solid state physics
J.K. Burdett, Chemical bonding in solids
C.N.R. Rao and J. Gopalakrishnan, New directions in solid state chemistry
C.N.R. Rao, Chemical approaches to synthesis of inorganic materials  

SS 205 (AUG) 3:0 Symmetry and Structure in the Solid State

Concepts of Symmetry, point groups and space groups; crystal lattices; Elements of scattering theory, diffraction principles, reciprocal lattice; Powder diffraction; Single crystal methods; Data collection and processing strategies; Image plate and CCD detectors; Synchrotron radiations usage, Intensity statistics, Phase problem in crystallography, Patterson and direct methods; Refinement techniques, Riveted refinement in powder diffraction; Molecular structure and crystal structure, Intermolecular interactions and applications in solid state; Basics of Electron density analysis from X-ray diffraction; Basics of neutron diffraction, electron diffraction, elements of electron microscopy.  

Course Instructor: T. N. GURU ROW

C Giacavazzo (Ed.) Fundamentals of crystallography
J. D. Dunitz, X-ray analysis and the structure of organic molecules
G.H. Stout and L.H. Jensen, X-ray structure determination: A practical guide

SS 206 (AUG) 3:0 Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics: Applications to Phase Transitions

Course Instructor: B. Bagchi

SS 207 (AUG) 3:0 Non-equilibrium Statistical Mechanics: Applications to Biology

Liouville equation, projection operator, operator technique, mode coupling theory, chemical reaction dynamics. protein folding, enzyme kinetics
Course Instructor: B. Bagchi

R. Zwanzig (Non equilibrium Statistical Mechanics)
D.A. Mcquarrie
Relevant papers and notes

SS 301 (JAN) 2:1 Topics in Solid State Chemistry

Crystal Chemistry; Band theory and electronic structure of solids; solid state spectroscopy, Unified understanding of electronic, magnetic and related properties of complex materials like oxides, chalcogenides, etc; Amorphous materials; Theory and practice in the preparation and characterization of solids.

Laboratory experiments: Preparations of solids; X-ray diffraction; Rietveld Refinements; Electrical Conductivity; DC and AC susceptibility; Differential calorimetry; XPS; IR and Raman spectra of solids.

Course Instructor: M.S. Hegde

SS 303 (JAN) 3:0 Functional Molecular Materials: Theory and Applications

Basic concepts in conducting polymers, synthesis of conducting  polymers (PANI, PTh, PPV, etc.), characterization methods of polymers: spectroscopic (NMR, PL, UV-VIS, etc.) and electrical (including impedance spectroscopy) techniques; copolymers, blends and composites, illustrative examples using useful polymers; physical and chemical properties of polymers:  structural correlations with  glass transition temperature, crystallinity,  viscoelasticity of polymers;  electronic and ionic conductivity in polymers, factors affecting conductivity, mechanisms of electronic and ionic transport (including ion association); polymer electrochemistry;  applications

Course Instructors: Aninda J. Bhattacharyya and S.A. Patil

  • Handbook of Organic Conductive Molecules and Polymers, H. S. Nalwa, John Wiley & Sons, 2nd Ed, 1997
  • Handbook of Conducting Polymers, T. A. Skotheim, 2nd Ed, Marcel Dekker, New York, 1998
  • Solid state electrochemistry ed. P.G. Bruce, 1st Ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995.
  • Solid state chemistry and its applications, Anthony R. West, John Wiley & Sons, 1984.
  • Introduction to polymers, R.J. Young & P.A. Lovell, 2nd ed., Chapman and Hall, London, 1991.
  • A textbook of physical chemistry, P.W. Atkins & Julio De Paula, OUP, 2006
  • The CRC handbook of solid state electrochemistry, P.J. Gellings and H.J.M. Bouwmeester, CRC Press, Boca Raton, 1997.
  • Contemporary literature

SSCU faculty members are also involved in the following courses which are part of the Integrated Ph.D. program

CD221 (JAN) 3:0 Quantum Chemistry and Statistical Mechanics 
Course Instructors: S. Ramasesha and Aninda J. Bhattacharyya

CD 224 (JAN) 3:0 Computers in Chemistry
Course Instructors: S. Ramasesha, A.G. Samuelson (IPC) and S. Yashonath

CD 225 (JAN) 0:4 Physical and Analytical Chemistry Laboratory
Course Instructors: M.S. Hegde and C. Shivakumar

CD 232 (AUG) 0:4 Electronics for Chemical Scientists
Course Instructors: M.K. Gunasekaran (CEDT) and V. Jayaram



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