Prof. sabyasachi sarkar

Honorary Emeritus professor

Indian institute of engineering science and technology, shibpur

Former professor & head, dept. of chemistry, iit kanpur

Inorganic Chemistry and Bioinorganic/Biophysical Chemistry: Activation and fixation of small molecules like N2,CO2,CO,C2H2,CH4 and O2 involving synthesized transition metal complexes mimicking metallo-protein(enzymatic)properties with the understanding of structure-function relationship.Platinum complexes-DNA interaction as anticancer drug, copper-thiomolybdate interaction against Wilson disease. Current and sustained studies include to model (with the theme: stabilization of unusual oxidation states of transition metals involving green chemistry): nitrogenase, molybdenum and tungsten dependent pterin (cofactor) containing oxido-reductase class of enzymes,modeling hemo-proteins (heme as prosthetic group) like cytochrome P-450, NO-synthase, cytochrome-c oxidase, nitrophorin,cofactor F430, Ni-hydrogenase. The role of trace elements in stabilizing and catalyzing redox reactions like anaerobic respiration under hyperthermophilic and other primitive conditions.

Chemical Darwinism: The work is related to pre-biotic chemical evolution in the Hadean-Archaean environment during the early life of the Earth.In search of the extant life as the progenitor, its near forms exist in the hydrothermal vent or near hot spring of Archaean origin were modeled to mimic primitive reaction. The tungsten based enzymes found as formate dehydrogenase or in the extremophilic species like Pyrococcus furiosus or as obligately anaerobe acetylene hydratase were modeled. The mineral origin of life based on self-assembly processes is the theme of this work.

Analytical and Environmental:The work relates the development of spot test analysis in detecting trace materials relevant to forensic science and in analyzing important ingredients in bulk of similar materials.The distribution of toxic materials in drinking water especially the presence of arsenic and /or fluoride not only requires easy detection but their removal.Carbon nano technology is developed to combat these toxic materials from potable water without the use of electricity or other alternate energy applicable in rural areas.The presence of black carbon (BC) in the environment now adversely influences the aerosol for erratic precipitation and global warming.The use of cobweb to identify the distribution of BC indoor and outdoor showed the presence of defective CNT in BC. The defective CNT may activate oxygen under sunlight to produce ROS. Also the use of nano carbon particles is shown to release slowly the micro nutrients and adsorbed water to young plants spoon feeding spirit thus conserving the water and manure for their optimized use enhancing fruits and bio mass of plants.Interestingly a 3 ppm level of water soluble nano carbon prevents the development of mosquito beyond its larval stage in stagnant water pool. The architectural marvel in silk cocoon was studied to understand the thermostatic and humidity control with preferential oxygen gating inside such cocoon suggesting the construction of green house similar to the structure of cocoon.

Energy: The synthesis of artificial leaf is being probed to trap solar energy. Model reaction of the nickel and all iron based hydrogenase enzymes are under investigation including water splitting to harvest energy.It has been shown that carbon dioxide binds magnesium to facilitate the photochemical oxidation of chlorophylls and model complexes at lower energy and thus thermodynamically feasible.Such proof established the early prediction of Willstatter.

Nano Science: Fullerenes,carbon nanotubes,carbon dots,carbon onions and graphene and their water soluble forms, easy synthesis and chemistry, use for biochemical/biomedical applications like life cycle imaging of living laboratory animals, drug carrier and drug delivery. Development of composite materials for catalytic functions. The composite assembly of carbon materials with structurally characterized compounds or substrate based assembly of simple inorganic complexes led to aggregation with different shapes retaining the original identity mimicking stem cell.

Theoretical Chemistry: Model active site-substrate interactions are correlated with electrostatic potential computations, DFT and ab initio computational calculations to understand electronic population in metalloporphyrins, related porphyrinogens; molybdo and tungsto -enzymes active sites, model compounds and in vivo enzymatic reactions with inhibition reactions.

Spectroscopies and X-ray crystallography: Structural studies of the newly synthesized compounds include detailed spectroscopic analysis followed by single crystal X-ray crystallography which is coupled with the redox and kinetics properties of the synthesized systems.

Development of analytical techniques including spot tests and electrochemical techniques and reactions to identify toxic materials in trace quantity and development of sensors using electrochemical means and by photoluminescence.

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Last Updated: 24/11/2014