Arunachalam Ramanan joined the Department of Chemistry, IIT Delhi in 1990 where he is currently a full Professor. Self assembled natural and synthetic materials has inspired him the most – particularly transition metal based solids and biologically important inorganic materials. Past two decades his research group is engaged in developing ‘chimie douce’ techniques (hydrothermal, sol-gel, molten flux, metathesis) to isolate new hybrid solids with multidimensional structural features including nanomaterials. Majority of the synthesis are exploratory in nature and hence growing single crystals under varying reaction condition makes it imperative for unambiguous á posteriori structure analysis.
A major objective of the group is to establish reliable connections between molecular and supramolecular structures on the basis of intermolecular interaction, especially hydrogen bonding. A systematic investigation of crystal growth and influence of solvent medium and reaction condition (pH, temperature and hydrothermal/solvothermal) enabled his group to recognize the building of molecular/nonmolecular solids in terms of supramolecular assembly between chemically reasonable soluble molecular species. By postulating a mechanistic approach to describe chemical events prior to nucleation, his group has successfully interprets the occurrence of multiple forms of a solid – hydrate or solvate, polymorph, pseudopolymorph in the structural landscape of a system.