Chemistry in Pondicherry University aims to support fundamental science of the highest quality in a first-class physical environment. The Department includes a large number of nationally recognized research groups covering an exceptionally broad spectrum of chemical science ranging from synthetic chemistry to modelling. Our enthusiastic research culture embraces new challenging areas, including strong collaborations with other academic disciplines and institutions, while maintaining a powerful presence in the traditional core areas of chemistry.

The PhD is offered by the Department of Chemistry as a full-time period of research and introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge. (Applications from part-time students may also be considered but there are attendance requirements and you will need to live close enough to Pondicherry University to fulfill these.) Students are integrated into the research culture of the Department by joining a research group, supervised by one of our academic staff, in one of the following areas of chemistry:

Synthetic Chemistry

Synthetic research at the Pondicherry University is focused on the development of innovative new methods to make and use molecules of function. Ranging from the innovative catalytic strategies to make small molecules, to supramolecular assemblies or the total synthesis of biologically important compounds, our research is diverse, pioneering and internationally leading. The dynamic environment created by the research groups working at the cutting edge of the field makes graduate research at Pondicherry the best place for outstanding and motivated students.

Theoretical & Computational Chemistry

Research in Theoretical Chemistry covers a wide range of length and timescales, including active development of new theoretical and computational tools. The applications include high-resolution spectroscopy, atomic and molecular clusters, biophysics, surface science, and condensed matter, complementing experimental research in the Department. We develop new tools for quantum and classical simulations, informatics, and investigate molecules using descriptions that range from atomic detail to coarse-grained models of mesoscopic matter. This work often begins with analytical theory, which is developed into new computer programs, applied to molecules and materials of contemporary interest, and ultimately compared with experiment.

Materials Chemistry

The technological devices that we depend on, from aero planes to mobile phones, rely upon ever-increasing structural complexity for their function. Designing complex materials for these devices through the art of chemical synthesis brings challenges and opportunities. Members of the Materials Research Interest Group invent new materials in view of potential applications. Modern materials chemistry is a wide ranging topic and includes surfaces, interfaces, polymers, nanoparticles and nonporous materials, self assembly, and biomaterials, with applications relevant to oil recovery and separation, catalysis, photovoltaics, fuel cells and batteries, crystallization and pharmaceutical formulation, gas sorption, energy, functional materials, biocompatible materials, and sensors.

Physical Chemistry

Physical Chemistry at Pondicherry University has two broad but overlapping aims. One is to understand the properties of molecular systems in terms of physical principles. This work underpins many developing technological applications that affect us all, such as nanotechnology, sensors and molecular medicine. The other is computational simulation atmospheric chemistry where the interactions between chemical composition, climate and health are studied using a range of computer modelling and experiment-based approaches. Together these two areas form a richly interdisciplinary subject spanning the full range of scientific methodologies: experimental, theoretical and computational. It is the research area with something for everyone.

Educational aims of the PhD programme:

  • Give students with relevant experience at master’s level the opportunity to
    carry out focused research in the discipline under close supervision.
  • Give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise
    relevant to their research interests.
  • Provide all students with relevant and useful researcher development
    training opportunities to broaden their horizons and properly equip them
    for the opportunity which they seek following their PhD studies.