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Brief Profile of the Awardee


Dr Swadhin Kumar Mandal

  • 2018
  • Chemical Sciences
  • 15/08/1973
  • Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry
Award Citation:

Academic Qualifications:
Thesis and Guide details:
Details of CSIR Fellowship/ Associateship held, if any or from other sources/ agencies.
Significant foreign assignments:
(a) Significant contributions to science and/ or technology development by the nominee based on the work done in India during most part of last 5 years:
The nominee has made an original and significant contribution in the area of developing a new concept in catalysis making the process more cost-effective. He has developed both homogeneous as well as recyclable heterogeneous catalysts for various organic transformations.[1-21] His major contribution may be broadly divided into two areas. One is the development of catalysts based on the new type of N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) that was isolated for the first time in 2009 (Science, 2009, 326, 556- 559, known as abnormal or non-classical NHC) and another area of using a small organic molecule phenalenyl to store and transfer the electron(s) in designing catalysts. The nominee’s group has been the first one to establish the application of this new type NHC in a variety of organic transformations (isolated abnormal NHC). [2-3] , [8-16] For example, the nominee’s group was first to report that the abnormal NHC is an excellent nucleophile and can be used in metalfree catalysis.[8] It was shown by his group that the abnormal NHC can be used as an excellent catalyst for preparation of biocompatible polymers such as polycaprolactone or polylactide which was not possible earlier with the previous version of NHC (Arduengo type normal NHC) at ambient conditions. Further, nominee’s group synthesized a series of organometallic complexes and applied them as catalysts. [[2-4], 9-15] For example, one of nominee’s compound has displayed outstanding catalytic activity in challenging Suzuki- Miyaura coupling of aryl chlorides at room temperature. The recent trend of nominee’s work covers synthesis of cost-effective and earth-abundant metal-based catalysts of abnormal NHC to use them as catalysts for hydrosilylation reaction with a detailed 7 mechanistic understanding of the process.[3, 14-15] It was directly established from the nominee’s work that this new NHC is far better than the earlier version of normal NHC in designing organometallic as well as metal-free catalysts. In a more recent work, the nominee’s group took up the challenge of converting a greenhouse gas into fuel using abnormal NHC based metal-free catalyst under ambient conditions (at room temperature and under 1 atmospheric pressure of the CO2 gas). In this work, nominee’s group has used abnormal N- heterocyclic carbene (aNHC) based catalyst for the reduction of carbon dioxide to methanol (methoxyborane that was hydrolyzed to methanol) in the presence of a range of hydroboranes under ambient conditions resulting in the highest TON of 6000 ever reported under homogeneous and mild conditions . [17] A catalytically active reaction intermediate, {aNHC-H, 9BBN(OCOH)2 } was structurally characterized and authenticated by NMR spectroscopy to unravel the detailed mechanistic cycle of this catalytic process. In another area of nominee’s effort developed a completely new concept of catalyst design with a small organic hydrocarbon molecule phenalenyl known for more than half a century. The early Hückel molecular orbital (HMO) calculations in 1960’s predicted that the odd alternant hydrocarbon phenalenyl has a nonbonding molecular orbital (NBMO) and can store electron to stabilize the radical state (Nature 1975, 256, 394-396). So far all applications of phenalenyl radicals have aimed at developing materials of intriguing properties such as conducting organic materials, optoelectronic materials, spin bistable materials, spin battery etc.
(b) Impact of the contributions in the field concerned:
The nominee’s work is recognized by the scientific community as evident from the citation data provided below which shows that nominee’s work is highly cited in journals of very high international repute (such as Nature, Nature Nanotech, Nature Materials, Nature Chem., Nature Phys, Nature Comm., PRL, JACS, Angew Chem., Chem. Sci. etc, please see below). His work has potential to change the future catalytic process for very important transformation such as CO2 to methanol for which nominee is now actively under process to open his own start up to convert his recent discovery into future technology. The impact of nominee’s work, which evolved originally from his conceptual development of the catalysis work is not just confined in the field of catalysis but also it has significant impact from the point of interdisciplinary area such as spin electronics and future device applications.
Places where work of last 5 years has been referred/ cited in Books, Reviews:
(i). Paper Cited
(ii). Book Cited
Names of the industries in which the technology (ies) has (have) been used :
The achievements already been recognised by Awards by any learned body:
The Awardee a fellow of the Indian National Science Academy/Indian Academy of Sciences/National Academy of Sciences/Others:
The Awardee delivered invited lecture(s) in India/abroad and/or chaired any scientific Internatiional Conference Symposium:
List of Awardee's 10 most significant publications.
List of Awardee's 5 most significant publications during the last 5 years
List of Awardee's 5 most significant publications from out of work done in India during the last five years:
Complete list of publications in standard refereed journals:
Complete list of publications with foreign collaborators (indicating your status as author):
List of papers published in Conferences /Symposia/ Seminars, etc:
List of the most outstanding Technical Reports/ Review Articles:
Statement regarding collaboration with scientists abroad:
List of Patents taken
Total number of patents granted in last five years.
Details of Books published:

Contact Details

  • Department of Chemical Sciences
    Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata

    Mohanpur - 741246
    West Bengal
  • swadhin[dot]mandal[at]iiserkol[dot]ac[dot]in
17 Oct 2018, http://ssbprize.gov.in/Content/Detail.aspx?AID=539