Can you tell me about the Department of Chemistry at IITM?

Ever thought about how atoms and molecules move and interact, creating the processes that shape our world? Welcome to the Department of Chemistry, where you can explore the transformation of substances, and their interactions in the microscopic landscape, resulting in almost everything in and around you!

The Department of Chemistry at IIT Madras

This was one of the first departments to function after the establishment of IITM in 1959. It began with a faculty of just two people - one professor and one lecturer! Now, the department has grown to house 300 PhD and 100 MS students, along with 34 faculty members. The department is highly regarded for its exceptional research and education. Its strength lies in the dedicated faculty and students who excel in various fields of research - fundamental chemical disciplines like bio-inorganic chemistry, clean energy, polymer chemistry, molecular chemistry, coordination chemistry, electrochemistry, fuel cells, green chemistry, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, ionic liquids and phase equilibria, main group chemistry and inorganic polymers, materials chemistry, molecular spectroscopy, among others.

The department offers courses for undergraduate students such as:

  • Chemistry I and II - Core
  • Macromolecules as Engineering Materials - Elective
  • Kinetics and Catalysis - Elective
  • Chemistry Laboratory - Core

The department also houses research centers focusing on nanoscience, catalytic research, and magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy. Through substantial funding from the government and industry, the department addresses socially relevant scientific problems such as the development of nano-based water purification systems. The state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories support the cutting-edge research conducted in the department. Regular exposure to various instruments and techniques fuels the students’ research and innovation skills.

You can look more into the facilities here.

Programs offered

The Department of Chemistry at IIT Madras offers the following courses at various capacities:

  • MS
  • PhD

Students are admitted to the Master’s program through the ‘JAM’ entrance examination, a national-level entrance examination conducted collectively by all the IITs. For the Ph.D. program, selection involves pre-qualification in examinations such as GATE, CSIR-UGC/JRF, and INSPIRE, designated by the Government of India. This is followed by a face-to-face interview to determine admission.

Many of the alumni, awarded by IIT Madras as its distinguished alumni, have been excelling in their chosen professions all over the world. Today, the department is at its pinnacle in national and international platforms because of its quality research.

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