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Chakrabarti S.K.,se National Center For Basic Science Salt Lake | Chakrabarti S.K.,Indian Center for Space Physics
AIP Conference Proceedings | Year: 2013

I give a brief review of how some of the major players in the subject approached the problem of the origin of pre-biotic molecules on Earth. For paucity of space, I will start with the developments starting with Stanley Miller's experiment on abiotic synthesis of amino acids till the most recent work on numerical simulation of hydro-chemical processes of collapsing clouds and the evolution of complex bio-molecules. We are evidently far away from actually solving the problem of origin of life. What is clear, however, is that the formation of complex amino acids in interstellar region is indeed possible, independently, in many star forming regions inside protostellar disks. Possibly, the delivery of these important ingredients to the earth was done by comets and meteorites. Finally, I conclude that since only a small part of the universe is involved for a relatively short time to create the present life-form, far more complex and possibly 'super-civilized' systems are possible in this universe, and could even be present elsewhere. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

Sarkar S.,se National Center For Basic Science Salt Lake | Makhal A.,se National Center For Basic Science Salt Lake | Bora T.,Asian Institute of Technology | Lakhsman K.,Asian Institute of Technology | And 4 more authors.
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces | Year: 2012

Light-harvesting nanohybrids (LHNs) are systems composed of an inorganic nanostructure associated with an organic pigment that have been exploited to improve the light-harvesting performance over individual components. The present study is focused on developing a potential LHN, attained by the functionalization of dense arrays of ZnO nanorods (NRs) with a biologically important organic pigment hematoporphyrin (HP), which is an integral part of red blood cells (hemoglobin). Application of spectroscopic techniques, namely, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Raman scattering, confirm successful monodentate binding of HP carboxylic groups to Zn2+ located at the surface of ZnO NRs. Picosecond-resolved fluorescence studies on the resulting HP-ZnO nanohybrid show efficient electron migration from photoexcited HP to the host ZnO NRs. This essential photoinduced event activates the LHN under sunlight, which ultimately leads to the realization of visible-light photocatalysis (VLP) of a model contaminant Methylene Blue (MB) in aqueous solution. A control experiment in an inert gas atmosphere clearly reveals that the photocatalytic activity is influenced by the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the media. Furthermore, the stable LHNs prepared by optimized dye loading have also been used as an active layer in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). We believe these promising LHNs to find their dual applications in organic electronics and for the treatment of contaminant wastewater. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Banerjee S.,se National Center For Basic Science Salt Lake | Verma P.K.,se National Center For Basic Science Salt Lake | Mitra R.K.,se National Center For Basic Science Salt Lake | Basu G.,Bose Institute of India | Pal S.K.,se National Center For Basic Science Salt Lake
Journal of Fluorescence | Year: 2012

The self-assembly of non-toxic well-consumed small caffeine molecules into well-defined structures has important implications for future medical applications seeking to target the transport of small drugs in human body. Particularly, the solvation of the microenvironments of the self assembly ultimately dictates the interaction with the drug molecules and their therapeutic efficacy. We present femtosecond-resolved studies of the dynamics of aqueous solvation within self-assembled dimeric structure of caffeine molecules. We have placed small hydrophobic probes 4-(dicyanomethylene)-2- methyl-6-(p-dimethylaminostyryl) 4H-pyran (DCM), coumarin 500 (C500) into the caffeine dimer to enable spectroscopic examinations of the interior. While molecular modeling and NMR studies of the probes in the caffeine dimers reveal a well-defined location (stacked in between two caffeine molecules), dynamical light scattering (DLS), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, densimetric and sonometric experiments explore the structural evolution of the dimer upon complexation with the probes. We have extended our studies in various temperatures in order to explore structural evolution of the self assembled structure and consequently the dynamics of solvation in the interior of the dimer. Picoseconds/ femtosecond resolved dynamics and the polarization gated spectroscopic studies unravel the hydration and energetics associated with activated viscous flow of the confined probes. Our studies indicate that the interior of the caffeine dimer is well-solvated; however, the dynamics of solvation is retarted significantly compared to that in bulk water, clearly revealing the dimers maintain some ordered water molecules. We have also explored the consequence of the retarded dynamics of solvation on the photo-induced electron transfer (ET) reaction of a model probe, 2-(ptoluidino) naphthalene-6-sulfonate (TNS) encapsulated in the dimer. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011.

Giri A.,se National Center For Basic Science Salt Lake | Goswami N.,se National Center For Basic Science Salt Lake | Pal M.,se National Center For Basic Science Salt Lake | Zar Myint M.T.,Sultan Qaboos University | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Materials Chemistry C | Year: 2013

Surface modification can have a significant influence on the materials behavior at the nanoscale and can lead to nanostructures with novel properties. Here, we demonstrate the surface modification induced multiple photoluminescence and room temperature ferromagnetic activation of Mn3O4 nanoparticles (NPs). Employing a systematic variation of the ligands, their functional groups and the structural position of the functional groups, we have identified the necessary and sufficient structural requirements of the surface co-ordinating ligands, in order to induce unprecedented optical/magnetic responses from the NPs. Using a multitude of spectroscopic techniques, we have investigated the mechanism behind the emergence of the multiple photoluminescence (PL), and it is revealed that the presence of a α-hydroxy carboxylate moiety in the ligands is necessary to activate the Jahn-Teller (J-T) splitting of Mn3+ ions on the NP surface and the corresponding d-d transitions along with the ligand-to-metal charge transfer transitions (LMCT, associated with Mn2+/3+-ligand interactions) is the key factor. However, the presence of a carboxylate group on the surface coordinating ligands is sufficient to activate the room temperature ferromagnetism of the NPs. Moreover, it has been observed that the ligands that induced the smallest crystal field splitting energy (CFSE) resulted in the strongest ferromagnetic activation of the NPs. Finally, the functionalized material has been identified as an efficient catalyst for the photo-degradation of a model cationic organic dye. Apart from the fundamental scientific interest, these results represent a promising route for the rational design of Mn 3O4 NPs adaptable to diverse applications. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Mukherjee S.,se National Center For Basic Science Salt Lake | Sarkar S.,se National Center For Basic Science Salt Lake | Saha-Dasgupta T.,se National Center For Basic Science Salt Lake
Journal of Materials Science | Year: 2012

Employing first-principles density functional theory based calculations we investigated the change in electronic structure of CaCu3B 4O12 compounds as one moves from 3d (Co) to 4d (Rh) to 5d (Ir) element at B site. Our study sheds light on valences of Cu and B ions as one moves from 3d to 4d to 5d based compounds. The valence of Cu in Co and Rh compound turn out to be that of less known 3+ state, while that in Ir compound turn out to be commonly known 2+ state. Our first-principles study provide microscopic understanding of these different valences of Cu, in terms of changes in the mixing of Cu x 2 - y 2 and B-a 1g states, driven by changes in the crystal field and spin splitting. The stronger crystal field splitting for 4d and 5d elements compared to 3d at B site drive the low-spin state at Rh and Ir site as opposed to intermediate spin in case of Co. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

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