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Welcome to Ravi Kumar Venkatraman’s Webpage!

I am Ravi Kumar Venkatraman, currently a Post Doctoral Researcher at the Department of Chemistry, the University of Texas at Austin with Dr. Carlos Baiz. Previously, I was a Newton International Fellow (2017-2019) at the School of Chemistry, the University of Bristol with Prof. Andrew J Orr-Ewing (FRS).

Research Interest | 2 min read
Venkatraman’s research interest focusses on understanding the influences of solvent on a plethora of chemical and biological processes from a molecular level standpoint. The quest for alkahest meaning “a universal solvent dissolving all substances”, manifests the significance of solvation even in the late Middle Ages. Myriads of technologically important chemical reactions happen in the liquid medium and the majority of our day-to-day biological activities happen in the complex liquid or fluid-like environment. Solvent does not play a mere spectator role but actively involves in a multitude of chemical and biological processes which are a ramification of solute−solvent interactions (solvation) and are predominantly classified as non-specific or specific solvation. Read More

When a solute is dissolved in a solvent, the fluctuating solvent environment alters electronic structure of the solute which in turn leads to geometric structural changes. Therefore, electronic and vibrational spectroscopy can be used as a probe to understand the solvent influence on the solute properties.

Solvation can be broadly classified as the static and dynamic effect. Consider a chemical reaction, advancing from reactant to product state through various intermediate and transition states, static solvation influences the relative energy ordering of them and thereby either altering the course of a reaction or speed-up/slow down the reaction rates. While solvent reorganization during the course of a reaction and its influence on the reactivity is termed as dynamic solvation. We recently observed that the hydrogen bond reorganization acts as a bottleneck for the intersystem crossing from the photo-excited S1(nπ*) to the T2(ππ*) state of Benzophenone coordinated to methanol solvent through hydrogen bonding. Read More

Solvent motions around the solute in the first solvation shell are categorized as inertial (librational motion), rotational and translational diffusive; their typical timescales range from sub-100 femtosecond (fs) to sub-picosecond (ps) for inertial, sub-ps to a few ps for the rotational diffusion and a few ps to nanoseconds for translational diffusion of solvent motions. Read More

To capture the influence of solvation dynamics on the photophysics and photochemistry of solute, one requires ultrafast spectroscopic techniques which can be thought as a camera with a shutter speed fast enough to track the molecular motion leading to the excited state dynamics. Read More Furthermore, to corroborate and visualise our experimental findings, we resort to density functional theoretical calculations and molecular dynamics & simulations. Read More

© Ravi Kumar Venkatraman (July  2019)

Almae Matre
Completed his PhD at the Department of Inorganic & Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science (2017) under the supervision of Prof. Siva Umapathy (FASc).

Completed MSc (University 7th Rank Holder) with distinction (2007 – 2009) and BSc (College Topper) with First Class (2004 – 2007) at Guru Nanak College affiliated to the University of Madras.

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