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Welcome to Ravi Kumar Venkatraman’s Webpage!

I am Ravi Kumar Venkatraman, currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Inorganic & Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science. Previously, I was a Post Doctoral Scholar (2019-2020) at the Department of Chemistry, University of Texas at Austin with Dr Carlos Baiz and Newton International Fellow (2017-2019) at the School of Chemistry, 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 occur in the complex liquid or fluid-like environment. The solvent does not play a mere spectator role instead it 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 and specific solvation. Read More

When a solute is dissolved in a solvent, the fluctuating solvent environment alters the 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 a 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. In contrast, solvent reorganization during 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 can 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 would require ultrafast spectroscopic techniques which can be thought of 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 visualize 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 5th 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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