Photo of a portion of the periodic table showing elements

Department of

Photo of Pramod   Pillai

Pramod Pillai

Associate Professor


Functional nanomaterials: Hybrid nanostructures for self-assembly, light harvesting and bio-targeting studies.


Pramod Pillai obtained his PhD in Chemistry in 2008 under the supervision of Prof. K. George Thomas at National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST) Trivandrum, India. Prior to joining IISER Pune in June 2014, Dr. Pillai was a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Prof. Bartosz A. Grzybowski at Northwestern University, Evanston, USA (2011-2014), and an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral Fellow at Technische Universität in Dortmund, Germany with Prof. Christof M. Niemeyer (2008-2010). Currently Dr. Pillai’s research at IISER Pune is focused on controlling the interplay of forces to improve and impart newer properties at the nanoscale. Some of the properties of interest includes light harvesting, catalysis and self-assembly in hybrid nanomaterials.


Surface engineered nanomaterials: From design principles to functional materials

Research in Dr. Pramod Pillai's group is focused on gaining fundamental understanding on various phenomena happening at the nanoscale that are often counter-intuitive. Their main approach is centered on controlling the forces at nanoscale, and thereby interactions, to impart newer or improve the existing nanomaterial functions. Some of the forces that we play around include H-bonding, van der Waals, electrostatic, magnetic, molecular and so on. The group's research involves interdisciplinary areas including organic/inorganic synthesis, hybrid nanomaterials fabrication and characterization, photophysical and biophysical studies. The long-term goal is to optimize various interactions at the nanoscale, and apply them to improve the self-assembling & aggregation, catalytic and photocatalytic, and photochemical and photophysical properties of nanomaterials. Thus the group is interested in achieving a precise control over the movement of energy and electrons under the influence of light in an efficient manner, which is one of the fundamental challenges in nanoscience. These advancements in the existing optoelectronic properties of nanomaterials, through the fine control over interactions at the nanoscale, are expected to expand the scope of nanomaterials in energy and medical research.

Selected Publications

Chakraborty, I. N.; Roy, P.; Rao, A.; Devatha, G.; Roy, S. and Pillai, P. P. (2021) The unconventional role of surface ligands in dictating the light harvesting properties of Quantum Dots. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 9, 7422-7457.

Roy, S.; Jain, V.; Kashyap, R. K.; Rao, A. and Pillai, P. P. (2020) Electrostatically driven multielectron transfer for the photocatalytic regeneration of nicotinamide cofactor. ACS Catalysis 10, 5522–5528.

Devatha, G.; Roy, P.; Rao, A.; Roy, S. and Pillai, P. P. (2020) Multicolor luminescent patterning via photoregulation of electron and energy transfer processes in Quantum Dots. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 11, 4099–4106.

Roy, P.; Devatha, G.; Roy, S.; Rao, A. and Pillai, P. P. (2020) Electrostatically driven resonance energy transfer in an All-Quantum Dot based donor–acceptor system. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 11, 5354–5360.

Devatha, G.; Rao, A.; Roy, S. and Pillai, P. P. (2019) Förster Resonance Energy Transfer regulated multicolor photopatterning from single Quantum Dot nanohybrid films. ACS Energy Letters 4, 1710–1716.

Chakraborty, I. N.; Roy, S.; Devatha, G.; Rao, A. and Pillai, P. P. (2019) InP/ZnS Quantum Dots as efficient visible-light photocatalysts for redox and carbon−carbon coupling reactions. Chemistry of Materials 31, 2258–2262.

Roy, S.; Roy, S.; Rao, A.; Devatha, G. and Pillai, P. P. (2018) Precise nanoparticle–reactant interaction outplays ligand poisoning in visible-light photocatalysis. Chemistry of Materials 30, 8415–8419.

Roy, S.; Rao, A.; Devatha, G. and Pillai, P. P. (2017) Revealing the role of electrostatics in gold nanoparticle catalyzed reduction of charged substrates. ACS Catalysis 8, 3879-3884.

Devatha, G.; Roy, S.; Rao, A.; Mallick, A.; Basu, S. and Pillai, P. P. (2017) Electrostatically driven resonance energy transfer in “Cationic” biocompatible indium phosphide Quantum Dots. Chemical Science 7, 7141-7145.

Rao, A.; Roy, S.; Unnikrishnan, M.; Bhosale, S. S.; Devatha, G. and Pillai, P. P. (2016) Regulation of interparticle forces reveals controlled aggregation in charged nanoparticles. Chemistry of Materials 28, 2348-2355.