A New Frontier

A New Frontier

Abhipsa Nayak | Jul 27, 2015

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Research can be fun, but it is fun only to those who know what it is all about and how it is done                                           

                                                                                                                               -George Watson

Quest for Artificial Photosynthesis devices has assumed paramount importance these days and provides a fertile ground for interdisciplinary research. For more than a decade, two groups of research workers belonging to the departments of Organic Chemistry and Spectroscopy of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Jadavpur, Kolkata and led respectively by Dr Asish De and Dr Ganguly are involved in this work.  National Institute of Technology, Rourkela grabbed the chance and welcomed Dr Asish De for conducting the Institute Seminar on 24th July 2015 in Life Science Seminar Hall. The seminar was based on ‘Sulfur Heterocycles: Synthesis and Photophysical Studies: An Interdisciplinary Research’. The professors as well as the students got the opportunity to interact with Dr Asish De and gain knowledge on the quest for Artificial Photosynthesis, synthesis of flexible spacers.

Dr Asish De’s fascination and deep interest in the subject 'Sulfur Heterocycles' motivated him to choose this field of research. He is presently the Secretary of Royal Society of Chemistry (Eastern India Section). Royal Society of Chemistry promotes supports and celebrates chemistry with the goal of advancing chemical sciences. The society motivates young minds to pursue their career in researching the field of Chemistry.

During the course of the work of Dr De and Dr Ganguly, compounds consisting of a donor and an acceptor moiety which are linked by rigid or flexible spacers were designed and care has been taken to device systems that would minimize energy wasting charge recombination process. More recently incorporation of nanocomposites has proved extremely useful for this purpose. For the first time, Dr De and Dr Ganguly have shown that alkoxy benzo[b]thiophenes can assume the role of useful donors in such compounds and they have successfully used the methodology of heteroatom directed ortho metallation in devising novel expedient synthesis of these compounds. The research has created a milestone in the study of artificial photosynthesis.

As quoted by Dr Asish De during the seminar-

                        “If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill.
                           Be a scrub in the valley-but be
                           The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
                           Be a bush, if you can't be a tree.”

                                                                                    -Douglas Malloch

Plant synthesizes carbohydrate that fuels the organism activity and it is completely a natural process. The idea of artificial photosynthesis has created a benchmark in the development of science and technology. The demand of food is ever rising with the increase in population. Artificial Photosynthesis is the need of the hour to meet the demand and prevent food scarcity. This will now be at the heart of a new scientific era. It has opened up a new frontier for human endeavour and we hope that someday it will bear the fruit of benefit for not man alone but for all the life on earth.

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