Faculty Directory

Dr. Prakash P. Neelakandan

Associate Professor (Scientist-E)

Photoactive supramolecular soft materials for applications in sensing and chemical biology


Research Interest

  • Research in our group focuses on the development of new photoresponsive soft nanomaterials for applications in sensing, organic electronics and chemical biology. We are exploring a self-assembly mediated methodology for the synthesis of functional soft nanomaterials.

    Members of the group will gain skills in synthesis and characterization of organic molecules and nanomaterials, as well as a variety of spectroscopic and microscopic techniques.

    Luminescent Organoborons
    p-Conjugated organoboron molecules prepared by coordinating boron to chelate ligands are highly luminescent. The electronic properties of these molecules can be tuned by changing the nature of substituent groups on either the ligands or the boron centres. We are interested in using organoboron compounds as building blocks for constructing supramolecular architectures. We focus on synthesizing simple monomer units which will be induced to self-assemble into complex, functional structures. Ease of synthesis and functionalization, good solubility and processibility make these materials ideal for applications in chemistry and biology.

    Supramolecular Photochemistry
    Fine-tuning the photochemical and photophysical properties of dye molecules with the aid of supramolecular interactions is an interesting area of research. We are interested in designing nanocomposites of common dye molecules using polymers or metal nanoparticles. This approach not only reduces the number of synthetic steps but also imparts interesting (photo)physical properties thereby allowing them to be used for biological applications.

    Nucleic Acid Analogues
    Synthetic nucleic acids are widely used in fundamental research and also for applications in medical diagnosis and drug development. Some of them have been commercialized as drugs and several are undergoing clinical trials. However, the synthetic challenge involved in the preparation of functionalized nucleic acids is restricting their wide-spread development. We aim to develop new methodologies based on supramolecular chemistry to synthesize nucleic acid analogues in order to explore their therapeutic and materials applications.

Research Highlights

  • Research in Prakash Neelakandan's group focuses on the development of photoactive soft nanomaterials through self-assembly mediated methodologies. Organoboron compounds, dye-loaded metal nanocomposites and nucleic acid analogues are developed for applications in sensing and chemical biology.

PhD Students

  • Mr. Khalid Naim

    Email: khalid.ph16222@inst.ac.in

    Reg. No.: PH16222

    Working Since Aug, 2016

    Email: atikur.ph16238@inst.ac.in

    Reg. No.: PH16238

    Working Since Jan, 2017
  • Ms. Parvati Marandi

    Email: parvati.ph17218@inst.ac.in

    Reg. No.: PH17218

    Working Since Aug, 2017
  • Ms. Sanchita Shah

    Email: sanchita.ph16229@inst.ac.in

    Reg. No.: PH16229

    Working Since Jan, 2017

    Email: ravikumar.ph15217@inst.ac.in

    Reg. No.: PH15217

    Working Since Jan, 2016

Project - JRF/SRF

  • Ms. Suman R. Mallah

    Email: email@inst.ac.in

    Reg. No.: RP261823

  • Ms. Ayushi Nagpal

    Email: email@inst.ac.in

    Reg. No.: RP26--

Post Doc Fellows

  • Dr. P. P. Praveen Kumar

    Email: email@inst.ac.in

    Reg. No.: NPDF1709

  1. Fine‐Tuning Plasmon‐Molecule Interactions in Gold‐BODIPY Nanocomposites: The Role of Chemical Structure and Noncovalent Interactions: PPP Kumar, A Rahman, T Goswami, HN Ghosh*, PP Neelakandan*, (2020) ChemPlusChem, 85: -. DOI: 10.1002/cplu.202000545

  2. Exceptionally Plastic/Elastic Organic Crystals of a Naphthalidenimine‐Boron Complex Show Flexible Optical Waveguide Properties: K Naim, M Singh, S Sharma, RV Nair, P Venugopalan*, SC Sahoo*, PP Neelakandan*, (2020) Chem. Eur. J., 26: 11979-11984. DOI: 10.1002/chem.202002641

  3. Synthesis and Anti‐Proliferative Activity of a Triazole‐Fused Thymidine Analogue: A Rahman, P Sharma, N Kaur, A Shanavas*, and PP Neelakandan*, (2020) ChemistrySelect, 5: 5473-5478. DOI: 10.1002/slct.202001013

  4. Aggregation Enhances Luminescence and Photosensitization Properties of a Hexaiodo-BODIPY: PPP Kumar, P Yadav, A Shanavas, and PP Neelakandan*, (2020) Mater. Chem. Front., 4: 965-972. DOI: 10.1039/D0QM00010H

  5. Nanomolar Detection of Biothiols via Turn-ON Fluorescent Indicator Displacement: PPP Kumar, N Kaur, A Shanavas, and PP Neelakandan*, (2020) Analyst, 145: 851-857. DOI: 10.1039/C9AN02222H

  6. Selective Metal-ion Detection and Activatable Photosensitization Properties of a Tetraphenylethylene based Salicylideneimine: P Marandi, PPP Kumar, P Venugopalan, and PP Neelakandan*, (2019) ChemistrySelect, 4: 5707-5713. DOI: 10.1002/slct.201901035

  7. A Three-Component Supramolecular Nanocomposite as a Heavy-Atom-Free Photosensitizer: PPP Kumar, P Yadav, A Shanavas, S Thurakkal, J Joseph, and PP Neelakandan*, (2019) Chem. Commun., 55: 5623-5626. DOI: 10.1039/C9CC02480H

  8. Iodo-functionalized Salicylideneimine-Boron Complexes: Synthesis and Photosensitized Degradation of Organic Water Pollutants: S Shah, A Bajaj, A Shibu, ME Ali*, and PP Neelakandan*, (2018) Chem. Eur. J., 24: 18788-18794. DOI: 10.1002/chem.201804376

  9. Supramolecular confinement within chitosan nanocomposites enhance singlet oxygen generation: K Naim, S T Nair, P Yadav,A Shanavas, P P Neelakandan, (2018) ChemPlusChem, 83: 418 –422.. DOI: /10.1002/cplu.201800041

  10. Excitation energy delocalization and transfer to guests within M4L6 cage frameworks: AJ Musser,† PP Neelakandan,† JM Richter, H Mori, RH Friend*, and JR Nitschke*, (2017) J. Am. Chem. Soc., 139: 12050-12059.. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b06709

  11. An autocatalytic system of photooxidation-driven substitution reactions on a FeII4L6 cage framework: PP Neelakandan, A Jiménez, JD Thoburn, JR Nitschke*, (2015) Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 127: 14586-14590. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201507045

  12. Simultaneous binding of a cyclophane and classical intercalators to DNA: Observation of FRET-mediated white light emission: KS Sanju, S Thurakkal, PP Neelakandan, J Joseph, D Ramaiah*, (2015) Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 17: 13495-13500. DOI: 10.1039/C5CP00208G

  13. Stimuli responsive metal-ligand assemblies: AJ McConnell,† CS Wood,† PP Neelakandan,† JR Nitschke*, (2015) Chem. Rev, 115: 7729-7793. DOI: 10.1021/cr500632f

  14. Ground and excited state electronic spectra of perylenediimide dimers with flexible and rigid geometries in DNA conjugates: T. A Zeidan, M. McCullagh, G. C. Schatz, J. Vura-Weis, C. H. Kim, M. R. Wasielewski, F. D. Lewis, (2014) Chem. Sci., 5: 973-981. DOI: 10.1039/C3SC52908H

  15. Fluorophore incorporation allows nanomolar guest sensing and white-light emission in M4L6 cage complexes: PP Neelakandan, A Jiménez, JR Nitschke*, (2014) Chem. Sci., 5: 908-915. DOI: 10.1039/C3SC53172D

  16. Interplay of monomer, intra- and intermolecular excimer fluorescence in cyclophanes and selective recognition of methanol vapours: PC Nandajan, PP Neelakandan, D Ramaiah*, (2013) RSC Adv., 3: 5624-5630. DOI: 10.1039/C3RA21678K

  17. Facially-selective thymine-thymine photodimerization in TTT triads: PP Neelakandan, Z Pan, M Hariharan, FD Lewis*, (2012) Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 11: 889-892. DOI: C2PP25089F

  18. Electronic interactions in helical stacked arrays of the modified DNA base pyrrolocytosine: PP Neelakandan, M McCullagh, GC Schatz, FD Lewis*, (2012) J. Phys. Chem. B, 116: 5199-5204. DOI: 10.1021/jp302385c

  19. DNA-assisted white light emission through FRET: KS Sanju, PP Neelakandan, D Ramaiah*, (2011) Chem. Commun., 47: 1288-1290. DOI: 10.1039/C0CC04173D

  20. Study of cavity size and nature of bridging units on recognition of nucleotides by cyclophanes: PP Neelakandan, PC Nandajan, B Subymol, D Ramaiah*, (2011) Org. Biomol. Chem., 9: 1021-1029. DOI: 10.1039/C0OB00673D

  21. Hydrophobic self-assembly of a perylenediimide-linked DNA dumbbell into supramolecular polymers: PP Neelakandan, Z Pan, M Hariharan, Y Zheng, H Weissman, B Rybtchinski*, FD Lewis*, (2010) J. Am. Chem. Soc, 132: 15808-15813. DOI: 10.1021/ja1076525

  22. Functional cyclophanes: Promising hosts for optical biomolecular recognition: D. Ramaiah*, PP Neelakandan, AK Nair, RR Avirah, (2010) Chem. Soc. Rev., 39: 4158-4168.. DOI: 10.1039/B920032K

  23. Effect of bridging units on photophysical and DNA binding properties of a few cyclophanes: PP Neelakandan, KS Sanju, D Ramaiah*, (2010) Photochem. Photobiol., 86: 282-289. DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-1097.2009.00660.x

  24. A supramolecular Cu(II) metallocyclophane probe for guanosine 5’-monophosphate: AK Nair, PP Neelakandan, D Ramaiah*, (2009) Chem. Commun., 2009: 6352-6354. DOI: 10.1039/B911855A

  25. DNA assisted long lived excimer formation in a cyclophane: PP Neelakandan, D Ramaiah*, (2008) Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 47: 8407-8411. DOI: 10.1002/anie.200803162

  26. Encapsulation of electron donor-acceptor dyads in β-CD cavity: Unusual planarization and enhancement in rate of electron transfer reaction: M Hariharan, PP Neelakandan, D Ramaiah*, (2007) J. Phys. Chem. B, 111: 11940-11947. DOI: 10.1021/jp074643d

  27. A supramolecular ON-OFF-ON fluorescence assay for selective recognition of GTP: PP Neelakandan, M Hariharan, D Ramaiah*, (2006) J. Am. Chem. Soc, 128: 11334-11335. DOI: 10.1021/ja062651m

  28. Synthesis of a Novel Cyclic Donor−Acceptor Conjugate for Selective Recognition of ATP: PP Neelakandan, M Hariharan, D Ramaiah*, (2005) Org. Lett., 7: 5765-5768. DOI: 10.1021/ol052246k


  • Dynamic Self-assembled Nucleic Acid Analogues 3 years, DBT
    Funding Amount: -
    PI: Dr. Prakash P. Neelakandan Co-PI: Dr. Asifkhan Shanavas
  • Organoboron Macrocycles as Adaptable, Photoactive Materials 3 years, SERB
    Funding Amount: -
    PI: Dr. Prakash P. Neelakandan

  • 2001

    B. Sc.

    Sacred Heart College, Kochi, Kerala

  • 2009

    Ph. D.

    CSIR-NIIST Thiruvananthapuram.

  • 2003

    M. Sc.

    Sacred Heart College, Kochi, Kerala

  • Associate Professor (Scientist-E):Institute of Nano Science and Technology, Mohali, India. (April 2015 to Present till date )

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate:University of Cambridge, UK (May 2012 to March 2015 )

  • Postdoctoral Fellow:Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA. (July 2009 to April 2012 )

Awards & Honours

  • INSPIRE Faculty Award by DST, Government of India in February 2013 (not availed).

  • SERC Bio-inorganic Pre-doctoral Fellowship awarded by DST, Government of India in October 2006.

Professional Recognitions