Faculty Directory

Dr. Prakash P. Neelakandan

Scientist 'F' (Professor)

Photoactive supramolecular soft materials for applications in sensing and chemical biology


Research Interest

  • Luminescent Organoborons

    Boron-containing organic compounds are a well-accepted class of compounds having excellent photophysical properties. These molecules are synthesized by complexing boron with organic chelates and are stabilized by the delocalization of lone-pair electrons of the hetero-atoms of the chelates into the vacant p-orbital on boron. Apart from the unique photophysical properties, the ease of synthesis and structural robustness make boron-containing molecules ideal for a variety of applications. We follow a simple self-assembly based pathway for the synthesis of boron containing molecules and use commercially available starting materials thereby minimising the number of synthetic steps. We have been successful in synthesising a variety of functionalized molecules for optoelectronics and biological applications such as flexible optical wave-guiding, anti-counterfeiting, sensing, water purification and photodynamic therapy.

    Dye-loaded Nanocomposites

    Plasmon-molecule coupling has emerged as a new modality for the development of photonic devices and optically responsive materials. Metal nanoparticles in combination with dyes provide a platform to construct hybrid materials whose photophysical properties may be tuned at the nanoscale. Molecules which absorb light near to the surface plasmon resonance absorption peak of metal nanoparticles can induce changes in the photophysical and electronic properties of metal nanoparticles through plasmon-molecule interactions. We prepare nanocomposites of common dye molecules using metal nanoparticles and study their photophysical and photochemical properties. We have shown that by systematically varying the functionalities on the dye molecules it is possible to modulate the photophysical and photochemical properties of the nanocomposites and allowed them to be used as photosensitizers for photodynamic therapy and as sensors for biologically relevant substrates.

    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. We aim to develop new analogues of nucleosides and nucleic acids for therapeutic applications. We have shown that nucleoside analogues containing the hydrogen bonding face of the natural bases can be synthesized and that these molecules exhibit anti-cancer activity. We are also interested in developing new methodologies based on supramolecular chemistry to synthesize nucleic acid analogues which will add a new dimension to the nucleic acid chemistry.

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


    Email: ajay.ph21244@inst.ac.in

    Reg. No.: PH21244

    Working Since Jan, 2022

    Email: kiran.ph21242@inst.ac.in

    Reg. No.: PH21242

    Working Since Jan, 2022
  • Ms. Parvati Marandi

    Email: parvati.ph17218@inst.ac.in

    Reg. No.: PH17218

    Working Since Jan, 2018
  • Mr. Hemant

    Email: hemant.ar210106@inst.ac.in

    Reg. No.: 10BB21J67006

    Working Since Jan, 2021

    Email: ayushi.ph20232@inst.ac.in

    Reg. No.: PH20232

    Working Since Aug, 2020
  • 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. Sanchita Shah

    Email: sanchita.ph16229@inst.ac.in

    Reg. No.: PH16229

    Working Since Jan, 2017

Project - JRF/SRF

  • Ms. Suman R. Mallah

    Email: email@inst.ac.in

    Reg. No.: RP261823

Post Doc Fellows

  • Dr. P. P. Praveen Kumar

    Email: email@inst.ac.in

    Reg. No.: NPDF1709

  1. Advances in the Supramolecular Chemistry of Tetracoordinate Boron-containing Organic Molecules into Organogels and Mesogens: S Shah, P Marandi, PP Neelakandan*, (2021) Front. Chem., -: -. DOI: 10.3389/fchem.2021.708854

  2. Remarkable Self-assembly of Salicylideneimine-Boron Complexes into Plastic Crystals and Organogels: K Naim, SC Sahoo, P Venugopalan, PP Neelakandan*, (2021) Cryst. Growth Des., 21: 3798-3806. DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.1c00132

  3. 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*, (2021) ChemPlusChem, 86: 87-94. DOI: 10.1002/cplu.202000545

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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