Vishal Govind Rao

PhD (IIT Kharagpur)

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry


Research Interest



  • PhD, IIT Kharagpur



In a world where fossil fuel reserves are being rapidly depleted, solar energy remains the most promising source of alternative energy. Several approaches are being pursued to develop new strategies for efficient energy utilization. At the core of most of these strategies, is the optimization of photocatalytic efficiency of materials. Our lab seeks to understand the fundamental properties of photocatalytic materials that affect their catalytic efficiency. The broad aim of my group would be to probe/manipulate the interface dynamics of charge/energy transfer to improve the catalytic yield while ensuring the process remains cost effective. To achieve these goals, we will perform controlled synthesis of novel high-performance materials and investigate mechanistic details of catalytic reactions on functionalized metallic nanoparticle systems using a multi-technique approach to correlate fluorescence spectroscopy with electrochemistry and Raman spectroscopy. Such a multi-probed study will facilitate inspection of multiple-parameters with high chemical selectivity and wide temporal and spatial resolutions required to uncover complex charge transfer dynamics. With better understanding of these parameters, we can come up with energy efficient alternatives that can actually be implemented commercially, and not be confined to academic interests.

  • Chemical Requirement for Extracting Energetic Charge Carriers from Plasmonic Metal Nanoparticles to Perform Electron-Transfer Reactions, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 141, 643 (2019).

  • Catalytic Conversion of Solar to Chemical Energy on Plasmonic Metal Nanostructures, Nature Catalysis, 1, 656 (2018).

  • Probing Electric Field Effect on Covalent Interactions at a Molecule–Semiconductor Interface, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 138, 1536 (2016).

  • Inhomogeneous and Complex Interfacial Electron-Transfer Dynamics: A Single-Molecule Perspective, ACS Energy Lett., 1, 773 (2016).

  • Single-Molecule Interfacial Electron Transfer Dynamics of Porphyrin on TiO2 Nanoparticles: Dissecting Interfacial Electric Field and Electron Accepting State Density Dependent Dynamic, Chem. Commun., 51, 16821 (2015).

  • Assistant Professor, IIT-Kanpur: April, 2019-present

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Michigan, USA: Feb, 2017-Feb, 2019

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Bowling Green State University, Ohio, USA: June, 2013-Jan, 2017

  • Physical Chemistry: Spectroscopy, Instrumentation, and Material Chemistry.


FB 422,
Department of Chemistry
IIT Kanpur,
Kanpur 208016

Office Phone: 0512-259-2077

Email: vgrao[AT]

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