Research Overview

It was with Friedrich Wöhler that synthetic organic chemistry became a new alias of the heresy that could  disprove the clichéd notion of the Vitalism Theory - where creation of all organic molecules was presumed to be from life itself. Since then, organic chemistry rose to a height of divine prowess as naturally important molecules could be independently prepared in an artificial setting within a chemical lab. Such a drastic development was further expedited by the meteoric emergence of catalytic chemistry. In this regard, site selective C-H activation has emerged as a most economical and efficient technology, that direct fascinating  chemical transformations at phenomenal success rates with an impressive array of a high order of regio and chemo selectivity under ambient conditions.


At IIT Bombay, we specialize in the regioselective transformation of C-X bonds via a plethora of functionalization/defunctionalization pathways through metal catalyzed chemical processes. Our group currently focuses on

1. Remote C-H Functionalization: Site selective functionalization of distal C–H bonds in both aromatic and aliphatic systems 


2. Bioinspired Catalysis: Mimicking the enzymatic active site and thus their functions

3. Heterocyclic Chemistry: Metal mediated diverse method development for pharmaceuticals 

4. Quantum Dots (QD) Photoredox Catalysis: Development of recyclable heterogenous photocatalytic system 

5.  Lignin Valorization: Improving Lignin Processing by Catalysis

6. Metal Mediated Defunctionalization: Removal of functional groups from organic molecules 


Our Recent Publications


Arene Diversification via Distal C(sp2)-H Functionalization

 Science 2021 (ASAP)

Debabrata Maiti

Deb obtained his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 2008. Later he moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to pursue a post-doctoral studies in Prof. Steve Buchwald’s group.


He started his independent career in 2011 at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.


Currently, he is an associate professor of Chemistry at IIT Bombay.