Sheikh Saud Lecture featuring C.N.R. Rao

Professor CNR Rao at Temple University

The College of Science and Technology and Temple Materials Institute are pleased to host the inaugural Sheikh Saud Lecture on Advanced Materials featuring Professor C.N.R. Rao, FRS, National Research Professor, Linus Pauling Research Professor and Honorary President at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre (JNC) for Advanced Scientific Research, India, and Director of JNC’s International Centre for Materials Science. Professor Rao will discuss Inorganic Graphene Analogues.

Graphene is one of the most sensational discoveries of recent years. This in turn has spawned efforts to prepare graphene-like layered inorganic materials such as MoS2, WS2, GaS and BN. Several methods of synthesis of such nanosheets have been developed. Some of our recent results on few-layer metal chalcogenides and BN will be presented. Especially interesting are the physical properties of these nanosheet materials such as magnetism and superconductivity. Moreover, transistors and devices have been fabricated with many of the few-layered inorganic materials. A new graphene-like material is Bx Cy Nz with high surface area and novel gas adsorptive properties. The latter materials have other extraordinary properties, their use as electrocatalysts being noteworthy. Importantly, new types of materials are being obtained by cross-linking MoS2 with other 2D materials or by functionalizing MoS2 sheets.

Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra (C.N.R.) Rao has left his mark across the Indian sub-continent with an impact that spans generations, from school children and teachers to research scientists and university administrators, from state politicians to the nation’s prime ministers and presidents. With a reach that embraces the institutions that define modern India, this “high priest” of pure science is never more captivating than when speaking on his beloved topic of chemistry, whether to school children in the Himalayas or the world’s most eminent scientists.

Rao entered university at age 17 and published the first of his more than 1,600 publications at age 20. He earned his PhD at Purdue University and went briefly to Berkeley before returning to India. In 1962, he joined the faculty of Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, became head of the Department of Chemistry and quickly built it into the leading department in India.

In 1976, Rao returned to the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore (IISc) as founding Director of the Solid State & Structural Chemistry Unit and in 1984, he became the director of IISc, serving in this capacity for ten years. During this latter period, he founded the Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research (JNC) as a celebration of the centennial of Nehru’s birth. JNC aims to provide an idyllic work environment for a small select group of faculty. The beautiful campus inspired by Rao’s vision is a jewel, unique among the world’s very best research institutions—an oasis that transports the visitor to another world and literally demands a higher level of intellectual achievement. Professor Rao will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Sciences at the College of Science and Technology’s spring 2017 graduation ceremony.

The Sheikh Saud Lecture on Advanced Materials is named for H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, United Arab Emirates Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. The Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research was established in 2009 to aid in the social, cultural, and economic development of Ras Al Khaimah, a northern emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Al Qasimi Foundation approaches its work collaboratively, and aims to establish relationships with talented scholars and world-class universities, innovative public policy research centers, established government institutions, and strategic partners in the private and non-governmental sectors.