Home » India, News » Career in crystal engineering April 2011

Crystal engineering is a branch of science, which involves the design of crystals with desired properties keeping in mind the understanding between intermolecular interactions. Gautam R Desiraju, a noted chemist who teaches and works at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, recently spoke about this relatively unknown discipline of science during a conference held at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

“Crystal engineering demands a detailed and thorough knowledge of intermolecular interactions, which act as the supramolecular glue that binds molecules into crystals,” said Desiraju.

During the talk, Desiraju further explained the role of a crystal engineer. “The work of crystal engineers is to deliberately design a crystal and know if the crystal being made is actually functional. It is an area that borrows from different streams of thought and attracts attention from organic, physical chemists, crystallographers and material scientists,” he said.

As a subject, crystal engineering is taught in IISc (Bangalore), University of Hyderabad, IIT Kanpur, the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science and IIT-Delhi. However, it only features as a semester course. “Crystal engineering as a field needs more attention. There is a need for this subject to be taught as an elective course,” informed Desiraju.


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