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In IIT Kharagpur, Partha Pratim Jana has initiated a research area of the structural chemistry of complex intermetallics (CMAs), which is rarely pursued in any departments across other institutions/universities in India. Moreover, chemists have given secondary attention to the class of intermetallic compounds due to the difficulty in understanding some very basic features such as their compositions, bonding, and assignment of oxidation states for individual atoms. Intermetallic phases are of great interest as they are present in all the areas of materials application.

The major aim of Partha Pratim Jana’s research group has been to identify new intermetallics that may show potentially interesting chemical and physical properties. For years, the research group has been focusing on intermetallic compounds as they offer challenges towards fundamental understanding of the relationships among chemical composition, atomic structure, chemical bonding and physical properties. A variety of intermetaillics have been studied by the group, but the primary goal has been to find out the distributions and arrangements of constituent elements in the intermetallic structures (known as “coloring problem”) and the factors influencing them. The fundamental question asked in their research study, "Where are the atoms in a structure of an intermetallic compounds?" Many intermetallic structures that were reported to exist in the literature, was either structurally not known or wrongly reported due to their structural complexities and presence of extensive disorder.



The group has modelled a good number of structures of intermetallics with extraordinary complexity and disorders by combining careful synthesis with diffraction methods and computational efforts. A very important factor for the successful determination of structure has been the discovery of high-quality crystals of intermetallic compounds. The group has grown high quality crystals of a large number of intermetallics by optimizing the synthesis procedure. These high-quality samples have been used for the detailed structural studies that have led to an understanding of crystal structure and stability of intermetallic compounds.

The group has uncovered at least seven new intermetallic phases in Rh-Cd binary system motivated by an old report of Westgren et al. (1930). In the report, they indicated the presence of brass related intermetallic phases in Rh-Cd binary system.  Dr. P. P. Jana and his co-workers have synthesized those phases and successfully modelled the crystal structures by diffraction analysis and theoretical efforts (J. Alloys Compd. 2017, 695, 3760-3766). They have established by chemical bonding analysis that the vacancy mediated intermetallic compounds in Rh-Cd binary system uphold an optimum vacancy in their structures for the stability of the phase (Inorg. Chem. 2021, 60, 5488-5496).

The group has also unraveled ternary intermetallic compounds where the neighboring elements are orderly distributed in their respective crystal structures (Inorg. Chem. 2018, 57, 11970-11977). Though the atomic ordering of neighboring elements is unusual in intermetallic structures, various properties are governed by the ordering of the constituent elements.



The group is also engaged in machine learning driven discovery of the new intermetallic compounds and its experimental validation. Recently, the group in collaboration with A. Mar (University of Alberta) have come up with a decision tree model that accurately predicts the structural classification of intermetallic compounds AB2, including solid solutions, as Laves or non-Laves phases, as experimentally validated on Cd(Cu1−xSbx)2. (Inorg. Chem.



The group has been focusing on copper-metal-chalcogenides (CMC) materials considering the importance of low-cost, high-performance materials for sustainable energy applications (e.g. thermoelectrics). The group has performed the synthesis, crystal structures (298 and 131 K) analysis, and transport properties measurements of a recently discovered Cu4TiSe4. The room temperature crystal structure of the compound was reported in a recent report published in Chemical Science by E. M. Chen et al. The PPJana’s group has proven the reported structure to be wrong by careful single crystal X-ray structure analysis (Angew. Chem. 2021, 60(16), 9106-9113). His group also showed that the compound undergoes reversible structural phase transition at -92oC (Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2021, 1–9). Moreover, the thermal conductivity of disordered Cu4TiSe4 was found to be as small as 0.19 Wm−1 K−1, a factor of 12 smaller than the thermal conductivity of CuSe and factor of 3 smaller than Cu2Se at room temperature.


Project Funds

1.  Development of new complex metallic alloys(CMAS) in Cd-rich phases [ 2015-18,  ISIRD]

2.  Synthesis, structural & transport properties of quasicrystals and related quasicrystal approximants in Zn-rich intermetallics [2016-19, SERB]

3.  Early Career Research Award (ECR) (completed)

4.  Collaborative research scheme under UGC-DAE Consortium for Scientific research (CRS-M-312):           01/04/2020- 

5.  Core Research Grand (CRG): 2020-

Research Interest

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