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Department of Chemistry


The study of Chemistry provides a molecular level of description as well as insights into chemical bonding, as to why a bond breaks and a new bond is formed. At Ashoka, our objective is to teach Chemistry in an integrative and holistic manner connecting with other branches of science, physics, biology, and material chemistry. Mathematics and computer sciences play key roles in simulation of molecules and materials. As Ashoka moves to an integrative science teaching and research, Chemistry will play a major role in this development. The main aim of the department is to integrate interdisciplinary research with teaching. To this end, chemistry will play a major role in synthetic biology, a thrust area of Ashoka University. Further, this will help in looking for drugs for novel diseases. Chemistry will play a significant role in materials research, understanding of catalysis, nanoscale materials, harnessing of renewable energy, as well as in providing clean water, separation, and a clean environment. As a long term objective, the department will seek to carry out translation of many of the researches in the above areas for societal needs and connection with industries related to water, energy, and healthcare.  As an immediate objective, department focus is on holistic teaching in an integrative manner. 

Curriculum Committee Members

1. Prof G Mugesh, IISc Bangalore  

2. Prof. Vidya Avasare, HOD, Chemistry, S P College, Pune 

3. Prof. A. K. Singh, IIT Delhi                       

4. Prof. C. Subramaniam, Deptt of Chemistry, IIT Bombay

5. Prof Debabrata Maiti, Deptt of Chemistry, IIT Bombay 

6. Prof. Rama Kant, Deptt of Chemistry, Delhi University 

7. Prof. Archita Patnaik, Deptt of Chemistry, IIT Madras  

8. Prof Rita Kakkar  

9. Prof. Sashank Deep, IIT Delhi

Syllabus for Ashoka University Chemistry (Tentative)

All Courses 3 Credits (Theory Courses roughly 40 hours), Labs- 13 sessions, each 3 hours


Semester II (3 courses)

Foundation Course on Chemistry: Theory


Energetics of Change:  Theory Course

System and surroundings, state function and path function, Four laws of thermodynamics, internal energy, enthalpy, entropy, free energy and chemical potential, criteria for spontaneous change, Temperature and pressure dependence of free energy and chemical potential, chemical equilibrium and phase equilibrium, Phase diagram.


General Chemistry Laboratory: Lab course


Semester III (3 Courses)

Basic Inorganic Chemistry:  Theory Course

Periodic Properties,  General Chemistry of Main Group, Transition and Inner Transition elements


Concepts in Organic Chemistry: Theory Course

Organic Chemistry in day to day life: General applications of carbon compounds in day to day life.                       

  • Structure and bonding: Ionic, Covalent, Coordinate and Hydrogen bonds, The octet rule,  Formal charge, Sigma (σ-) and pi (π-) bonds,  Hybridisation, , Inductive effects, Hyperconjugation, Mesomeric effects, Steric effect,  Acidity and basicity, Acids, Bases 

  • Nomenclature:  Functional groups, IUPAC Nomenclature of aliphatic organic compounds: Alkanes, Alkenes, Alkynes, Alcohols, Amines, Carboxylic acids, Ethers, Halides, and nitriles.

  • Aromaticity: Hückel’s rule and characteristics of aromatic compounds benzenoid and non-benzenoid compounds, Alternant and nonalternant hydrocarbons, Annulenes, Anti-aromaticity, Homo-aromaticity and Nomenclature of aromatic compounds.

  • Stereochemistry: Representation of stereostructures: Fischer, Newmann, and Sawhorse Projection formulae and their interconversions.

  • Conformational analysis: Butane and cyclohexane (mono and disubstituted) and their relative stability and energy diagrams.

  • Configurational analysis: Geometrical isomerism: cis–trans, syn-anti, and E/Z notations with C.I.P rules.

  • Optical isomerism: Chirality, Enantiomers, The Cahn–Ingold–Prelog (R and S) nomenclature, The D and L nomenclature, Diastereoisomers (or diastereomers), Diastereoisomers,  Mesomer Racemic mixture,  resolution of racemic mixture and ee%

Atoms, quanta, and light:  Theory Course

Dual behavior of light and particle, Postulates of quantum mechanics, particle in a box, rigid rotor, harmonic oscillator, hydrogen atom, rotational spectra, and vibrational spectra.


Semester IV ( 4 Courses)

Inorganic Chemistry: Theory Course

Structure and Bonding of Inorganic Molecules including Coordination, and Organometallic  compounds and molecules of biological importance


Rate, order and mechanism: Theory Course 

Rate of a reaction, order and molecularity of a reaction, determination of order and rate constant of the reaction, Arrhenius equation, collision theory, Transition state theory, parallel, consecutive and reversible reaction, determination of reaction mechanism from rate law.


Elective- 1: Theory Course


General Chemistry Laboratory:  Lab course 


Semester V ( 3 Courses)

Mechanistic Organic Chemistry: Theory Course

  • Language of arrows: straight arrow, curved arrow, half headed arrows and double headed arrows

  • Bond cleavage: Homolytic & Heterolytic bond

  • Reaction intermediates formation, stability and reactivity: Carbocation, Carboanion, Free radicals, Carbene, Nitrene, Benzyne

  • Type of Reagents: Electrophile & Nucleophiles

  • General types of reaction

  • Addition reactions:  Electrophilic & Nucleophilic addition, Markonikoff & Anti Markonikoffs Rule

  • Elimination reactions: E1, E2 and E1CB, Factors affection elimination reaction, Energy profile diagram

  • Substitution reactions: SN1 and SN2, SNi, Factors affection substitution reaction Energy profile diagram, Anchimeric Assistance, Substitution reaction in aromatic compounds

  • Condensation reactions: Aldol condensation, Dieckmann condensation, Claisen condensation, Enamine and Imine formation

  • Pericyclic reactions:  Woodward Hoffman Rule and Molecular Orbital Theory Diels Alder reaction

  • Rearrangement reactions: Carbocation, Carboanion, Free radicals, Carbene, Nitrene intermediates

Modern Methods of Analysis and Characterization: Theory Course

Introduction to Spectroscopic, Microscopic and Diffraction methods, Electroanalytical and thermal Methods,


General Chemistry Laboratory: Lab Course


Semester VI ( 3 Courses)

Mechanistic Organic Chemistry: Theory Course

  • Reagents in Organic Synthesis: 

    Organometallic Reagents: Organomagensium, Organolithium, Organocopper, Organosilicon, Organoboron, Organozinc. 

    Oxidising Reagents: PCC, PDC, DDQ, OsO4, KMnO4, MnO2, Jones reagent, Collins reagent, Oxalyl chloride, Al(iPrO)3, TEMPO, HNO3, Dess-Martin Periodinane 

    Reducing Reagents: LiAlH4, NaBH4, DIBAL-H, Red-Al, Lindlar’s catalyst, Rosenmund catalyst, H2, Raney nickel, Adams Catalyst, Na-liqNH3, Al(iPrO)3, Wilkinson’s catalyst, Sn/HCl, N2H4/OH-

  • Name Reactions: Wittig reaction, Simmons-Smith Reaction, Ene Reaction, Cope Elimination reaction, Click reaction, Sharpless epoxidation 

    Designing Organic Synthesis:  Retrosynthesis and disconnection approach

    Synthesis of natural product: (±) Estrone, Mifepristone (Ru-486) And Its Analogues


    1. Principle of organic synthesis, R. O. C. Norman and J. M. Coxon

    2. Advanced Organic Chemistry: Part A: Structure and Mechanisms  by Francis A. Carey  and Richard J. Sundberg  

    3. Organic Chemistry by Jonathan Clayden, Nick Greeves and Stuart Warren

    4. Designing Organic Syntheses: A Programmed Introduction to the Synthon Approach by Stuart Warren

Elective 2: Theory Course

Elective 3: Theory Course 


Suggested Electives: (3 electives to be chosen, prerequisites to be detailed)

  1. Applied Organometallic & Coordination Chemistry

  2. Environmental Analysis

  3. Chemical Biology

  4. Chemistry of Materials

  5. Renewable Energy: Hydrogen and Solar Energy

  6. Materials at nanoscale

  7. Computational Chemistry and Molecular Simulation

  8. Environmental Chemistry

  9. Energy Materials: Batteries, Super capacitors etc


We aim to develop state-of-the-art research facility for Undergraduate students of Ashoka University. The available facilities are listed below. We are expecting many more instrumental facilities very soon. 



UG Lab with Chemical Fume hood



Chemistry lab student’s desk


Chemistry lab fume hood with stirrer and filtration funnel


Facility of Multi stirrer magnetic plate


Digital Melting point apparatus (upto 350 oC)

Melting Point Apparatus measures the melting point of a substance i.e. the temperature at which the state of the substance changes from solid to liquid. The actual melting point is an indication of the purity of a substance and hence an ideal tool for the quality control of medicines, perfumes, dyestuff and other organic crystalline substances. 


Double distillation water set-up

Double Glass Distillation Unit consists of flak with heating elements which has been embedded in fine glass.  This Double Glass Distillation Unit is fused in spiral type coil fitted internally in the bottom along with tapered round glass. This is a distiller for producing distilled water for laboratory research. This set up is kept in UG Lab no. 105


Karl Fischer titrator

Karl Fischer titration is a classic titration method in chemical analysis that uses coulometric or volumetric titration to determine trace amounts of water in a sample. The elementary reaction responsible for water quantification in the Karl Fischer titration is oxidation of sulfur dioxide with iodine:

H2O + SO2 + I2 → SO3 + 2HI

This elementary reaction consumes exactly one molar equivalent of water vs. iodine. Iodine is added to the solution until it is present in excess, marking the end point of the titration, which can be detected by potentiometry. The reaction is run in an alcohol solution containing a base, which consume the sulfur trioxide and hydroiodic acid produced


Rota vapor with chiller (-20 oC) and high vacuum pump

The rotary evaporator or "rotavap" is the most efficient and most environmentally friendly way of removing a volatile solvent from a non-volatile sample.The rotovap works by increasing the rate of evaporation of the solvent by (1) reducing the pressure by attached high-vacuum pump to lower the solvent boiling point, (2) rotating the sample to increase the effective surface area and (3) heating the solution

A -20 oC chiller is attached with the rotavap, 

A chiller works on the principle of vapor compression or vapor absorption. Chillers provide a continuous flow of coolant to the rotavapor cold side of a process water system at a desired temperature of about upto -20 oC. The low boiling solvent instead of exposed to air will collect in a particular vessel attached to the rotavap.


Magnetic stirrer with hotplate


Precision balance

Precision balances usually have a higher capacity than analytical balances do and typically deliver results of 0.1g, 0.01g or 1mg. These balance have finer readability, are much more sensitive to changes, and can detect smaller variations in mass


UV-vis (Ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy) instrument with kinetic facility 

UV-Vis spectroscopy is an absorption spectroscopy in the ultraviolet-visible spectral region. It absorbs light in the visible, near-UV and near-infrared (NIR) ranges. This instrument is very much effective for quantitative determination of concentrations of many molecules including transition metal ions, conjugated organic compounds. The UV-Vis Spectrophotometer (Lab India 3200) was newly fitted in our UG Lab number 107. This instrument is built-up with kinetic study facility. Which means that we can study the rate of a reaction 

According to Beer-Lambert law, the absorbance of a solution is directly proportional to the concentration of the absorbing species in the solution and the path length. For a fixed path length, UV/Vis spectroscopy can be used to determine the concentration of the absorber in a solution. With change of concentration the absorbance will also change.(Figure 2) 


UV-Visible Spectroscopy


UV-VIS theory           

The UV-vis spectrum of tetraphenyclopentadienone 

The "n" electrons (or the nonbonding electrons) are the ones located on the oxygen of the carbonyl group of tetraphenyclopentadienone. Thus, the n to π* transition corresponds to the excitation of an electron from one of the unshared pair to the π* orbital


High temperature (150 oC) dry oven


4 oC Chemical refrigerator


Experiments performed by students: 

Students from various field (Economics, Psychology, Biology, Mass studies) have shown interest for chemistry lab practical. We give them enough freedom to do experiments with chemicals under supervision of faculty and laboratory superintendent. We try to perform chemistry with the chemicals available within our surroundings e.g red cabbage experiment as an indicator, finding out the amount phosphoric acid in coca-cola, blue printing etc. They are very curious to know the science behind it.

Here are some colorful picture from our laboratory experiment clicked by students

Organic practical: Functional group detection performed by UG students. They loved the colourful experiment


Inorganic Practical: Flame test

Chemistry Handbook

Click here to view the Chemistry handbook