Dr. R. B. Sunoj


    Department of Chemistry

    Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

    Powai, Mumbai 400076

    Ph:   022-2576 7173

    Fax:  022-2576 7152

    Email: sunoj[at]chem.iitb.ac.in

    Group Webpage

Academic Background

Ph.D. (Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore)

M.Sc. (University of Kerala)

B.Sc. (Unviersity of Kerala)

Professional Experience

Post-doctoral Research Associate ( The Ohio State University, Columbus), 2001-2003


Research Interests


Understanding chemical reactions in greater detail requires numerous different information such as structural parameters, orbital interactions, energetic details, effect of media and other external perturbations.  One of my basic research goals is to answer questions on stereoselectivity, catalysis, stability and reactivity of reactive intermediates, kinetic and thermodynamic aspects of chemical transformation etc. I use standard ab initio and density functional theory calculations as powerful tools to address problems in these situations. Often times, such questions are rooted directly on experimental observations. Applications of quantum chemical calculations to systems of immediate practical significance is further more interesting due to their nearly direct relationship with experiments.


Questions will range from reactivities of interesting small molecules to conformational issues in large bio-molecular systems. Research projects will include applications of standard methods for locating precise transition states of complex organic reactions. The approach requires both chemical intuition as well as in-depth understanding of the reaction. Computational methods will also be applied in understanding molecular vibrations, electronic transitions as well as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) chemical shifts. Quantification of electronic effects such as hyperconjugation will be done using natural bond orbital analysis (NBO) methods. Conformational studies on bio molecules and other fluxional systems will be studied by a combination of Monte Carlo and ab initio methods.



Representative Publications

  • Bhaskararao, B.; Sunoj, R. B.; 'Origin of Stereodivergence in Cooperative Asymmetric Catalysis with Simultaneous Involvement of Two Chiral Catalysts ' J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, DOI :

  • Jindal, G.; Sunoj, R. B.; "On the Importance of Ligand Exchanges in Pd(II)- Brød Acid Cooperative Catalytic Approach to Spirocyclic Rings'", J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, (Accepted for publication).

  • Anand, M.; Sunoj, R. B.; Schaefer, H. F. "Non-Innocent Additives in a Palladium(II)-Catalyzed C-H Bond Activation Reaction: Insights into Multi-Metallic Active Catalysts", J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 5535.

  • Kisan, H. K.; Sunoj, R. B.; "Deciphering the Origin of Cooperative Catalysis by Dirhodium Acetate and Chiral Spiro Phosphoric Acid in an Asymmetric Amination Reaction", Chem.Comm. 2014, 50, 14639.

  • Jindal, G.; Sunoj, R. B.; "Axially Chiral Imidodiphosphoric Acid Catalyzed Asymmetric Sulfoxidation Reaction: Insights on Asymmetric Induction", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 4432.

  • Anand, M.; Sunoj, R. B.; "Role of Explicit Solvents in Pd(II)-Catalyzed Alkoxylation of Arenes: An Interesting Paradigm for Outer-Sphere Reductive Elimination" Organometallics 2012, 31, 6466.

  • Jindal, G.; Sunoj, R. B.; "Mechanistic Insights into the Role of Chiral Ligands in Asymmetric Diamination Reactions" Chem. Eur. J. 2012, 18, 7045.

  • Sharma, A. K.; Sunoj, R. B.; "Stereocontrol in Proline-Catalyzed Asymmetric α-Amination: A Comparative Assessment of the Role of Oxazolidinone and Enamine" Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 5759.

  • Shinisha, C. B.; Sunoj, R. B.; "Transition State Models for Probing Stereoinduction in Evans Chiral Auxiliary-Based Asymmetric Aldol Reactions" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 12319.

  • Sharma, A. K.; Sunoj, R. B.; "Enamine versus Oxazolidinone: What Controls Stereoselectivity in Proline-Catalyzed Asymmetric Aldol Reactions?" Angew. Chemie. Int. Ed. 2010, 49, 6373.