90th Birthday: C. N. R. Rao

90th Birthday: C. N. R. Rao

Author: ChemistryViews (Photo: Biswarup Ganguly, wikimedia commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao, or C. N. R. Rao, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India, celebrates his 90th birthday on June 30, 2024. C. N. R. Rao is a leading solid-state and materials chemist. He has performed important work on transition-metal oxides, connecting their structures and materials properties, as well as on nanomaterials, and was one of the first researchers to prepare two-dimensional oxide materials as well as liquid nitrogen-temperature superconductors and Y-junction carbon nanotubes.

C. N. R. Rao was born in Bangalore, India, in 1934, and obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Mysore University, India, in 1951. After receiving his Master’s degree from Banaras Hindu University, India, in 1953, he moved to Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA, where he completed his Ph.D. in 1958.

Rao then began his academic career as a Lecturer and Researcher at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. In 1963, he moved to the Department of Chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India, and in 1976, he returned to the Indian Institute of Science, where he set up a solid state and structural chemistry unit and served as Director from 1984 to 1994. Rao is Honorary President and Linus Pauling Research Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, which he founded in 1989. He is also Director of the International Centre for Materials Science (ICMS), which he founded in 201, as well as an Honorary Professor at the Indian Institute of Science.

Among numerous other honors, C. N. R. Rao has received the August Wilhelm von Hofmann Memorial Medal from the German Chemical Society (GDCh) in 2020, the Order of the Rising
Sun, Gold and Silver Star from the Emperor of Japan in 2015, India’s highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna (Jewel of India), in 2013, the first International Prize for Materials Science from the Materials Research Society of India (MRSI) in 2009, the Royal Medal from the Royal Society, UK, in 2009, the India Science Award in 2004, the Centenary Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), UK, in 2000, and the Einstein Gold Medal from UNESCO in 1996. He was named Chemical Pioneer by the American Institute of Chemists and Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the President of the French Republic, both in 2005. In addition, he is a Fellow/Member of numerous scientific and professional societies and holds a large number of honorary doctorates.

Selected Publications


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