Chemistry in the Murthy group is at the interface of inorganic, bio-inorganic chemistry and inorganic spectroscopy. The group is mainly interested in development of transition metal complexes that are interesting and exhibit unusual structures, spectroscopy and chemical reactivity similar to the active-sites of copper, iron, nickel or cobalt metalloproteins. He employs a variety of characterization methods, Uv-Vis-NIR, paramagnetic proton NMR, EPR, including X-ray crystallography, electrochemistry, and magnetism.

Murthy earned an MSc degree in chemistry from Manasagangotri, Mysore, and a Ph.D. degree in inorganic chemistry from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, where he worked under the direction of Prof. A.G. Samuelson. As a post-doctoral fellow for two years in the laboratories of Prof. Ken Karlin, at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, U.S.A., he worked on bioinorganic chemistry of copper/O2 complexes. After serving as a research staff at the same institution for four years, he joined IIT Madras in August 1997. He has passion for teaching. Taught several courses: inorganic chemistry, inorganic-spectroscopy, bioinorganic and inorganic lab for M.Sc. and basic chemistry for engineering students. Taught an advanced inorganic chemistry course for undergraduate seniors at the Johns Hopkins University, U.S.A. during his sabbatical visit.


  • 1990 – Ph. D from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
  • 1983 – M. Sc in Chemistry from Mysore University, Manasagangotri, Mysore
  • 1981 – B. Sc from Yuvaraja’s College, Mysore

Research Interests

  • Bioinorganic Chemistry – Design and synthesis of copper, iron, nickel and cobalt complexes as synthetic models for the active-sites of oxidase metalloproteins involved in O2 activation, oxidation catalysis. Self-assembly of multinuclear iron centers as structural and functional mimics for non-heme iron proteins.
  • Inorganic Spectroscopy – Exploit a variety of characterization methods of inorganic molecules with Uv-Vis-NIR, paramagnetic proton NMR, EPR, including X-ray crystallography, electrochemistry and magnetism.

Representative Publications

Nisha Chetty, Venkatachalam Ramkumar, Narasimha N. Murthy. Bis- and mono-tridentate chelated iron complexes with a new facially capping unsymmetrical nitrogen ligand: X-ray structural and spectroscopic studies. Polyhedron, 2019, 158, 241-247. DOI: 10.1016/j.poly.2018.09.008.

Anjana Sarala Suseelan, Babu Varghese, Prasad Edamana, Narasimha N. Murthy. Reagent‐Regulated Oxidative O‐Demethylation of a Ferrous Complex Stabilized by a Tetradentate N Ligand with a Methoxyphenyl Substituent. Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2018, 2018, 972-980. DOI:

Divya Sasi, Venkatachalam Ramkumar, Narasimha N. Murthy. Bite-angle-regulated coordination geometries: Tetrahedral and trigonal bipyramidal in Ni(II) with biphenyl-appended (2-Pyridyl)alkylamine N,N′-bidentate ligands. ACS Omega, 2017, 2, 2474–2481. DOI:

S. Anjana Sarala Suseelan, Donring Saloisanei, Sanjib Ponda, Babu Varghese, Narasimha N. Murthy. Controlling the oxidation of bis-tridentate cobalt(II) complexes having bis(2-pyridylalkyl)amines: ligand vs. metal oxidation. Dalton Trans., 2017, 46, 10830-10836. DOI: 10.1039/C7DT01792H.

K. Venkata Ramanaiah K, Venkatachalam Ramkumar, Narasimha N. Murthy. High-spin iron(II) complexes of halides and pseudo-halides with biphenyl-appended N,N′-bidentate ligand: X-ray structural and spectroscopic studies. Inorg. Chimica Acta, 2017, 466, 197-204. DOI:


  • CYB 250A, Department of Chemistry
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras
  • Chennai - 600036

Honors and Rewards

  • J.C. Ghosh medal for best Ph.D. thesis, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
  • Invention of the year award for developing copper complexes as anti-cancer agents, for collaborative work between Johns Hopkins Univ., Univ. of Maryland College Park and IIT Madras.

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