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News Release

Sept. 19, 2018

Chakraborty receives NSF grant to continue physics research

By Grace Niemeyer, communication assistant

Dr. Himadri Chakraborty

Dr. Himadri Chakraborty

A Northwest Missouri State University faculty member has received a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to further his research of carbon fullerene molecules and related derived materials while providing hands-on opportunities for motivated physics and chemistry students.

Dr. Himadri Chakraborty, an associate professor of physics in the Department of Natural Sciences, is continuing his research with a project, titled “Photoionization, time delay, positronium formation, and ion impact studies of fullerenes, endofullerenes, and atoms.”

“Understanding the physical and chemical properties of these systems, including the influence of the fullerene cage on the behavior of the confined species, and backwards, are matters of great scientific interest,” Chakraborty said. “Results will be expected to motivate new experiments and induce collaborations with experimental groups and with international theorists.”

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded and funded research grants since 1989. The foundation’s Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics Division will fund Chakraborty’s research for the next three years. The award provides funding for a summer salary, a postdoctoral research assistant, an undergraduate research assistant and associated supplies, travel and indirect costs. This is Chakraborty’s fourth NSF award since joining the Northwest faculty in 2006.

Chakraborty’s research has so far involved 40 undergraduate students. Previous undergraduate student to work with him are now pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees in physics, chemistry, material science and engineering. His students also have been nominated to the Council of Undergraduate Research as distinguished graduates.

Physics, nanoscience and chemistry students are invited to join the research program, which may fulfill degree elective hours. Students will have hands-on opportunities to master research tools, including computational techniques and software. The training process will include code development, computation and simulations, data analysis and interpretation, preparation of research papers in scientific journals and presentations at scientific conferences. Paid student research positions are available during the summer. 

Chakraborty teaches courses in physics and nanoscale science at Northwest, and students will directly benefit from his research in immediate ways.

“Student researchers will be involved for excellent experience in education, which will help further develop Northwest’s physics and nanoscience programs,” Chakraborty said. “Postdoctoral research associates will be employed to co-lead the program, mentor students and obtain experience and opportunities to become expert researchers.”

To learn more about Chakraborty’s research, visit


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