Kamalaksha Nag received his BSc (Hons) (1961) and MSc (1963) degrees in Chemistry from Calcutta University. Following a brief stint as Lecturer in Maulana Azad College, Kolkata, he carried out research (1964-68) in the Department of Inorganic Chemistry of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Kolkata with Prof NK Dutt and obtained his PhD degree from Calcutta University. He then served as Scientific Officer in the Radiochemistry Division of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai (1968-71), where he worked on the molten salt breeder reactor project involving measurment of solubilities of Ce(III) and Pu(III) flourides in the molten eutectic mixture of the fluorides of Li, Be and Th. He was a Visiting Research Associate in the in the Electrical Engineering Department of the University of Colrado at Boulder(1980-1981) and worked with Prof. S Geller on Cu(I)-based solid electrolytes to discover a solid electrolyte that exhibits highest room temperature ionic conductivity among all known solid electrolytes. He was Indo-French Visiting Scientist at the University of Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg(1985-1986), where he worked on modeling of cytochrome-c oxidase. He was Max- Planck Society Guest Scientist at Max Planck Institute for Bioinorganic Chemistry, Mulheim (2000).
Nag joined the Department of Inorganic Chemistry, IACS as Lecturer in 1971 and continued to serve there as Reader, Professor and Senior Professor till superannuation in 2007. He became Emeritus Professor and INSA Senior Scientist (2008 - 2012) and INSA Honorary Scientist (2013 - 2015) at IACS.
Academic and Research Achievements: Nag's research has aimed to find structure-property relationships in various aspects of coordination compounds of transition metals and lanthanides and solid state chemistry of inorganic materials.. These studies include: designed synthesis and structural chemistry of metal complexes of ambidentate sulfur-nitogen and sulfur-oxygen chelating agents, polyimino(amino)phenol macrocyclic ligands; multinuclear metal complexes, supramolecular assemblies and cyclometallated compounds; cooperative interactions between metal centers in polymetallic systems involving magnetic exhange interactions and electron, proton and energy transfer processes; biomimetic modeling, activation of small molecules and metal-mediated transformations of organic compounds; tuning of spin and electron delocalization in mixed-valence systems; molecular magnetism, including single molecule magnets; harnessing spectroscopic properties of lanthanides to develop sensors. In the domain of mixed-valence systems, a rare class of fully valence-delocalized iron compounds in which the oxidation state of the metal center is 2.5 has been produced. The double exchange behavior of these compounds have been thoroughly studied by a host of spetroscopic, magnetic and electrochemical measurements. His earlier interest pertained to the studies of solid state ionic and electronic transport properties, phase transition and dielectric behavior of inorganic materials; concentration and separation of lanthanides by solvent extraction. More recently he was involved on the use of metal complexes as precursors for nanomaterials, especially ternary and quaternary chalcogenides, and graphene composites.
He collaborated with several leading international groups and mentored a large number of Ph.D. students and research associates.
Other Contributions: Nag formed internationally recognized School of Coordination Chemists and Material Scientists and many of his former students and coworkers have become leaders on their own right.
Awards and Honours: Nag was recipient of the Cunninghum Memorial Prize and Chemito Award. He became Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences (1992), INSA Senior Scientist (2008 - 2012), INSA Honorary Scientist (2013 - 2015).