Ajay Kumar Sood obtained BSc (Hons) (Physics) (1971) and MSc (Hons) (Physics) (1972) from Punjab University, Chandigarh. He served at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam as Scientific Officer till 1988. While working at IGCAR, he received PhD (1982) from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. He did postdoctoral work (1983-85) with M Cardona at Max Planck Institut for Festkorperforschung, Stuttgart. Thereafter, he worked at IISc as Associate Professor (1988- ), Professor (1994- ), Physics Department, and also served as Chairman, Division of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (1998-2008). Presently, he is Honorary Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore.
Academic and Research Achievements: Sood's researches focused on two areas of condensed matter physics Raman spectroscopy of novel solids to unravel interesting phenomena, and soft condensed matter physics. His work on resonance Raman studies of semiconductor superlattices clearly brought out for the first time the concepts of confined and interfaces optical phonons. His high pressure Raman studies on fullerenes, solid C60, C70 and single wall carbon nanotube bundles, have brought out many interesting results. Sood and collaborators used impulsive stimulated Raman scattering using femtosecond laser pulses to excite squeezed phonon states for the first time in KTaO3. He has discovered the new phenomenon that the flow of liquids on single walled carbon nanotubes induces voltage and current in the sample along the flow direction. His other important study relates to the generation of electrical signal by gas flow over a variety of solids, including semiconductors, an effect known as 'Sood Effect'. In the area of soft condensed matter, recent experiments on viscoelastic gels formed by micelles established deterministic spatio-temporal chaotic dynamics in the nonlinear flow regime. Novel nonequilibrium phenomena in the study of colloids in electric field led him to invent an ultra sensitive immunoassay.
Other Contributions: Sood has served as one of the Executive Editors of the international journal Solid State Communications.
Awards and Honours: Professor Sood was bestowed the SS Bhatnagar Prize, GD Birla Award, Prize in Physics by the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), FICCI Prize, Goyal Prize, MN Saha Award, Millennium Gold Medal by Indian Science Congress Association, Sir CV Raman Award by UGC, Homi Bhabha Medal by INSA, DAE Raja Ramanna Award by JNCASR and National Award in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology by Government of India. He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad and TWAS. He is currently holding the prestigious Bhatnagar Fellowship of CSIR and is also Vice President, INSA.