Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science

Name : Urmimala Maitra

Deptartment : School of Materials Sciences
Designation : Assistant Professor
Contact : +91 33 2473 4971 (Ext 1224)
Email :


Our group is interested in fundamental science of ionically conducting solids for developing high-energy and high-power batteries like Li-, Na- ion and all solid-state batteries. Specifically, we focus on synthesis of electrodes and solid electrolytes, study their crystal structure, electronic and surface properties, identify redox mechanisms and mechanisms of failure/degradation aimed at improved batteries. The group is also interested in using ion-conducting solids for use in other applications such as next generation metal-oxygen batteries, supercapacitors, electrochromic windows and sensors.    


Academic Profile

2020 - Current    Assistant Professor, Indian Association for Cultivation of Sciences, Kolkata, India

2019 - 2020       Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Halle, Germany

                           Advisor: Prof. Stuart Parkin

2018 - 2019       Research Fellow, Justus Liebig University Gießen, Germany

                           Advisor: Prof. Jürgen Janek

2015 - 2018       Post Doctoral Researcher and group leader Na-ion team

                           Materials Department, University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K.

                           Advisor: Prof. Peter G. Bruce

2010 - 2014       Ph. D (Materials Science) Chemistry and Physics of Materials Unit, JNCASR, India

                          Advisor: Prof. C. N. R. Rao


Research Associate

Dr. Amit Kumar Das

PhD – NIT Durgapur
M.Sc. – The University of Burdwan
Research Area - Development of Li-rich Cathode Materials for Rechargeable Na/Li-ion Battery
Email –
Lab Extn. - 1216
Google Scholar
Dr. Subham Ghosh

M.Sc. - IIT Bombay
Research - Development of Material for Next-generation Li-ion and Na-ion Batteries
Email -
Extn. - 1216
Google Scholar

PhD student

Amit Ghoshal

Research Area - High Voltage Cobalt free Redox Cathodes for Next-Generation Na/Li-Ion Batteries  
Email –
Lab Extn. - 1216
Sayandeep Guin

M.Sc. – IACS (Int.PhD)
Research Area – Li-excess Disordered rocksalt oxides as Next-generation High Energy cathode Material for Li-ion Batteries
Email –
Lab Extn. - 1216

Project Student

Susim Sabuj Sarkar

Master's Project Student
Five Year Integrated M.Sc. - ISERC, Visva Bharati
Email -
Sudipta Kundu

Project Student
M.Sc. - IACS
B.Sc. - St. Xavier's College, Kolkata


Representative publications

Maitra, U.*Das, A. K., Oxygen Redox Intercalation Cathodes: The Fundamentals and Strategies to Resolve the Challenges, ACS Appl. Energy Mater., 2022, 5, 4522

Boivin, E., House, R. A., Pérez-Osorio, M. A., Marie, J. J., Maitra, U., Rees, G. J., Bruce P. G.*, Bulk O2 formation and Mg displacement explain O-redox in Na0.67Mn0.72Mg0.28O, Joule, 2021, 5, 1267

Sun, B. Xiong, P. Maitra, U., Langsdorf, D. Yan, K. Wang, C., Janek, J., Schröder, D.*, Wang G.*, Design Strategies to Enable the Efficient Use of Sodium Metal Anodes in High Energy Batteries, Adv. Mater., 2020, 32, 1903891.

House, R. A., Maitra, U., Pérez-Osorio, M. A., Lozano, J. A., Jin, L. Somerville, J. W. Duda, L. C. Nag, A., Walters, A. Zhou, A. J. Roberts, M. R.,  Bruce  P. G.*, Superstructure control of first-cycle voltage hysteresis in oxygen-redox cathodes, Nature, 2020, 577, 502.

Somerville, J. W., Sobkowiak, A. Tapia-Ruiz, A., Billaud, J. House, R.A., Ericsson, T. Häggström, L. Roberts, M. R., Villevieille, C., Maitra, U., Bruce P. G.*, Nature of the “Z”-phase in charged P2-type Na-ion battery cathodes, Energy. Environ. Sci., 2019, 12, 2223. 

House, R. A., Maitra, U.Jin, L., Somerville, J. W., Lozano, J. G., Rees, N. H., Duda, L. C., Massel, F., Chadwick, A. V, Ramos, S., Roberts, M. R., Bruce, P. G.* What Triggers Oxygen Loss in Oxygen Redox Cathode Materials? Chem. Mater., 2019, 31, 3293.

Maitra, U., House, R. A., Somerville, J. W., Tapia-Ruiz, N., Lozano, J. G., Guerrini, N., … Bruce, P. G.*. Oxygen redox chemistry without excess alkali-metal ions in Na2/3[Mg0.28Mn0.72]O2Nature. Chem., 2018, 10, 288.

Tapia-Ruiz, N., Dose, W. M., Sharma, N., Chen, H., Heath, J., Somerville, J., Maitra, U., Islam, M. S.*, Bruce, P. G.* High voltage structural evolution and enhanced Na-ion diffusion in P2-Na2/3Ni1/3-xMgxMn2/3O2 (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.20), cathodes from diffraction, electrochemical and ab-initio studies. Energy Environ. Sci., 2018,11,1470.

Somerville, J. W., House, R. A., Tapia-Ruiz, N., Sobkowiak, A., Ramos, S., Chadwick, A. V., …Maitra, U.Bruce, P. G.*. Identification and characterization of high energy density P2-type Na2/3[Ni1/3−y/2 Mn2/3−y/2Fey]O2 compounds for Na-ion batteries. J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, 6, 5271. 

House, R. A., Jin, L., Maitra, U., Tsuruta, K., Somerville, J. W., Förstermann, D. P., … Bruce, P. G.* Lithium manganese oxyfluoride as a new cathode material exhibiting oxygen redox. Energy Environ. Sci., 2018, 11, 2. 

Singh, G., Tapia-Ruiz, N., Lopez Del Amo, J. M., Maitra, U., Somerville, J. W., Armstrong, A. R., … Bruce, P. G.* High Voltage Mg-Doped Na0. 67Ni0. 3–xMgxMn0.7O(x= 0.05, 0.1) Na-Ion Cathodes with Enhanced Stability and Rate Capability. Chem. Mater., 2016, 28, 5087. 

Maitra, U., Gupta, U., De, M., Datta, R., Govindaraj, A., & Rao, C. N. R.* Highly effective visible-light-induced H2 generation by single-layer 1T-MoS2 and a nanocomposite of few-layer 2H-MoS2 with heavily nitrogenated graphene Angew. Chemie Int. Ed., 2013, 52, 13057. 

Maitra, U., Govindaraj, A., & Rao, C. N. R.* Importance of trivalency and the eg1 configuration in the photocatalytic oxidation of water by Mn and Co oxides. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2013, 110, 11704.

Rao, C. N. R.*, Ramakrishna-Matte H. S. S., Maitra, U., Graphene Analogues of Inorganic Layered Materials. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 13162.


Open Positions

Interested Ph.D and Post Doctoral candidates are encouraged to apply. Please send an email enquiry with your CV.

Research Activities

Sustainable electricity production and storage are critical to address the greatest threat facing us toady i.e. climate change. Therefore, almost 200 years after the discovery of ion conducting solids by Michael Faraday, today there is renewed interest in studying ionic and mixed (ion & electron) conductors for applications in batteries, fuel cells and supercapacitors. Thrust areas of our work are discussed below.

Co free High-energy-density Li and Na ion battery cathodes

We investigate cathodes that utilize the redox of the oxide ion to provide high energy density while being free from expensive elements like Co.




Inexpensive sustainable cathodes

We explore safe, sustainable, inexpensive cathode materials composed of Na or multi-valent ion ions (like Mg2+, Ca2+ and Zn2+) and polyanionic materials etc. as a high energy density yet cost effective alternative to Li-ion batteries. We optimize their performance based on their electronic properties and structural phase transitions.


We utilize in-situ and ex-situ structural and spectroscopic characterization to determine the redox mechanisms, failure and degradation mechanisms and develop design strategies for improved performance




Solid Electrolytes and Solid-state battery

We investigate solid electrolytes for liquid free solid- state batteries that have huge potential for high energy density, safe, non-flammable, thin, fast charging batteries. 


Instrumental Facilities

Pellet Maker

Planetary Ball Mill

Glove Box

Battery Cycler

Vacuum Oven

Calendering Machine

Muffle Furnace

Tube Furnace

Fume Hood

Weighing Balance

Magnetic Stirrer