I am a fifth year PhD candidate at Stanford University. My research work with Professors Christopher E. D. Chidsey and Robert M. Waymouth at Stanford is focused on developing catalysts made of earth-abundant materials that can convert carbon dioxide (CO2) to useful fuels such as methanol and formic acid using electricity. Using renewable forms of electricity for this purpose would in principle generate a carbon-neutral cycle for sequestering anthropogenic CO2 and produce useful fuels at low cost.
I am an experimental chemist by training, with significant experience in electrochemical measurements, organometallic synthesis and DFT calculations.
Outside of my time in lab, I am interested in energy policy, finance and energy access for the developing world. I served as the Vice President of the Stanford Energy Club, one of the largest student-run clubs on campus and the hub for energy related activities covering technology, finance and policy.

Honors & Awards

  • Center for Molecular Analysis and Design Fellowship, Stanford University (2015 - 2017)
  • Rising Environmental Leaders Program (RELP) Fellowship, Stanford Woods Institute (2016)

Professional Affiliations and Activities

  • Vice-President, Stanford Energy Club (2015 - 2016)

Education & Certifications

  • B.Sc Chemistry (Hons.), SSSIHL (2010)
  • M.Sc Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Madras (2012)

2014-15 Courses

All Publications

  • Initiation of the Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 by a Singly Reduced Ruthenium(II) Bipyridine Complex Inorganic Chemistry Ramakrishnan, S., Chidsey, C. E. 2017
  • Multielectron Transfer at Cobalt: Influence of the Phenylazopyridine Ligand Journal of the American Chemical Society Waldie, K. M., Ramakrishnan, S., Kim, S., Maclaren, J. K., Chidsey, C. E., Waymouth, R. M. 2017; 139 (12): 4540–4550

    View details for DOI 10.1021/jacs.7b01047

  • Experimental and Theoretical Study of CO2 Insertion into Ruthenium Hydride Complexes. Inorganic chemistry Ramakrishnan, S., Waldie, K. M., Warnke, I., De Crisci, A. G., Batista, V. S., Waymouth, R. M., Chidsey, C. E. 2016; 55 (4): 1623-1632


    The ruthenium hydride [RuH(CNN)(dppb)] (1; CNN = 2-aminomethyl-6-tolylpyridine, dppb = 1,4-bis(diphenylphosphino)butane) reacts rapidly and irreversibly with CO2 under ambient conditions to yield the corresponding Ru formate complex 2. In contrast, the Ru hydride 1 reacts with acetone reversibly to generate the Ru isopropoxide, with the reaction free energy ΔG°298 K = -3.1 kcal/mol measured by (1)H NMR in tetrahydrofuran-d8. Density functional theory (DFT), calibrated to the experimentally measured free energies of ketone insertion, was used to evaluate and compare the mechanism and energetics of insertion of acetone and CO2 into the Ru-hydride bond of 1. The calculated reaction coordinate for acetone insertion involves a stepwise outer-sphere dihydrogen transfer to acetone via hydride transfer from the metal and proton transfer from the N-H group on the CNN ligand. In contrast, the lowest energy pathway calculated for CO2 insertion proceeds by an initial Ru-H hydride transfer to CO2 followed by rotation of the resulting N-H-stabilized formate to a Ru-O-bound formate. DFT calculations were used to evaluate the influence of the ancillary ligands on the thermodynamics of CO2 insertion, revealing that increasing the π acidity of the ligand cis to the hydride ligand and increasing the σ basicity of the ligand trans to it decreases the free energy of CO2 insertion, providing a strategy for the design of metal hydride systems capable of reversible, ergoneutral interconversion of CO2 and formate.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.5b02556

    View details for PubMedID 26835983

  • Rapid oxidative hydrogen evolution from a family of square-planar nickel hydride complexes CHEMICAL SCIENCE Ramakrishnan, S., Chakraborty, S., Brennessel, W. W., Chidsey, C. E., Jones, W. D. 2016; 7 (1): 117-127

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c5sc03189c

    View details for Web of Science ID 000366826900011