Sumit Chakraborty

Prof. Dr. Sumit Chakraborty

Professor of physico-chemical Mineralogy Ph.D. 1990, Arizona, U.S.A.

Tel. +49 (0) 234 / 32-24395
FAX: +49 (0) 234 / 32-14433
Room- No: IA 4/117

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Research Interests

Application of Physical Chemistry through experiments, theory and in the field to understand timescales and mechanisms of geochemical and cosmochemical processes. Understanding the atomistic mechanisms of flow and creep of silicates and oxides. Application of diffusion controlled processes in Materials Science problems.

Experiments carried out at high pressures (to 15 GPa) and/or temperatures (upto 1800°C) provide kinetic (e.g. diffusion coefficients) and thermodynamic (e.g. activity coefficients) data. Many of the experiments use nanometer scale thin films of complex oxides and silicates produced using Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD). This facility is unique in the Geosciences and enables us to produce thin films with complex geometry and chemistry. Analytical methods used include a particle accelerator (e.g. RBS, NRA, PIXE) at RUBION on campus, electron microprobes with high resolution FEG capability, SEM with EBSD attachment, CL-microscopes and white light interference microscopes in the department, and SIMS and analytical transmission electron microscopy (ATEM) with collaborators. Facilities for sample thinning using focused ion beams (FIB) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) are available on campus.

Theoretical work is directed towards development of methods and tools for diffusion chronometry and geospeedometry. Exploring relationships between thermodynamic and kinetic parameters, point defect thermodynamics of minerals, combined thermodynamic-kinetic modeling of geochemical processes and integration of thermomechanical models with kinetic calculations to constrain time scales of geological and cosmochemical processes are other theoretical and modelling based research directions.

Current Field based projects include:

  • Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh, Himalaya, India (Metamorphism and Partial melting in a recently active continental collision zone)

  • Madurai Block, Dharwar Craton and the Coorg Block, South India (Rates and timescales of thermal and mechanical processes in the Early Archean Earth)

  • Recent volcanics from Mt. Etna, Sicily (timescales of magmatism studied in connection with surface monitoring data and mechanical modelling, collaboration with the group of Klaus Hackl at mechanical engineering)

  • Other natural samples being studied come from:

  • Hess Deep, Pito Deep and various other sites along the Mid Atlantic and Costa Rica rifts, obtained from the Ocean drilling project (ODP).

  • Chondrites (e.g. Allende) and various Mars meteorites

Currently active Collaborations


Prof. Dr. F. Bea (Granada)


Dr. R. Anzkiewicz (Krakow)

Czech Republic

Prof. Dr. S. W. Faryad (Prague)
Dr. Josef Jezek (Prague)


Dr. J. Craven (Edinburgh)
Dr. K. Marquardt (London)


Prof. Dr. B. Basu (Dublin)


Dr. M. Kahl (Reykjavik)


Dr. F. Costa (Singapore)

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Selected recent publications

  • Beyer, C., Dohmen, R., Rogalla, D., Becker, H.-W., Marquardt, K., Vollmer, C., Hagemann, U., Hartmann, N., Chakraborty, S. (2019): Lead diffusion in CaTiO3: A combined study using Rutherford backscattering and TOF-SIMS for depth profiling to reveal the role of lattice strain in diffusion processes. American Mineralogist 104:4, 557-568

  • Chowdhury, P., Chakraborty, S. (2019): Slow Cooling at Higher Temperatures Recorded within High-P Mafic Granulites from the Southern Granulite Terrain, India: Implications for the Presence and Style of Plate Tectonics near the Archean–Proterozoic Boundary. Journal of Petrology Volume 60:3, 441–486

  • Faak, K., Chakraborty, S., Coogan, L. A., Dohmen, R. (2018): Comment on ‘Formation of fast-spreading lower oceanic crust as revealed by a new Mg–REE coupled geospeedometer’ by Sun and Lissenberg. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 502, 284-286
             Referring comment: Sun, C., Lissenberg, C. J. (2018) Caveats and challenges in geospeedometry: A reply to Faak et          al.’s critique of the Mg–REE coupled geospeedometry. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 502, 287-290

  • Chakraborty, S. (2017): A New Mechanism for Upper Crustal Fluid Flow
    Driven by Solitary Porosity Waves in Rigid Reactive Media?. Geophysical Research Letters 44:19, 10324-10327

  • Chowdhury P., Gerya T., Chakraborty, S. (2017): Emergence of silicic continents as the lower crust peels off on a hot plate-tectonic Earth. Nature Geoscience 10, 698–703
      referring comment: Magni, V. (2017): Plate tectonics: Crustal recycling evolution. Nature Geoscience 10, 623–624

  • Bhowmik, S. K., Chakraborty, S. (2017): Sequential kinetic modelling: A new tool decodes pulsed tectonic patterns in early hot orogens of Earth. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 460: 171-179

  • Fanara, S., Sengupta, P., Becker, H.-W., Rogalla, D., Chakraborty, S. (2017): Diffusion across the glass transition in silicate melts: Systematic correlations, new experimental data for Sr and Ba in calcium-aluminosilicate glasses and general mechanisms of ionic transport. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids 455: 6-16

  • Dohmen, R., Ter Heege, J.H., Becker, H.-.W., Chakraborty, S. (2016): Fe-Mg inerdiffusion in orthopyroxene. Amer. Mineral. 101, 2210 – 2221.

  • Chakraborty, S.,Anczkiewicz, R., Gaidies, F., Rubatto, D., Sorcar, N., Faak, K., Mukhopadhyay, D. K., Dasgupta, S.(2016): A review of thermal history and timescales of tectonometamorphic processes in Sikkim Himalaya (NE India) and implications for rates of metamorphic processes. Journal of Metamorphic Geology 34, 785–803

  • Faak, K., Coogan, L.A., Chakraborty, S. (2015): Near conductive cooling rates in the upper-plutonic of crust formed at the East Pacific Rise. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 423, 36-47

  • Gaidies, F., Petley-Ragan, A., Chakraborty, S., Dasgupta, S., Jones, P. (2015): Constraining the conditions of Barrovian metamorphism in Sikkim, India: P-T-t paths of garnet crystallization in the Lesser Himalayan Belt. Journal of Metamorphic Geology 33:1, 32-44

  • Anzckiewicz, R., Chakraborty, S., Dasgupta, S., Mukhopadhyay, D., Koltonik, K. (2014): Timing, duration and inversion of prograde Barrovian metamorphism constrained by high resolution Lu-Hf garnet dating: A case study from the Sikkim Himalaya, NE India. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 407, 70–81

  • Faak, K., Coogan, L.A., Chakraborty, S. (2014): A new Mg-in-plagioclase geospeedometer for the determination of cooling rates of mafic rocks. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 140, 691–707

  • Neogi, S., Bolton, E.W., Chakraborty, S. (2014): Timescales of disequilibrium melting in the crust: constraints from modelling the distribution of multiple trace elements and a case study from the Lesser Himalayan rocks of Sikkim. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 168:2

  • Mueller, T., Dohmen, R., Becker, H.W., ter Heege, J., Chakraborty, S. (2013): Fe-Mg interdiffusion rates in clinopyroxene: experimental data and implications for Fe-Mg exchange geothermometers. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 166:6, 1563-1576

  • Faak, K., Chakraborty, S., Coogan, L.A. (2013): Mg in plagioclase: Experimental calibration of a new geothermometer and diffusion coefficients. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 123, 195-217

  • Lopez-Galilea, I., Huth, S., Theisen, W., Fockenberg, T., Chakraborty, S. (2013): Effect of high pressure and high temperature on the microstructural evolution of a single crystal Ni-based superalloy. Journal of Materials Science 48:1, 348-358

  • Rubatto, D., Chakraborty, S., Dasgupta, S. (2013):Timescales of crustal melting in the Higher Himalayan Crystallines (Sikkim, Eastern Himalaya) inferred from trace element-constrained monazite and zircon chronology. Contributions of Mineralogy and Petrology 165, 349-372

  • Ganguly, J., Tirone M., Chakraborty, S., Domanik, K. (2013): H-chondrite parent asteroid: A multistage cooling, fragmentation and re-accretion history constrained by thermometric studies, diffusion kinetic modeling and geochronological data. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 105, 206–220

  • Kahl, M., Chakraborty, S., Costa, F., Pompilio, M., Liuzzo, M., Viccaro, M. (2013): Compositionally zoned crystals and real-time degassing data reveal changes in magma transfer dynamics during the 2006 summit eruptive episodes of Mt. Etna. Bulletin of Volcanology 75:692

  • Lopez-Galilea, I., Huth, S., Theisen, W., Fockenberg, T., Chakraborty, S. (2012): Effect of high pressure and high temperature on the microstructural evolution of a single crystal Ni-based superalloy. Journal of Materials Science 48:1, 348-358

  • Faak, K., Chakraborty, S., Dasgupta, S. (2012): Petrology and tectonic significance of metabasite slivers in the Lesser and Higher Himalayan domains of Sikkim, India. Journal of metamorphic Geology 30, 599–622

  • Borinski, S.A., Hoppe, U., Chakraborty, S., Ganguly, J., Bhowmik, S.K. (2012): Multicomponent diffusion in garnets I: general theoretical considerations and experimental data for Fe–Mg systems. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 164, 571–586

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Winter semester

  • 176302 Earth history
    BSc-level (3rd semester): Kwiecien, Mutterlose, Renner, Stevens, Chakraborty

  • 176507 Seminar in geosciences I
    BSc-level (5th semester): All lecturers

  • 177502 Petrology of magmatic rocks
    MSc-level (7th semester): Chakraborty

  • 177529 Kinetics
    Msc-level (7th semester): Chakraborty

  • 177501 Petrology seminar
    MSc-level: All lecturers in petrology

Summer semester

  • 176202 Introduction to earth materials with practicals
    BSc-level (2nd semester): lectures: Chakraborty; practicals: Schertl

  • 176601 Seminar in geosciences II
    BSc-level: All lecturers

  • 177595 Thermodynamics
    MSc-level (8th semester): Chakraborty

  • 177000 Main seminar geosciences
    MSc-level: All lecturers

  • 176847 Petrology seminar
    MSc-level: All lecturers in petrology

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  • 1997 - Habilitation, University of Cologne
    Habilitationsschrift: Diffusionsvorgänge in geologisch relevanten Mineralen und Schmelzen (Diffusion processes in geologically relevant minerals and melts)
    Supervisor: Prof. H. Palme

  • 1990 - Ph.D, University of Arizona
    Dissertation: Multicomponent cation diffusion in aluminosilicate garnets: theory, experiments and applications.
    Supervisor: Prof. Jibamitra Ganguly

  • 1983 - M.Sc (Geology), Calcutta University, Calcutta, India
    Thesis: Petrology of the area around Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi District, Orissa, India.
    Supervisor: Prof. Aniruddha De

  • 1980 - B.Sc with honors in Geology, Presidency College, Calcutta University, Calcutta, India

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Academic Honours

  • Dana Medal 2016 of the Mineralogical Society of America (MSA)

  • Elected Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America (MSA)

  • Distinguished Lecturer of the Mineralogical Society of America (MSA)

  • Elected to the council of the Mineralogical Society of America for the period 2010 - 2012

  • Elected Fellow of the Geochemical Society

  • Best Paper published in 1998 in American Mineralogist award, Mineralogical Society of America

  • Tucson Gem and Mineral Society graduate research fellowship

  • B.S. Butler Fellowship, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona (best incoming Graduate Student)

  • Selected for Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Trust Foundation Scholarship -- one out of ten candidates selected from all over India and all fields of academia

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