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Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science

Mitra, Somenath

Contact Info
Office: 151A Tiernan Hall
Phone: 973-596-5611
Dept: Chemistry Department

About Me

 Dr. Mitra is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Science. His group has developed techniques for self-assembly of carbon nanotubes in large structures for the purpose of chromatography and chemical separation. His work with carbon nanotubes includes applications in solar cells, batteries, water purification and membranes for sea water desalination. His other area of research is in development of techniques for real time air and water monitoring and environmental sensors. His research has been funded by the EPA STAR program, NIH, NIEHS, NSF, US Army, and US DOE. His work has been featured in various media articles, such as the Bulletin of Material Research Society, Chemical Technology of Royal Society of Chemistry, Popular Science, Chemical and Engineering News and National Cancer Institute.

           He has published over 125 refereed manuscripts, 7 book chapters, presented over two and fifty papers in national and international conferences, nearly a quarter of them are invited lectures, and is the coauthor and editor of two books. He is the co-winner of the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award from Research and Development Council of New Jersey, November 2009.


  • Ph.D Analytical Chemistry, 1988, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois. Advisor: Prof. John B. Phillips
  • M. S. Environmental Engineering, 1984, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL.
  • B. S. Chemical Engineering, 1981, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India.

Professional Experience

  • Acting Chair (9/05-present), Professor and Director of Graduate Program in Environmental Science (9/01- present) - Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science with joint appointment in Chemical Engieering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ.
  • Professor (9/99- 9/01), Associate Professor (9/96 – 9/99), and Assistant Professor (1/91 - 9/96) - Department of Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ.
  • Graduate Faculty (1/92 - present) - Department of Chemistry, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ.
  • National Research Council Fellow (3/88 - 7/90) - Atmospheric Research and Exposure Assessment Laboratory, U. S. EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC.

Other Activites

  • Served as consultant to US EPA at RTP, NC, and to Midwest Research Institute.
  • Plenary lecture, invited speaker and session chair at several national and international meetings.
  • EPA peer review panels (1994, 1996, 1998).
  • Reviewer for several journals.

Courses I Teach


Monitoring Emissions in Real Time

Dr. Somenath Mitra has invented a device to monitor NMOC emissions in real time.

Somenath Mitra, professor of chemistry, has invented a new technique for on-line monitoring of toxic chemicals, such as solvents and organic vapors, in air emissions at very low levels. The new device is an automated instrument for continuous monitoring of non-methane organic carbon analysis/  The key element in the device a "microtrap" that gathers organics from the air stream in a sorbent. The technique works much faster than any conventional monitoring systems and increases sensitivity by two or three orders of magnitude, allowing analysis of very low concentrations.

Research Interests

  • Sensors and analytical instrumentation; MEMS, lab-on-a-chip, microfluidics; thin-film sensors and devices using conducting and semiconducting polymers; instrumentation/devices based on membrane separation.
  • Nanotechnology, carbon nanotube synthesis and functionalization. 

Peer Reviewed Journal Papers

1.      “Microwave assisted purification of Single-walled carbon nanotubes without sidewall functionalization”. Yuhong Chen, Zafar Iqbal and Somenath Mitra,  Adv. Func. Matl. In Press (2007).

2.      “Kinetics of nanotube oxidation”. R. Brukh and S. Mitra, J. of Mater. Chem. 17, 619-623, (2007). 

3.      “A Fullerene - Single Wall Carbon Nanotube Complex for Polymer Bulk Heterojunction Photovoltaic Cells” C. Li, Y. Chen, Y. Wnag, Z. Iqbal, M. Chowallh, and S. Mitra.  J. Mater. Chem., 17, 2406 – 2411, (2007). 

4.      “Automated analysis via membrane extraction”. K. Hylton and S. Mitra. J. of  Chromatogr. A 1152, 199–214 (2007). 

5.      “Barrier Film Protected and Mixed Solvent Optimized Microscale Membrane Extraction of Methyl Carbamate Pesticides. Kamilah Hylton and Somenath Mitra. K. Hylton and S. Mitra. J. of Chromatogr. A 1154, 60–65 (2007). 

6.      “Measurement of Nitrophenols in Air Samples by Impinger Sampling and Supported Liquid Membrane Micro-extraction”. E. Bishop and S. Mitra, Anal. Chim. Acta. 583, 10-14, (2007) 

7.      “Mechanism of Carbon Nanotube Growth by CVD” Roman Brukh and Somenath Mitra, Chem. Phys. Lett. 424, 126-132 (2006). 

8.      “Rapid, low temperature microwave synthesis of novel carbon nanotube- ceramic composite”. Yubing Wang, Zafar Iqbal and Somenath Mitra. 44, 2804-2808, Carbon, (2006). 

9.      “Selective Self-assembly of Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Long Steel Tubing for Chemical Separation”. Mahesh Karwa, Zafar Iqbal and Somenath Mitra. J. of Mater. Chem.  16, 2890 - 2895 (2006). 

10.  “Enhancing micro-scale membrane extraction by implementing a barrier film.” Xiaoyan Wang  and Somenath Mitra. J. of Chromatogr. 1122, 1-6 (2006). 

11.  “Rapidly functionalized and highly water-soluble carbon nanotubes”. Yubing Wang, Zafar Iqbal and Somenath Mitra.  Journal of Am. Chem. Soc.  43 1015-1020, (2006) 

12.  “Scaled-up self-assembly of carbon nanotubes inside long stainless steel tubing”. Mahesh Karwa, Zafar Iqbal and Somenath Mitra. Carbon, 44, 1235-1242 (2006). 

13.  “Chromatography of  self-assembled singe walled carbon nanotubes”. M. Karwa and  S. Mitra, Anal. Chem. 78, 2064 (2006). 

14.  “Development of Continuous On-line Purge and Trap.” Chutarat Saridara, Roman Brukh, Somenath Mitra.  J. of Sep. Sci. 29, 446-452  (2006). 

15.  The effect of the waste concentration on destruction efficiency during incineration. R. Brukh, R. Barat, S. Mitra,  J. of Env. Engr. Sci. 23-2, 255-262, (2006). 

16.  “Design and fabrication of  microheaters for microfluidic channels”. M. Kim, S. Mitra, S. Kishore, and D. Misra,  Sensors and Materials, 18, 35-48, (2006). 

17.  “Microwave-induced rapid chemical functionalization of single-walled carbon nanotubes.” Yubing Wang, Zafar Iqbal and Somenath Mitra. Carbon, 43 1015-1020, (2005). 

18.  “Self-Assembly Carbon Nanotubes in a Microtrap for On-line Preconcentration of Volatile Organics”. Chutarat Saridara, Roman Brukh, Zafar Iqbal, and Somenath Mitra. Anal. Chem. 77(4) 1183-1187  (2005). 

19.  “Chromatography on Self-Assembled Carbon Nanotubes”. Chutarat Saridara and Somenath Mitra.77(21), 2094 Anal. Chem. (2005). 

20.  “Continuous on-line monitoring of  haloacetic acids via membrane extraction”. X. Wang and Somenath Mitra.  J. of . Chromatogr. A. 1089, 39-44 (2005). 

21.  “Development of total analytical system by online Coupling of Membrane Extraction with Membrane Pervaporation”. Xiaoyan Wang and Somenath Mitra. J. of . Chromatogr. A. 1068, 237-242 (2005). 

22.  “A sol-gel approach for fabrication of μ-SPE on PDMS microchannels”. M. Karwa, S. Mitra and D. Hahn. Analitica.Chim. Acta. 546, 22-29 (2005). 

23.  “Microfluidic supported liquid membrane extraction”. X. Wang and S. Mitra. In Press, Analytica. Chimica. Acta. 543, 92-98, (2005).  

24.  “A Hollow Fiber Membrane Concentrator: An On-line Application for Detection of  Pharmaceutical Impurities and Degradants”. Edmund J. Bishop and Somenath Mitra. J. of Pharaceutical Anal. 37-1, 81-86 (2005). 

25.  “Microtrap modulated flame ionization detector for on-line detection of methane”. C. Thamakhet, P. Thavarungkul, R. Brukh, S. Mitra and P. Kanatharana. . J. of . Chromatogr. A. 1072, 243-248 (2005). 

26.  "Hollow fiber membrane concentrator for on-line preconcentration"  by E. Bishop, and S. Mitra. J. of Chromatogr. A.1046, 11-7 (2004). 

27.  “Pathways to methylene chloride destruction at low and high concentrations”. R. Brukh, R. Barat, S. Mitra, Combustion Science and Technolog, 176, 531-555 (2004). 

28.  “Development of supported liquid membrane microextraction for the trace determination of haloacetic acids”. D. Kou and S. Mitra, J. of Chromatogr. A, 1055, 63-69 (2004). 

29.  “A microfabricated microconcentrator for sensors and gas chromatography”. M. Kim and S. Mitra, J. of Chromatogr. A. 996, 1-11 (2003). 

30.  “Simultaneous extraction and concentration using hollow fiber membranes during continuous on-line analysis”. D. Kou and S. Mitra. Anal. Chem. 75, 6355  (2003). 

31.  “Process Modeling and On-line Monitoring of Benzene and Other Species During Two-stage Combustion of Ethylene in Air”. R. Brukh, T. Salem, T. Slnvetapan, R. Barat, and S. Mitra. Adv. In Env. Research., 6, 359-367, (2002). 

32.  “Comparison of volatile organic emissions and structural changes of melt reprocessed propylene resins”. Q. Xiang, M. Xanthos, S. H. Patel, and S. Mitra. Advances in Polymer Tech., 21-4, 235-242 (2002). 

33.  Effect of Melt Processing on Volatile Emissions and Structural/Rheological Changes of Unstabilized Polypropylene”. Q. Xiang, M. Xanthos, S. Mitra, S. H. Patel, and J. Guo. Polymer Degradation and Stability., 77, 93-102, (2002). 

34.  “Proto-types for building applications based on thermoplastic composites containing mixed waste plastics”. M. Xanthos, S. K. Dey, S. Mitra, U. Yilmazer, and C. Feng. Polymer Composites, 23-2, 153-163, (2002). 

35.  On-line and on-site analysis of chlorinated solvents in ground water using pulse introduction membrane extraction gas chromatography”. A. San Juan, X. Guo, and S. Mitra. J. of Sep. Sci., 24, 599-605, (2001). 

36.  “Application and field validation of Continuous Non-methane Organic Carbon Analyzer (C-NMOC)”. S. Mitra, C. Feng, N. Zhu, and G. McAllister., J. of Air and Waste Man. Assoc., 51, 861-867, (2001). 

37.  “Gas Injection Membrane Extraction with Fast On-line Analysis with GC Detection”. D. Kou, A. San Juan and S. Mitra, Anal. Chem., 73-22, 5462, (2001). 

38.  “On-line membrane extraction liquid chromatography for monitoring semivolatile organics in aqueous matrices”. X. Guo and S.Mitra, J. of Chromatogr.A., 904, 189-196, (2000). 

39.  “Breakthrough and desorption characteristics of a microtrap”. C. Feng and S. Mitra, J. of Micro. Col. Sep. 12(4) 267-275 (2000). 

40.  “Monitoring Effluents From An Air Toxic Control Device Using Continuous Non-Methane Organic Carbon (C-NMOC) Analyzer”. Tai-Chiang Yu, Gary McAllister and Somenath Mitra, Am. Journal of Industrial. Hygiene, 61, 16-21(2000). 

41.  “Enhancement Of Extraction Efficiency And Reduction Of Boundary Layer Effects In Pulse Introduction Membrane Extraction”. Xuemei Guo and Somenath Mitra, Analytical Chemistry; 71, 4407 (1999). 

42.  “Theoretical Analysis Of Non-Steady State, Pulse Introduction Membrane Extraction With A Sorbent Trap Interface For Gas Chromatographic Detection.” Xuemei Guo and Somenath Mitra. 71, 4587, Analytical Chemistry; (1999). 

43.  “A microtrap interface for On-line mass spectrometric monitoring of air emissions”. Somenath Mitra, Chaohua Feng, Lizhong Zhang, and Wenpin Ho, Gary McAllister, J. of Mass Spectrometry, 34, 478-485 (1999). 

44. “Application of microtrap-GC for continuous monitoring of organic emissions from a catalytic incinerator”. W. Chen, Y. H. Xu and S. Mitra, J. of Micro. Col. Sep. 11-3, 239-245 (1999). 

45.  “Pulse introduction membrane extraction for analysis of VOCs in individual aqueous samples and for continuous on-line monitoring” X. Guo and S. Mitra, J. of Chromatogr. A, 826, 39-47 (1998). 

46.  “Application of on-line membrane extraction microtrap GC for monitoring VOCs emissions”. N. Zhu, Z. Li and S. Mitra, J. of Micro. Col. Sep. 10(5), 393-399 (1998). 

47.  “Development of instrumentation for continuous on-line monitoring of non-methane organic carbon in air emissions”. S. Mitra, Y. H. Xu. W. Chen and G. McAllister, J. of Air and Waste Management Assoc. 48, 743-746 (1998). 

48.  “Two-stage microtrap as an injection device for continuous on-line, GC monitoring”. C. Feng and S. Mitra. J. of Chromatogr.A.  805, 169-176, (1998). 

49.  “Development of membrane purge and trap for measurement of VOCs in water”. S. Mitra and X. Guo. Anal. Lett., 31(2), 367-379 (1998). 

50.  “Using a Composite Membrane for Enhanced Sensitivity and faster Response in On-line Membrane Extraction Microtrap GC Monitoring of VOCs in Water”. L. Zhang, X, Guo, S. Mitra, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 44, 529-538 (1997). 

51.  “Characteristics of On-line Membrane Extraction Microtrap GC System as Applied to Air and Water Monitoring”. S. Mitra, L.Zhang, N. Zhu, and X. Guo, Journal of Micro Column Separation, 8(1), 21-27 (1996). 

52.  “Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds in Air Emissions using On-line Membrane Extraction Microtrap GC System “. S. Mitra, N.Zhu and  X. Zhang, B. Kebbekus, Journal of Chromatography A, 736, 165-173 (1996). 

53.  "An Empirical Approach For Predicting Retention Characteristics in Supercritical Fluid Chromatography". S. Mitra, F. Shi, and J. Du, Journal of Chromatographic Sci., 34, 115-121 (1996). 

54.  “Characteristics of Microtrap Based Injection Systems for Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds by GC”. S. Mitra, Y. Xu, W. Chen, and A. Lai., Journal of Chromatogr. A. (1996).727, 111-118 (1996). 

55.  "Pattern and Sources of Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Their Derivatives in Indoor Air". S. Mitra and B. Ray. , Atmospheric Environment, 29-22, 3345-3356 (1995). 

56.  "Evaluation of A Thrermionic Ionization Detector for Selective Detection of Oxygenated Volatile Organic Compounds". S. Mitra, W. Li and B. Kebbekus. Journal of Chromatographic Science, 33, 405-409 (1995). 

57.  "A Sequential Valve-Microtrap Injection System For Continuous, On-line GC Analysis At Trace Levels", S. Mitra, and Arthur Lai, Journal of Chromatographic Science, 33, 285-289 (1995). 

58.  "Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds in Water Using On-line Membrane Extraction Microtrap GC System”. Y. Xu and S. Mitra. Journal of  Chromatogr. A. 688, 171-180 (1994). 

59.  "Processing Of Analytical Signals Using Matlab." S. Mitra and T. Bose. Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems, 223,3-16 (1994). 

60.  "Continuous GC Monitoring at Trace Levels Using On-line Microtrap."  S. Mitra, C. Yun.  Journal of Chromatogr. A., 684, 415-421 (1993). 

61.  "Adaptive Filtering As A Deconvolution Procedure In Multi-Input Chromatography." S. Mitra and Tamal Bose. Journal of Chromatographic Science. 30-7, 256-260 (1992). 

62.  "Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Indoor Air: Data Interpretation Using Principal Component Analysis".  S. Mitra and N. K. Wilson. Environment International, 18, 477-487 (1992). 

63.  "System Identification and Filtering Using Pseudo-Random Binary Inputs."  T. Bose and S. Mitra. Journal of the Franklin Institute, 329-4, 765-774 (1992). 

64.  "An Empirical Model for Predicting the Solubility of Solutes in Supercritical Fluids”. S. Mitra and N. K. Wilson. J. of Chromatographic Science, 29, 305-309 (1991). 

65.  "Thermal Modulator Interface Between Supercritical Extraction and Supercritical Fluid Chromatography".  S. Mitra and N. K. Wilson.  Journal of Chromatographic Science, 28, 182-185 (1990). 

66.  "Automated On-line Analysis Using Thermal Desorption Modulators". S. Mitra and J. B. Phillips. Analytical Instrumentation, 18(2), 127-145 (1989). 

67.  "High Capacity Thermal Desorption Modulators for Gas Chromatography".   S. Mitra and J.B. Phillips.  Journal of Chromatographic Science, 26, 620-623 (1988). 

68.  "Use Of Thermal Desorption Modulators in GC/MS".  S. Mitra and J. B. Phillips. Review. of  Scientific Instrumentation, 59 (8), 1427-1428 (1988). 

69.  "Solubility of Heavy Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Supercritical Fluid".  S. Mitra, J.W. Chen and D. S. Viswanath.  Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data, 32, 35-37 (1988). 

70.   "Migration of Sulfur from the Organic to the Inorganic Phase under Hydro-desulfurization Conditions". L. V. Dunkerton, S. Mitra, J. B. Phillips, G. V. Smith, C.C. Hinckley and T. Wiltowska.  Fuel, 67, 967-972 (1988).