Chakraborty is an internationally recognized condensed matter theorist. His research focus is on many-body effects in nanoscale electronic systems, which he often studies by sophisticated numerical methods (e.g., exact diagonalization). In the early 1980s, just one year after the discovery of the fractional quantum Hall effect, he (working with F.C. Zhang and P. Pietiläinen) demonstrated that electron-electron interactions could actually lead to quantum Hall states with nontrivial spin configurations, and that the low-lying excitations could be described as "spin-reversed quasiparticles." This prediction motivated much experimental work from laboratories around the world, as a result of which the existence of spin-reversed quasi-particles was established. His work was cited in the Nobel lecture by Dr. Horst Störmer, who discovered the fractional quantum Hall effect. Chakraborty recently published an article in `Physics in Canada' (July - September, 2011) with Dr. Klaus von Klitzing, who received the Nobel Prize in 1985 for discovery of the integer quantum Hall effect.
During the 1990s Chakraborty (working with P. Maksym) made pioneering contributions to the many-electron theory of quantum dots: the term "artificial
atoms", now commonplace for quantum dots, was first introduced in their paper. In recent years, Chakraborty has contributed to the theory of electronic properties of various nanoscale systems, quantum dots, double dots and rings, graphene single and double layers, and electronic transport in DNA.
Chakraborty has authored many books and reviews: the book with Pietiläinen on the quantum Hall effect and the single-authored one on quantum dots have become standard references in the respective fields. He was recently invited to write a chapter for a book on graphene where many other leading researchers in graphene are the contributors.
With 165 research papers and more than 4,000 citations, he has been, for many years, a major contributor to the field of nanoscale electronic systems. He has organized several international conferences that played an important role in the development of the field of nanoscale physics and the quantum Hall effect. In 1998 he received a honorary doctorate from the University of Oulu, Finland.
Chakraborty holds the Canada Research Chair in Nanoscale Physics and is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.