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Faculty Development Programme Events 2015



Faculty Development Programme (FDP)

Recent Advances In Nanoscience And Nanotechnology


Amal Jyothi College Of Engineering, Kanirappallay, Kerala conducted a Faculty Development Programme on the “Recent Advances In Nanoscience And Nanotechnology” sponsored by All India Council for Technical Education, New Delhi from 20th April – 1st May 2015 at AJCE. Mr. Sumit Kumar, Assistant Professor, ECE Department of Dronacharya College of Engineering, Gurgaon attended the program.

Nanotechnology is an emerging branch of science and technology which include interdisciplinary areas of physics, chemistry, mathematics, electronics, computer science, biotechnology. It involves the improvement of existing materials to advanced levels for day needs as well as latest applications. It has significant socio economic impact.

The objective of the course was to provide an overview, understanding and progress made in the various fields of nanoscience and technology and its impact in various sectors. Future scope of areas were also discussed during the session.

The following topics were discussed during the program:

1. Nanomaterials And nanostructures

2. Physical properties of nano materials

3. Synthesis and Characterisation techniques

4. Nanocomposites

5. Nanomaterials for energy storage, photovoltaic and photo electrochemical cells, water purification

6. Modelling and simulation of nanostructures

7. Nanoelectronics and devices

8. Nanofabrication

9. Bionanotechnology

10. Nanomedicine

11. Nanotribilogy

Dr. Soney C. Geoge, Professor of Chemistry and the program coordinator inaugurated the programme and delivered the welcome address. The Presidential Address was given by Dr. Joy Cyriac, Head of the Department of Basic Sciences. He explained the term ‘Nanotechnology’ and mentioned that “Smallest is Beautiful” but nanotechnology made it “Smallest is Powerful”. He then gave a brief overview of the programme.

Principal, Father Dr. Jose Kannampuza of Amal Jyothi College of Engineering, started the session with a statement “There is Plenty of Room at the Bottom” by Richard Feynman, Father of Nanotechnology. He gave a very motivational speech on this emerging technology and touched all the thrust areas of the Nanoscience & Nanotechnology.

Dr. Jacob Philip then lectured on “Characterization of Nanomaterials – I (SEM & TEM)”. He started from basic definition of Nanotechnology – ‘Shaping world atom by atom’. He explained the concept of surface to volume ratio which significantly increases, as the surface area of material increases when size of bulk is reduced to nanoscale. This leads to a drastic change in the physical & chemical behaviour of material which becomes important for every scientist or researcher. Because change in the property of materials lead to change in its applications and consequently the whole concept. He gave the example of Gold, as gold in bulk is yellow in colour, nonreactive, but when its size is lowered down say to a few nanometres; it depicts different colours, and becomes reactive substance. It’s melting point changes drastically & many more. He showed schematic representation of building up of nanostructures using Top down Approach & Bottom up Approach.

Now, to characterize the nano size particles, we require special microscopic devices called Electron Microscopes. For high resolution, high magnification images we use Electron Microscopes. These are basically of two types: - SEMs & TEMs. Both the devices are used for scanning the surface of samples point by point in a raster fashion. Later, he briefed the working functionality of the SEM and its various parameters. He also discussed the limitations of SEM over TEM. Then, he briefed about the extensions of SEM technology i.e EDS “Energy Dispersion Spectroscopy”. This is the fastest technology for elemental analysis in finding various properties of material like – Qualitative Ananlysis, Surface Mapping and Quantitative Analysis. EDS is the most powerful technique for identifying the element and its types of material present on the surface of a sample. Later, he talked on transmission electron microscopy. In this microscopy, the e- beam is transmitted through the sample / substrate. For piercing the sample the thickness should be very thin i.e ultra thin. This technique has biggest advantage over SEM; that we can use it even for biological samples.

Prof. (Dr.) Soney C. George discussed on “Curious Nano”. He presented several examples ranging from the natures prospect (i.e hows the natural phenomena are crafted by God almighty) to the man made crafted nano systems. He explained the word ‘Nano’ in such a way that everyone could understand the concept which exists in every system of world belonging to living or nonliving things. He said that a large community of Scientists & Researchers believe that this technology has potential to eradicate most of the existing problems and make our living much better. He emphasised that Nanoscience is everywhere!!!

Dr. Philip explained the concept of “Characterization of Nanomaterials – II (XRD & AFM)”. He started his talk with Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM). Under this, a group of techniques are involved e.g. MFM, STM, SAM, AFM, SSET, FMM etc. & each technique is used to generate the images from different material surfaces ranging from biological samples to inorganic samples. Out of these, AFM and STM are the most widely employed techniques for roughness measurements. Basically, AFM is used for non-conducting samples where as STM is used for conducting samples. FM provides 3D profile of a surface on a nanoscale. This works into three modes –

1. Contact Mode,

2. Non-contact Mode

3. Tapping Mode.

Dr. Philip showed a video for explaining the working of AFM & also shared the link for further reference.

Dr. M. M. Shaijumon, Assistant Professor at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) started his session on “Nanomaterials for Energy”. He outlined his talk around Nano-carbon Materials, Energy Challenges, and what are the plans to overcome these challenges? He briefly described the energy materials. He explained the important concepts of ‘Surface to Volume Ratio’ and Quantum Confinement. He discussed different forms of carbon, their properties along with synthesis techniques. He also explained the concept of “Clean Energy Economy”. Dr. Shaijumon told that in order to achieve these challenges, everybody should be keen to find solutions for cleaner, cheaper & efficient technology. He beautifully described the energy storage technology and explained the concept of Electrochemical Double Layer Structure with schematic representations which are also called super capacitors.

Dr. Reji Varghese, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) conducted his session on “DNA Bio Nanotechnology”. He explained the concept of Supra-molecular Chemistry which is basically based on the concept of non-covalent bonding. For this, he discussed the example of water molecule i.e H2O and said without this kind of interaction between the molecules no life will be possible. He told that these materials are hardly stable above the specific temperature and most of them are unstable beyond 100 0C, as the bonds become very weak at higher temperatures. He described the concept of molecular recognition and its type. He enlightened the theory behind the treatment of cancerous cells. As the cancerous cells are acidic in nature, their ph value is very low. Hence we can fill the drug in different nano structured particles like tubes, core-shell particles and then insert in the body. In later part of his talk, he dwelt on “DNA: Molecule of Life” as these are the basic building blocks of life and explained the theory briefly.

Dr. Deepthi Menon, Professor at Amrita Centre for Nanoscience & Molecular Medicine lectured on Nanomedicine & Drug Delivery – I & II. She started her talk with Role of Nanotechnology in Healthcare. She quoted that “Nanoparticles: Small Particles with Big Future”. She mentioned that we are going small for big advances. Then, she explained the role of semiconductor nano-particles in health care and that of ‘Qunatum Mechanics’. How the ‘Quantum Dots’ are useful along with their different applications? She stated that nanotechnology applications in medical science plays significant role in diagnostic, drug delivery and tissue engineering for prevention from diseases. She also talked on cancer, its present status, different types and discussed best possible solutions available till date to cure the disease.

Dr. A. Sreekumar Nair, Assistant Professor at AIMS talk was basically focused on Solar Energy and harvesting more & more to maximise the electrical output using Nanotechnology. According to him, “Nanotechnology is powerful engineering of matter at scale of less than 100nm to achieve size dependant properties & functions”.

Dr. Nair highlighted various land mark events in this direction ranging from 1855 to 2015. He linked Nanotechnology and Renewable Energy. He mentioned that the current electricity demand in the world is 14 TW / year and it is expected to double by 2050, which is a Global Challenge. He asked everyone to think in this direction that how will we face this challenge to overcome the energy crisis using this technology?

Later, he described different generations of solar cells, their advantages & limitations. He also shared the fundamental concepts of photovoltaic and explained how we reached to the third generation of solar cells.

Dr. Siby Varghese, Deputy Director, Technical Consultancy, RRII, Kotayam discussed about “Rubber Nanocomposites”. He briefed on various types of nanocomposites used in different applications ranging from automobiles to electronics. He mentioned that our country is rich enough in production of natural rubber but due to its limitations of temperature withstanding, we cannot use natural rubber for wide areas of applications.

Dr. S.N Potty, Scientist at Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET) Thrissur, Kerala conducted the session on “Nanophotonics”. The speaker discussed that India imports 80% of electronic materials from abroad and only 20% is produced in country. He explained the processing of electronic materials and their changing properties through a schematic shown below: -

Later, Dr. S. N Potty showed the number of activities specially carried out at C-MET Thrissur with detailed explanation. He also discussed concept of Supercapacitor which is superior to normal capacitor & is basically an electrically double layered capacitor. He also talked about ‘Photonics’. According to him, now a day’s researchers are more interested in 100 nm to 2µm range of Electromagnetic Spectrum, as size of particle is comparable with the wavelength of light in this range.s Dr. Potty explained following three concepts related to Nanophotonics –

1. Electron Confinement / Quantum Confinement

2. Light Wave Confinement Phenomenon

3. Quantum Optics of Nanostructures

Dr. R.S Rajeev, Scientist, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) explained the ‘Carbon Nanomaterials’ for space applications. He showed many slides on carbon to explain why it is important? In this context, he explained all the physical forms of carbon available today called allotropes of carbon and also showed 90 second Animation on Carbon Allotropes. He explained that not only the different size of its allotropes, but their shape also matters. Later, he explained the characterization techniques usually used to characterize the different types of CNT (Carbon Nano Tubes). He mentioned that now Graphene is explored for making LED bulbs though efficiency is poor.

Dr. Jinesh K. B, Scientist, IIST introduced the concept of “Introduction to Nanotechnology”. He started with explanation of Quantum Theory. He mentioned that Electrons are not just particles; they are waves at the same time! (Wave-Matter Duality). Then, he explained “The Schrödinger Equation” which describes how the quantum state of a physical system changes with time. Later, he explained the concept of Quantum Electron Confined in a Box which is well known as particle in a box problem. In this, he also explained the concept of electron-hole pair which is called Exciton. When the particle size is smaller than the Exciton Bohr Radius, the excitons are confined in the material. These Quantum Confinement Effects lead to Quantized Energy Levels. He also described that with the reduction of size of particle the bandgap is increased and hence the energy is increased. This leads o the concept of Quantum dots which play significant role in semiconductor applications. The nanoparticle of a material with size equal or less than its Exciton Bohr Radius is called its Quantum Dot.

Dr. Suraj Soman, Scientist, CSIR-NIIST discussed his session on “Nanostructured Materials for Energy Production”. He started the session by addressing humanity’s top ten problems for next 50 years in which he mentioned ENERGY will be on highest priority. In this regard he mentioned that in 21st century a major technological challenege for human is the transition from fossil-fuel-based energy economy to renewable (sustainable) energy. According to the statistically data analysis, the total energy demand of the planet is predicted to be doubled by the mid of 21st century and tripled by the end of century. After explaining this he asked can we address the clean energy challenge with Nanotechnology. He mentioned that this can be achieved only by the help of Solar Power which is an abundant source of energy and quoted as “The Sun will be the Fuel for the Future”. For harvesting energy from Sun, Nanotechnology plays main role. He explained unique properties of materials at very small size and nanofabrication processes in detail. He discussed solar cells in detail with its various generations. He also told that why now these days DSSC (Dye Sensitized Solar Cells) are of more interest as compared to conventional Si-PV cells. DSSC’s are transparent, easy to make, can be fabricated on flexible surfaces and many more. In his talk, Dr. Soman also highlighted that the hot research topics on which scientists & researchers are working to solve the problem of energy, are Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Storage.

The Faculty Development Programme ended successfully with vote of thanks given by Dr. Soney C. George, Programme Coordinator.



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