Nano-composites

Polymer grafted nanoparticles as separation and fuel cell membranes

Polymer membranes are popular in separation and fuel cell applications.  Moreover, nanoparticle-filled polymer membranes can simultaneously improve properties such as permeability and selectivity.  The challenge lies in stabilizing these membranes against phase separation.  Recent progress in grafting polymer onto the surface of nanoparticles may mitigate some of these challenges.  This project uses statistical mechanics to study the efficacy of grafted nanoparticles as effective membrane materials.

Basic programming ability is needed. 

Proposing Faculty
Research Area
  • Colloids
  • Nano-composites
  • Nanoparticles
  • Polymer Physics
  • Porous Media
  • Separations
  • Statistical Themodynamics

Structure and water transport through block copolymers with a hydrophilic block

Block copolymers are polymers comprised of “blocks” of different
monomeric units connected together. Block copolymers with precisely tailored
molecular structure, viz. molecular weight and connectivity of the blocks represent
functional materials with remarkable properties. These materials find use in challenging
applications, such as membranes for separations. This project is focused on investigations
of block copolymers with glassy styrenic blocks connected to hydrophilic sulphonated  read more »

Proposing Faculty
Research Area
  • Heat and Mass Transfer
  • Nano-composites
  • Polymer Physics

Crystallization induced structure development in polymer nanocomposites

In polymer nanocomposites, inorganic nanoparticles are
dispersed in a polymer matrix to prepare materials with superior engineering
properties. Of particular interest are a novel class of materials, called
polymer grafted nanoparticles. These are nanoparticles that comprise an
inorganic core covalently tethered to a shell of polymer chains. Dispersion of
polymer grafted nanoparticles in a polymeric matrix is facilitated by favourable
interactions between the grafted shell and the matrix. In particular, when the  read more »

Proposing Faculty
Research Area
  • Colloids
  • Nano-composites
  • Nanoparticles
  • Polymer Physics
  • Polymer Processing
  • Rheology
Guruswamy Kumaraswamy

Design of nanoporous materials for gas separation (TA or FA only)

Natural gas meets around 20-25% of world energy demands. Overall the world has around 200 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserve and new reservoirs are being found. Methane gas constitutes around 80-90% of natural gas and for economical utilization of methane as fuel, efficient separation technology is required. The aim of this project is to design new nanoporous materials for methane separation and storage from natural gas.

Proposing Faculty
Research Area
  • Energy Integration
  • Green Engineering
  • Molecular Simulations
  • Nano-composites
  • Nanoparticles
  • Pollution
  • Statistical Themodynamics

Materials for water purification and desalination (TA or FA only)

Although earth is covered with 70% of water, only 2% of it is available as fresh drinkable water. Access to this fresh water is scarce in many parts of the country. The groundwater contamination due to industrial pollution and geological minerals leads to many health issues, especially in childrens and women. Conversion of sea-water to fresh water is an expensive and energy-intensive process. The aim of this project is to find organic and inorganic porous materials for water purification.

Proposing Faculty
Research Area
  • Energy Integration
  • Green Engineering
  • Molecular Simulations
  • Nano-composites
  • Nanoparticles
  • Pollution
  • Statistical Themodynamics

Topic 1: Functional Nanoparticles: Experiments, modeling, simulation

Nanoparticles and their clusters show new and interesting properties different from bulk
materials due to their extremely small size (diameter) and large specific
surface area. It is thus critical to understand the variables that control
its formation leading to a desired property. Control of nanoparticle size,  read more »

Proposing Faculty
Research Area
  • Colloids
  • Computational Flow Modelling (CFD)
  • Molecular Simulations
  • Nano-composites
  • Nanoparticles
  • Reactor Modelling
  • Surface Science
  • Surfactants

Aerosol synthesis of insulin containing nanoparticles for inhalation delivery

co-guide: Y.S. Mayya  read more »

Proposing Faculty
Research Area
  • Biomaterials
  • Drug Delivery
  • Nano-composites
  • Nanoparticles

The phase behavior of connected hard and soft particles.

A surprising new development in materials science and chemical engineering is the finding that mixtures of hard (colloidal), and soft (polymeric, or micellar) particles can self organize in length scale much larger than the diameter of either species.  In this project we explore the behavior of connected hard- and soft particles.  An elementary knowledge of coding is sufficient.

Proposing Faculty
Research Area
  • Biomaterials
  • Colloids
  • Molecular Simulations
  • Nano-composites
  • Nanoparticles
  • Polymer Physics
  • Statistical Themodynamics
  • Surface Science

The role of impurities in the self-assembly of polymer-grafted nanoparticles.

Traditionally, self-assembled structures are formed using chemical differences within a species.  Examples of this are the formation of micelles by detergents, and the formation of the phospholipid bilayer of the cell membrane.  In these systems, it is the tendency to the hydrophobic and hydrophilic part to avoid each other that result in the  self-assembled state.  However, a recent study (http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2017/sm/c7sm00230k) has pointed out that it is possible to form self-assembled states without any chemical differences.  This project focuses on how the prese  read more »

Proposing Faculty
Research Area
  • Colloids
  • Molecular Simulations
  • Nano-composites
  • Nanoparticles
  • Polymer Physics
  • Statistical Themodynamics