Research Focus Areas

Four focus areas were proposed in the research activities of the Center:

Nanomaterials and Nanocomposites for Green Applications

The investigators in the Center are working towards the synthesis, characterization, modification, and applications of a variety of nanomaterials and nanocomposites. Some of the nanomaterials synthesized include carbon nanotubes, graphene, TiO2 nanostructures, bismuth nanohexagons, graphene-TiO2 nanocomposites, nanomaterials with graphene and metal nanoparticles such as gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and zinc, nanostructured iron oxides, and nanostructured aluminosilicates. Among the methods of synthesis of nanomaterials include chemical vapor deposition, hydrothermal methods, electrodeposition, wet chemistry, sol-gel methods, and the like. Some of these nanomaterials have been characterized for their structure/bonds using uv-visible, infrared, and Raman spectroscopy, crystallinity through X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy (and HRTEM), thermal stability through thermogravimetric analysis, and morphology through scanning and transmission electron microscopies.

These materials are being studied for a variety of applications including dye-sensitized solar cells, microwave absorption, electrochemical sensors, drug delivery, and catalysis.Thus, the COE is working towards the development of expertise and in the training of manpower (PhD, MTech, and BTech students) in the synthesis, characterization, modification, and application of these novel nanomaterials. The long-term aim of the COE is to become a knowledge, expertise, and resource center in the area of synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials, development of socially relevant applications and products using nanotechnology, development of knowledge resources (ex. journal and conference papers, monographs, and books), and training and dissemination of this knowledge to the widest possible qualified personnel. The COE is working towards building the required facilities for the same in phases.

Environmental and Biological Sensors

The second focus area of research in the COE is the development of portable, low-cost, high-sensitivity, high-selectivity, high-stability nonenzymatic electrochemical sensors for biological and environmental systems. These sensors will use a variety of nanomaterials as the sensing elements that can sensitively and selectively detect trace quantities of biomolecules, pharmaceutical compounds, and environmental pollutants such as heavy metals, pesticides, insecticides, and more. One of the chief aims of the works undertaken in this focus area is acbieve the selectivity and sensitivity of the sensor through morphological and structural modification of nanomaterials, rather than through the use of specific target molecules such as enzymes. Another objective is to explore a single nanomaterial and its suitable morphological, structural, and functional modifications to detect multiple analytes simultaneously and selectively, so that sensing devices may be fabricated using such materials.


Bio-Inspired Materials for Green Applications

The third focus area of research in the Center is the use of bio-inspired materials for green applications. Among the work that has been conducted include the synthesis of porphyrins and cobaloximes, inspired by vitamin B12. Columnar liquid crystals of cobaloximes have been applied with the aim of their use in fuel cells. Porphyrins have been synthesized, functionalized, and modified with CNT to examine their use in DSSC and sensor applications.

Materials and Technologies for Sustainable Development

The fourth focus area of the COE is the development of materials and technologies for sustainable development. There are three directions within this focus that the investigators are working on:

  • Development of low-cost, innovative waste-to-energy technologies
  • Development of highly intensified process equipment with significant energy and material savings
  • Development of green materials to replace toxic and polluting materials in existing products

There is a significant overlap between these four focus areas due to the interdisciplinary nature of most of the projects. The Centre aims to study the physicochemical interactions of materials in various environments and engineer novel materials for suitable applications in these environments. The research activities of the Center encompass considerations of sustainability, advanced technological developments, basic research, industrial involvement, medical needs, ethical considerations, and governmental regulations.

Facilities Available

  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • UV-Visibile Spectroscopy (UV-vis)
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC; - 90C to 550 C)
  • Thermogravimetric Analysis - Differential Thermal Analysis (TGA-DTA; Ambient to 1500C)
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)
  • Electrochemical Workstation (Including Impedance Analysis)
  • Rotating Disk Electrode Setup

We are in the process of procuring more equipment. Please visit this page in the near future for further details. We provide testing and characterization services using the above equipment. For further information please contact::


  1. Discrete Variable Flow Valve, Inventor: Dr. Murali Rangarajan, Invention Disclosure Filed; Provisional Patent being filed currently


  • A six-day faculty development program was conducted from June 10-15, 2013 on Chemical Process Modeling & Simulation, jointly by Dr. Murali Rangarajan and Dr. Udaya Bhaskar Reddy under the ambit of the Center. In addition to the two, Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Gupta, Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and Dr. K. Shailendra, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, participated as expert resource persons.

The participant list, along with the affiliations, is given below.

1 Rajiv Gandhi College of Engineering & Technology, Nagpur 2
2 Nagarjuna Fertilizeres, Tuticorin 2
3 Sathyabhama University, Chennai 2
4 VIT University, Vellore 1
5 S. R. M. University, Chennai 2
6 JNTU College of Engineering, Anantapur 1
7 NIT Warangal 1
8 JCT College of Engineering, Coimbatore 2
9 Avinashilingam University, Coimbatore 2
10 Bannariamman Institute of Technology, Sathyamangalam 1
11 M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore 1
12 Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore 4

From 2014, this workshop will be conducted annually for two weeks during the first two full weeks of June. Please see this page for future updates!

Summer Research Internships

Summer Research Internships for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students. The center is now accepting applications for two-month summer research internships (June-July). Interested UG/PG students may send their resume by email to