About the Lab / Centre
In Advanced Functional Materials Laboratory, our research activities have been aimed at:
- Developing functional materials and coatings, and,
- Developing feasible, affordable and real-time technologies for water distribution and quality management.
We work with multi-disciplinary teams in developing sustainable technologies and solutions for global challenges. We work both on fundamental and highly applied research, and the problems we work on are diverse.
Electrodeposition of Metals, Alloys and Compounds :
We use electrodeposition as a synthesis strategy to developed controlled morphologies and compositions of thin films of metals, alloys and compounds.
We have studied electrodeposition of bismuth from acidic baths and deposited different morphologies of bismuth films by choice of bath composition (including additives), pH and deposition conditions. We have electrodeposited SnBi and SnIn alloys from acidic baths for microelectronic packaging and have shown that it is possible to deposit alloys of a wide range of compositions (e.g., 14% to 75% Sn, including eutectic alloys) with smooth morphologies and good surface coverage. We are working on developing the flip-chip technologies for indium, tin-bismuth and tin-indium alloys. We have shown, for the first time, that it is possible to electrodeposit bismuth iodide and oxyiodide thin films of controlled stoichiometries from a single bath.
Ongoing research :
Presently, we are interested in understanding the synthesis-structure and structure-property relationships in electrodeposition of metals, alloys and compounds. We seek collaborations in modelling and simulation of electrodeposition of bismuth, tin-bismuth alloy and bismuth iodide from different baths, particularly the nucleation and crystal growth phenomena.
Electrochemical Sensors :
We have developed bismuth-based and graphene-based electrochemical sensors for the detection of various analytes including heavy metals (particularly lead ions) in water, biomolecules in urine and serum matrices (dopamine, uric acid and ascorbic acid, collaboration with Dr. Nikhil Kothurkar – CEMS), antioxidants and nutrients in food matrices (ascorbic acid, folic acid, ferulic acid, vanillin), and macronutrients (NPK) in soils (collaboration with Dr. A. Purushothaman – Electronics and Communication Engineering). Towards understanding and designing graphene-based sensors, we have employed semi-empirical simulations of graphene oxide-analyte interactions.
Ongoing research :
We are interested in developing real-time electrochemical sensors for detection of heavy metal ions and macronutrients (NPK) in water and soil. To this end, the sensor technology is being standardized and collaboratively, we are developing portable potentiostat and the required instrumentation. We have initiated studies of degradation of screen-printed electrode materials in water and soil matrices. We seek collaborations on systems-level simulations of sensor networks employing such devices.
Water Distribution and Quality Management :
We are developing feasible, affordable and versatile technology solutions for real-time management of water distribution and quality. In an ongoing study, we are examining how to minimize the number and optimize the placement of water flow/pressure sensors in large water distribution networks for real-time localization and detection of leaks in the networks. This is a collaboration with Dr. Vidhya Balasubramanian (Computer Science and Engineering). We are developing packed bed electrochemical reactors for removal of heavy metal ions from wastewater. In this system, we are also exploring the simultaneous production of hydrogen by water electrolysis. We are also developing filters for heavy metal ions using cementitious materials (collaboration with Dr. Manu Santhanam and Dr. Mathava Kumar of IIT Madras). We are designing and developing continuous reactors for electrocoagulation- and advanced oxidation-based removal of various pollutants from water including pesticides and dyes.
Products being developed
- Packed bed electrochemical reactors for removal of heavy metal ions in water and simultaneous co-generation of hydrogen
- Electrochemical sensor for NPK in soil matrices in real time
- Electrochemical sensor for heavy metal ions in water matrices in real time
- Sathiskumar Jothi
Dr. Stephen Brown
Dr. Nicholas Lavery
Dr. Kirill Yusenko,
College of Engineering, Swansea University, Bay Campus, Fabian Way, Swansea (Joint Publications, Proposals)
- Peter Handel
Dr. Carlo Fischione
Dr. Viktoria Fodor,
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden (Joint Proposal)
- Eddie Koenders
Dr. Neven Ukrainczyk
Dr. Murugan Muthu
Technische Universitat Darmstadt, Germany (Joint Proposal)
- Jose Manuel Diaz Cruz
Dr. Miguel Esteban Cortada
Water Research Institute, University of Barcelona, Spain (Joint Proposal)
- Tommy Giertz,
Stockholm Vatten VA AB, Sweden (Joint Proposal)
- Jan Lindmark,
Brepus Castel, Sweden (Joint Proposal)
- Manoj Kumar Singh
Dr. Gonzalo Otero-Irurueta,
Center for Mechanical Technology & Automation, University of Aveiro, Portugal (Joint Publication)
- P. V. Aravind
Process and Energy Laboratory, Technische Universiteit Delft, The Netherlands (Ongoing Joint Research)
- Takuya Tsuzuki,
Australian National University, Canberra, Australia (Joint Publications)
- M. V. Reddy
Graphene Research Center/Advanced Batteries Center, National University of Singapore, Singapore (Joint Student Guidance)
- Manu Santhanam,
Building Technology and Construction Management Division, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras (Joint Publication, Proposals, Student Guidance)
- Mathava Kumar
Environmental Engineering Division, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras (Joint Publication)
School of Basic Sciences, IIT Mandi (Joint Proposal)
- R. Vasanthakumari
Polymer Nanotechnology Center, B. S. Abdur Rahman Crescent Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, India (Joint Publications)
- Subbiah Alwarappan
CSIR-Central Electrochemical Research Institute, Karaikudi, India (Joint Student Guidance, Ongoing Joint Research)
- R. Bhaskaran<
B. S. Abdur Rahman Crescent Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, India (Joint Proposal)
- Srinath Gopalan,
Sertel Electronics Pvt. Ltd, Chennai (Joint Proposals)
- Mr. Archit Naraniwal,
Faclon Labs, Mumbai (Joint Proposal)