Ph.D, MSc

Dr. Swarnalatha V. currently serves as Assistant Professor in Chemistry at Department of Sciences, School of Engineering, Coimbatore Campus.

Dr. Swarnalatha V. joined Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in 2015 after completing her PhD in IIT Madras. She is working in the research area of materials chemistry.


  • Department of Sciences, Amrita VishwaVidyapeetham , Coimbatore, India 641112


  • 2009-2014: Ph.D.
    Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
  • 2005-2007: M.Sc.
    Government Arts College, Salem.
  • 2002-2005: B.Sc.
    Sri Sarada College for Women, Salem.

Awards, Certificates, Honors and Societies

  1. Cleared GATE and NET exams.
  2. Gold medalist in PG from Periyar University, Salem, Tamilnadu
  3. Junior Research Fellowship by Department of Science and Technology, India (July 2008 - July 2010).
  4. Senior Research Fellowship by Department of Science and Technology, India (August 2010 - July 2011).
  5. Best Researcher Award from Amrita VishwaVidyapeetham in 2018.

Research Interest

  • Area of interest
    • The prime research interest of Dr. Swarnalatha is in materials chemistry. Her research focuses mainly on the synthesis of polymeric materials, polymeric composites, nanomaterials and nanocomposites with the aim of using them in various key applications.
    • Developing simple and eco-friendly materials for the environmental remediation is another research topic of interest.
  • Keywords:
    • Polymer
    • Nanomaterials
    • Nanocomposites
    • Environmental chemistry
  • Research Group
    • Present Team:Aishwarya Lakshmi is a PG student whose project is based on the synthesis of nanomaterials to be further utilized in photocatalytic applications.
    • Past Members: Dr. DurgadeviNagarajan has completed her PhD in 2020.
      PG students: Archana P., GopikaGokulan, Varada O.M., Devi N.M., Sreelakshmi P.S., Kiruthika S.

Funded Project

Year Sponsor Title of the project Grant sanctioned Investigators Status
2017 DST Rapid and Naked Eye Detection of Carcinogenic Trace Metals Using Natural Dyes. 877800 Dr. Swarnalatha V  and Dr. Ashasathish Ongoing


  • UG Theory:
    • Inorganic chemistry III
    • Organic chemistry I
    • Organic chemistry II
    • Organic chemistry III
    • Electrochemistry
    • Engineering chemistry
    • Chemistry II
    • Polymer chemistry
  • PG/Ph.D Theory
    • Industrial chemistry
    • Electrochemical energy systems and processes
  • UG Labs
    • Inorganic volumetric lab
    • Organic qualitative lab
    • Engineering chemistry lab
  • PG Labs
    • Organic quantitative lab
    • Inorganic quantitative lab


Publication Type: Journal Article

Year of Publication Title


D. Nagarajan and Dr. Swarnalatha V, “Kinetics and mechanism of efficient removal of Cu(II) ions from aqueous solutions using ethylenediamine functionalized cellulose sponge.”, Int J Biol Macromol, vol. 148, pp. 988-998, 2020.[Abstract]

The present work elucidates achieving superior Cu(II) adsorption capacity using a facile protocol and a biodegradable material. Copper is one of the most prevalent metals used in industries, which creates severe health effects to the human and aquatic lives when present in excess. Cellulose sponge (CS) used as kitchen wipe was chosen and amine functionalities were introduced on it using ethylenediamine. Potentiality of the amine functionalized cellulose sponge (AF-CS) in Cu(II) removal is investigated for the first time. The batch adsorption parameters were optimized and various nonlinear kinetic and isotherm models were elaborately studied. The adsorption using CS and AF-CS behaved under a pseudo-second-order model and followed chemisorption. The maximum adsorption capacity values using AF-CS and CS from the Langmuir isotherm model were calculated to be 596.96 mg/g and 230.63 mg/g, respectively. Thence, AF-CS possesses proportionately higher adsorption capacity in comparison with CS due to the insertion of -NH groups. Further, the mechanism involved in the adsorption process was explored in detail through FESEM, FT-IR, FT-Raman and TGA analysis. The AF-CS sponge was stable on repeated use and retained 90% efficiency at the end of the 10th cycle. A highly effective, easily recyclable, biodegradable and cost-effective adsorbent has been synthesized possessing an extraordinarily high adsorption capacity towards Cu(II) ions.

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D. Nagarajan and Dr. Swarnalatha V, “Magnetite microparticles decorated cellulose sponge as an efficacious filter for improved arsenic(V) removal”, Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, vol. 7, p. 103386, 2019.[Abstract]

This work aims to develop an environmentally benign adsorbent using a facile single step synthesis and investigates its remarkably high efficiency toward adsorbing As(V) ions. A base material as simple as a cellulose sponge used in kitchens is chosen for this purpose, modified by coating with magnetite microparticles and then used as an effective adsorbent for the elimination of As(V) from aqueous solution. Fe3O4 coated cellulose sponge (Fe3O4-CS) is characterized using XRD, FESEM, TGA and VSM techniques. The optimum pH is found to be 7 and the saturation point is reached in 60 min. The best suited kinetic and isotherm model were determined through error analysis functions. The adsorption process behaves under a pseudo-second-order kinetic model with R2 value of 0.996 and follows chemisorption. The Langmuir model clearly describes the adsorption reaction with R2 value of 0.969. The maximum adsorption capacity of the adsorbent (Q0) is found to be 349.9 mg/g, which is substantially higher than those from previous reports. Such an exceptionally high Q0 value is backed by elemental mapping studies. Recyclability studies show the retention of 82% efficiency at the end of 5 cycles. Furthermore, the results obtained from column studies demonstrate the applicability of the sponge as an efficient filter for decontaminating As(V) from water. Thus, the developed material would be a promising candidate for the real-time and large scale applications.

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Dr. Swarnalatha V, “Copper Oxide Coated Cellulose Sponge as A Highly Efficient Heterogeneous Catalyst for the Reductive Degradation of Toxic Organic Dyes.”, 2019.


G. Gokulan, Nagarajan, D., Dr. Swarnalatha V, and Dr. Asha Sathish, “Ixora Coccinea floral extract coated ear buds – Highly selective and eco-friendly sensor for the detection of Pb(II) ions”, Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, vol. 7, p. 103230, 2019.[Abstract]

The process of identifying the presence of heavy metals in water is crucial in industries causing heavy metal pollution so that apt treatment processes can be followed. Visual detection serves as an effective qualitative detection method, in which a particular metal can be selectively identified by colour changes. For the first time, a highly selective visual detection procedure of Pb(II) in water is reported using a floral extract. The flowers of Ixora coccinea have been chosen for our study because of its easy availability and non-toxicity. Nine different metals such as Ni(II), Cu(II), Fe(II), Fe(III), Hg(II), Zn(II), Cd(II), Pb(II) and Cr(VI) were investigated using ethanolic extract of the flower under basic condition. Among the nine different metals, the floral extract responded positively only for Pb(II). The extract was coated on top of common ear buds and observed for colour change just by dipping it in metal ion solutions. Coating on the ear buds enhanced the ease through which we could recognize the presence of Pb(II) just by “dip and look” procedure. The interference from co-existing cations and anions with the detection method was investigated. The detection limit using the suggested method was found to be 0.4 ppm. The UV and GC–MS results prove that the selective colouration is due to the complex formation of flavonols in the extract with Pb(II). The proposed method also answered positively while tested for an industrial effluent containing 4 ppm Pb(II) ion. Thus, a novel receptor based on a natural extract has been developed and verified for sensing Pb(II) ions using easy-to-use tool like ear buds, which can be viable by small-scale industries from developing countries.

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N. Durgadevi and Dr. Swarnalatha V, “Polythiophene functionalized hydrophobic cellulose kitchen wipe sponge and cellulose fabric for effective oil-water separation”, RSC Advances, vol. 7, pp. 34866-34874, 2017.[Abstract]

Development of efficient materials for the separation of oils/organic solvents from water is of prime ecological importance as their negative impact on the aquatic environment is huge. In the present work, for the first time we report the utilization of biodegradable cellulose kitchen wipe sponge as a base material for the oil sorption and cellulose fabric as a filter for the filtration of oil, after functionalization with polythiophene. The water contact angles of the modified cellulose sponge and modified cellulose fabric being 126.6° and 151.6°, respectively substantiate the hydrophobic nature of the materials post modification. Oil absorption kinetic studies show a very rapid saturation period (90 min) for the modified cellulose sponge with a maximum absorption capacity of 7.5 g g-1. By a simple mechanical squeezing process, the absorbed oil/organic solvent is recycled. The sponge is reused for 5 cycles with 70% retention in the initial absorption efficiency. On the other hand, the modified cellulose fabric is used as a continuous filter for a quick separation of oil (and organic solvents) from water. The oil sorbents reported make use of readily available and economically viable base materials with a simple modification which may allow their use for the removal of oil on large scales. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2017.

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Dr. Swarnalatha V and Dhamodharan, R., “A new route to polymeric materials derived from chitosan and natural rubber”, Polymer Bulletin, vol. 72, pp. 2311–2330, 2015.[Abstract]

In this work, the synthesis and characterization of a new polymer, natural rubber-g-chitosan, from biopolymers available in nature is reported. In this process, soft and amorphous natural rubber (NR) is converted into a relatively more dimensionally stable new polymer (glass transition temperature changes from −68 to +94.5 °C), with versatile solubility in a variety of common organic solvents. For this purpose, mild epoxidation of NR is carried out to provide a reactive handle for the grafting of chitosan. Thus, chitosan-grafted natural rubber with different chitosan loading have been synthesized and characterized. The characterization of the new polymers revealed that the grafting process resulted in enhanced glass transition temperature in comparison to NR, remarkable improvement in thermal stability in comparison to NR and chitosan and the much needed solubility for the chitosan component, which is otherwise insoluble in common organic solvents. The NR-g-chitosan is fully amorphous in the solid state, similar to NR. These value-added characteristics promise the utility and processability of the newly synthesized materials in adhesives, packaging industries and in many other areas where natural rubber and chitosan are vitally employed. More »»


Dr. Swarnalatha V, Dhamodharan, R., and Esther, R. Aluri, “Immobilization of α-amylase on gum acacia stabilized magnetite nanoparticles, an easily recoverable and reusable support”, Journal of Molecular Catalysis B: Enzymatic, vol. 96, pp. 6 - 13, 2013.[Abstract]

Abstract In this work, α-amylase is immobilized, using glutaraldehyde, onto magnetite nanoparticles prepared using gum acacia as the steric stabilizer (GA-MN), for the first time. The immobilization of amylase to GA-MN is very fast and the synthesis of GA-MN is very simple. The use of \{GA\} enables higher immobilization of α-amylase (60%), in contrast to the unmodified magnetite nanoparticles (∼20%). The optimum pH and temperature for maximum enzyme activity for the immobilized amylase are identified to be 7.0 and 40 °C, respectively, for the hydrolysis of starch. The kinetic studies confirm the Michaelis–Menten behavior and suggests overall enhancement in the performance of the immobilized enzyme with reference to the free enzyme. Similarly the thermal stability of the enzyme is found to increase after the immobilization. The GA-MN bound amylase has also been demonstrated to be capable of being reused for at least six cycles while retaining ∼70% of the initial activity. By using a magnetically active support, quick separation of amylase from reaction mixture is enabled. The catalytic rate of amylase is actually found to enhance by twofold after the immobilization, which is extremely advantageous in industry. At higher temperature, the immobilized enzyme exhibits higher enzyme activity than that of the free enzyme. More »»


Dr. Swarnalatha V and , “Epoxidized natural rubber-magnetite nanocomposites for oil spill recovery”, J. Mater. Chem. A, vol. 1, pp. 868-876, 2013.[Abstract]

New eco-friendly nanocomposite materials have been synthesized from natural rubber (NR) and magnetite nanoparticles for the first time. The poor oil resistance of natural rubber is exploited for the removal of oil spills. Towards this purpose{,} mildly epoxidized natural rubber (ENR)-magnetite nanoparticle (MN) nanocomposites are prepared and the absorption of petrol (gasoline) is studied. The extent of epoxidation is controlled in such a manner that the NR does not lose its elasticity while retaining to a significant degree its oil absorbing property. Epoxidation also serves as a means for binding sufficient quantity of MNs so that the composite can be recovered using a magnetic field. ENR with 5 mol% of epoxidation served as the best absorbent among all the absorbents studied as it was stable in petrol even after many days of immersion. It is observed that the ENR-MN nanocomposite absorbs 7 g of petrol per gram without any mass loss. The material was reused for several cycles without much loss in the capacity. The petrol uptake of ENR-MN is greater than that of butyl rubber which is the most commercially used rubber for oil spill removal. Porous rubber was also synthesized for the first time as oil uptake is facilitated not only by the hydrophobicity but also by the capillary absorption. Porous ENR absorbed a relatively larger amount of oil and exhibited the highest stability in oil. All the sorbents have quite high absorption capacities to be applied practically with a very low water uptake and a few of the absorbents could be satisfactorily reused. The model studies promise their potential use in the environmental field.

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Publication Type: Conference Proceedings

Year of Publication Title


D. Nagarajan, Varada, O. Mana, and Dr. Swarnalatha V, “Carbon dots coated on amine functionalized cellulose sponge for the adsorption of the toxic herbicide atrazine”, Materials Today: Proceedings. 2020.[Abstract]

A novel adsorbent material has been synthesized using biodegradable precursor materials for the removal of endocrine disrupting herbicide atrazine from water. Carbon dots (CDs) were synthesized via a simple hydrothermal method from dates. The synthesized carbon dots were analyzed by FT-IR, UV and PL studies. In the following step, carbon dots were coated on an amine functionalized cellulose sponge (AF-CS) and the carbon dots coated on amine functionalized cellulose sponge CD@AF-CS synthesized was used as an adsorbent for the removal of atrazine. CD@AF-CS was characterized using FT-IR and TGA analyses. Then the adsorption parameters such as solution pH and temperature were optimized. At pH 2, adsorption of atrazine is maximum and the adsorption is an exothermic process. The sorption follows the pseudo-first-order kinetics and the Freundlich isotherm model satisfactorily. The maximum adsorption capacity of CD@AF-CS was found to be 32.06 mg/g at 10 °C and the saturation equilibrium was attained within 30 min. Further, the adsorbent can be regenerated and reused for the next cycle with comparatively good efficiency thereby reducing the waste generation.

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Faculty Research Interest: