Functionalized nanomaterials and nanocomposite materials for their energy, waste water treatment and biomedical applications

Nanostructured materials in the form of nano-particles, nano-rods, nano-tubes, nano-foams, nano-pillars, nano-layers, nano-flakes, nano-coatings, and nano-devices have dominated the research arena in the past two decades. Current research involves studies of nanostructured materials for biomedical applications, energy harvesting and storage applications including batteries, fuel cells, and supercapacitors; electronic/optoelectronic and photonic devices based on organic/inorganic materials, quantum dots, and liquid crystals; as well as characterizing, determining, and computing the unique biological, chemical, mechanical, and physical properties of various forms of nanostructured materials. Quantum mechanical approaches are employed for computation purpose (Gaussian and hyperchem softwares). We are currently investigating synthesis of multivalent inorganic nanomaterials and their oxides for their application in energy storage, catalytic activity, removal of organic pollutants. We are also investigating the toughening mechanisms in polymer-layered silicate nanocomposites, using both experimental and analytical methods. The primary objective of this project is to investigate the principles underlying the toughening mechanisms of the so-called hybrid organic-inorganic nanocomposites, and to formulate more precise criteria for the selection and modification of these nanocomoposites that might result in the optimization of their impact properties without sacrificing the tensile properties. The nanocomoposites in this context refer to polymeric materials containing layered silicates like montmorillonite, hectorite, kaolinite, laponite and saponite, dispersed as a reinforcing phase in an engineering polymer matrix. In another area, we are investigating the manufacture and nanomechanics of polymer nanocomposites based on carbon nanotubes (CNTS), nancellulose, nanostarch, nanosilica, graphene, quantum dots and so no.