Different fractions from a polymerisation reactor

Polymers such as those used in clothing and the foam layer of running shoes are manufactured through a polymerisation reaction, most commonly free radical polymerisation. Hence, depending on how the reaction is tuned and controlled, different grades of polymers would predominate in the products stream coming out of the reactor.   However, irrespective of the … More Different fractions from a polymerisation reactor

High temperature magnetic topological insulators

Article in Nature, Vol. 533, Issue 7604, pp. 513, “A high temperature ferromagnetic topological insulating phase by proximity coupling”   Summary of article: Bi2Se3 and EuS adatom bilayer was shown to exhibit topological insulating and magnetic properties. Topological insulator is a class of relatively new materials where the properties of the material differs between the … More High temperature magnetic topological insulators

Reverse osmosis is the only means for removing trace contaminants in water

Current drinking water treatment techniques, while effective, is increasingly unable to cope with the larger set of trace contaminants in treated water found to impact on human health. For example, in some areas of the world, treated water contains trace concentration of lead (~ 3 parts per billion, ppb level), arsenic (~ 2 ppb), boron, … More Reverse osmosis is the only means for removing trace contaminants in water

Computational chemistry for investigating materials’ properties

Perspective article in Science, Vol. 354, Issue. 6309, pp. 180-181, “Making the most of materials computations”   Summary of article: Density functional theory (DFT) is the most popular ab initio (or from first principles) computational chemistry method for investigating interactions between small number of atoms and molecules. Advances in computational resources and algorithms together with … More Computational chemistry for investigating materials’ properties

Industrial chemistry and chemical engineering

We are surrounded by plastics, disposable drinks bottles, and clothing made of synthetic materials such as polyesters. But, where do these materials come from? The common notion would be chemical engineering. The answer is correct, but what is chemical engineering?   Chemical engineering is a discipline that evolved from industrial chemistry in the early 1900s. … More Industrial chemistry and chemical engineering

Probing complex molecules with infrared frequency comb spectroscopy

Article in Nature, Vol. 533, Issue 7604, pp. 517, “Continuous probing of cold complex molecules with infrared frequency comb spectroscopy”   Summary of article: Cavity enhanced direct frequency comb infrared spectroscopy was demonstrated to be useful in detecting multiple rotations and vibrational states of a molecule in a broadband manner; thus, opening up its use … More Probing complex molecules with infrared frequency comb spectroscopy

Surface functionalization for improving the efficiency and stability of perovskite solar cells

Article in Science, Vol. 354, Issue, 6309, pp. 203-206, “Improving efficiency and stability of perovskite solar cells with photocurable fluoropolymers”   Summary of article: Efficiency of fluoropolymer coating on solar cells in absorbing solar photons in evaluated in this article. Perovskite solar cells, as a class of photovoltaic materials suffer from poor stability under normal … More Surface functionalization for improving the efficiency and stability of perovskite solar cells

Rare earth element doping for improving perovskite solar cell photovoltaic performance

Research article in Science, Vol. 354, Issue 6309, pp. 206-209, “Incorporation of rubidium cations into perovskite solar cells improves photovoltaic performance”   Summary of article: Expensive rubidium cations were used in improving the photo conversion efficiency of perovskite solar cells, but cost and scarcity of the precious metal could be major factors preventing its use. … More Rare earth element doping for improving perovskite solar cell photovoltaic performance

How to make perovskite solar cells more stable?

Commentary article in Nature, Vol. 544, Issue. 7649, pp. 155-156, “Make perovskite solar cells stable”   Summary of article: Since its inception, perovskite solar cells have achieved quantum leaps in light conversion efficiencies from 2.2% in 2006 to 22.1% in 2016; however, their durability remains significantly less than those of conventional silicon solar photovoltaics. Hence, … More How to make perovskite solar cells more stable?

Dangers of ultrafast charging of mobile devices

By their design, mobile devices, especially smartphones are always on, and with today’s need for high speed data communication via mobile base stations providing 4G data and voice services, energy consumption is significantly higher than feature phones of the previous mobile telecommunications era. Thus, battery capacity and energy consumption became primary points of consideration in … More Dangers of ultrafast charging of mobile devices