A Pooja Shukla is pursuing her PhD from SRM University and completed her MTech in Nanotechnology from SRM University. She is working as Research Scholar in SRM Research Institute. She has published two papers in reputed journals and also achieved awards for best project in Nanotechnology.
Grain boundaries are quasi-one-dimensional structures comprising different types of polygons that maintain the periodicity in the ordered state. These are usually observed in graphene due to its polycrystalline nature. However, grain boundary (GB) nanostructures can also be observed in the hexagonal analogues of silicon and germanium, known as silicene and germanene. GBs, formed between single crystal regions, often offer an opportunity to tune the local electric and thermal properties via defect engineering to realize new functionalities. A recent study shows that the carrier concentration gets enhanced significantly, once grain boundaries are embedded in ordered nanostructures. Since high carrier concentration is essential for better electronic applications, a systematic study of grain boundaries out of different nanostructures can be useful for better understanding the device mechanism towards nanoelectronic applications. GBs being topological defects with largely a disordered character can potentially influence the thermoelectric properties as well, since disorder scatters phonons more effectively than electrons. The aim of the proposed work is hence to study the charge transport, electron-photon interaction and thermoelectricity in several grain-boundary nanostructures of technological interest.
Fumiaki Matuoka has completed his MS from Osaka University School of Engineering Science. He is a Visiting Scholar at Cornell University, Department of Material Science Engineering. His research interest includes “Synthesizing double gyroidal mesoporous template for meta-materials”.
The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is a key reaction for fuel cells. Nitrogen-doped carbon materials show high electro-catalytic performance for the ORR. They are thus among the most promising candidates as alternatives to high-cost Pt catalysts for the cathode of fuel cells. One of the active sites of the nitrogen-doped carbon materials for the ORR was was pyridinic nitrogen. Hence, nitrogen-doped carbon materials containing high concentration of pyridinic nitrogen could be a promising cathode for ORR. In our recent efforts, nitrogen-doped double gyroidal mesoporous carbon material (N-DGMC) was synthesized from the structure-directing tri-block terpolymer poly(isoprene)-block-poly(styrene)-block-poly(ethylene oxide) (ISO) with pyridine containing precursor, hydroxymethyl-3-hydroxyl pyridine, as a nitrogen source and phenol-formaldehyde resol as a carbon source. The total nitrogen contents and relative concentration of nitrogen species were obtained from XPS measurements indicating higher concentration of pyridinic nitrogen than other carbon materials in which nitrogen are doped by an ammonia treatment method. Furthermore, N-DGMC has double gyroidal structure; therefore, it has a large surface area as well as lots of pores, which enable N-DGMC to have high catalytic performance.