Three scientists from Bangalore are among the 11 young scientists who have been selected for the 2012 Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, the highest award given annually to scientists below 45 for outstanding contribution in the field of science and technology in the country.

The awards were announced on Wednesday at the 70th foundation day of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in New Delhi.

All three awardees from Bangalore are from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) and, significantly, two of them work in the cutting-edge field of nanoscience and technology. They are: Ravishankar Narayanan, Associate Professor, Materials Research Centre, in the area of engineering sciences; Arindam Ghosh, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, in the field of physical sciences, and Govindsamy Mugesh, Associate Professor, Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, in the field of chemical sciences.

On graphene

Prof. Ghosh’s work has revolved around graphene, the carbon allotrope that has become a hot research field in the recent past.

He told The Hindu that he was thankful to the scientific community for recognising their research work. Focussed on the advanced area of nanotechnology, his team has been working on fast and very efficient electronic devices using graphene.

“We are trying to look at applications for graphene in electronics, in solar energy and sensors,” Prof. Ghosh explained.

Speaking to The Hindu, Prof. Narayanan said he was proud to be chosen for this prestigious award, the “biggest recognition for a scientist in India”.

The award, which is given for work done over the past five years, recognises the work Prof. Narayanan and his team have been doing in the field of nanoscience. He credited the award to the outstanding students working with him over the years.

His group has been working on understanding mechanisms of how nanocrystals grow during wet chemical synthesis. This, he explains, is important in being able to control the nanocrystal shape evolution under different conditions that directly influence their properties.

This is part of the centre’s ongoing research in nanotechnology. Last year, Prof. Narayanan was also awarded the Swarna Jayanthi award by the Department of Science and Technology. He did his master’s and Ph.D. in the Department of Metallurgy, IISc.