Coimbatore: Nanomaterials produce extremely fascinating and useful properties that can be exploited for a variety of engineering and societal applications, former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission M.R. Srinivasan said here on Thursday.
Inaugurating a national conference on ‘Multifunctional Nanomaterials and Nanocomposites’ at Bharathiar University, he said the recent improvement in technologies to visualise and manipulate had led the field on nanomaterials being extensively explored by government, research and academic communities.
The fundamentals of nuclear energy production began with the science of understanding the sub-atomic particles like neutron and the technology of capitalising on their dynamics in producing energy through fissile atoms.
Hence, the scientists and technologists in the nuclear field had been manipulating atomic and sub-atomic features over a few decades for real time applications.
Research and development in atomic dimensions had been carried out in the area of nuclear fuels, core and structural materials, sensors, devices and instrumentation by nuclear and material scientists, reactor physicists and engineers.
The recent development in nanotechnology was an additional dimension to this, as it opened avenues for manipulating the atoms and their functions in real time.
Explaining various applications, Mr. Srinivasan said nanotechnology could be effective even in the purification of water. It offered the possibility of an efficient removal of pollutants and germs.
Vice-Chancellor of the university C. Swaminathan said its nanotechnology department was carved out of the Department of Physics as part of a significant stress given to this field. Facilities needed for conducting nano research were developed recently.
The State Government had sanctioned Rs.1 crore as seed money to procure sophisticated instruments for the department. The university had also allocated Rs. 40 lakh for the department’s development. Apart from these initiatives, individual faculty members had also obtained project funds from various agencies such as the Defence Research and Development Organisation, Department of Science and Technology and the University Grants Commission to conduct research in nanoscience and technology. One of the thrust areas of the university was bio-nanotechnology.
Mr. Swaminathan hoped that nanotechnology would help in arriving at solutions for many new health problems in the community.