Nanotechnology is the future, says expert

Jagadish Chennupati   | Photo Credit: C.V.Subrahmanyam

Nanotechnology is the future and every sector will be impacted by it, says Chennupati Jagadish, a professor from Australian National University.

Hailing from Vallurupalem in Krishna district, Prof. Jagadish has carved a niche for himself in the research and development of nanotechnology, for which the Australian Government awarded him its highest civilian award, ‘Companion of the Order of Australia’.

Prof. Jagadish is here to attend and deliver a talk at the ongoing Andhra Pradesh Science Congress in Andhra University.

After delivering a talk on nanotechnology at the Department of Instrumentation Engineering in Andhra University College of Engineering, his alma mater, Prof. Jagadish spoke to The Hindu about the evolving technology.

According to him, nanotechnology is a multi-disciplinary field and is already in use in some sectors.

“It is being used in a big way in cell phones and computers, but the main challenge will be its use in medical and solar energy fields,” he said.

Nanotechnology would play a major role in the drug delivery mechanism, Prof. Jagadish added.

“Research is on in a big way to use nano robots to deliver drugs to specific areas. A day will come when the entire body will not be bombarded with drugs. A mechanism will be evolved to deliver the drug only to the affected area. Similarly, its use in solar panels will be a big boost to the energy sector,” he said.

The challenge

“The efficiency in the use of nanotechnology in solar panel has already gone up to 46 % from 15 %, and it will climb to 50 % shortly,” he said and added “but the challenge is that it is a very costly technology at present. That is why it is used only in space science. The challenge is to make it more economical to serve the common man,” Prof. Jagadish said.

On his areas of work, Prof. Jagadish said he was working on the use of nano laser in optical communication. “Lasers will allow not only faster transmission of large data but also enable the Internet to go green, as less amount of energy will be used,” he said.

He is also working on economical models of flexible solar panels that can be used by the Defence sector and Terahertz technology.

Flip class model

Referring to the trends in education, Prof. Jagadish said Australia was keenly pursuing the flip class model of education.

“In this system, the lecture of a professor is recorded and hosted on the university website. Instead of the traditional classroom lecture, wherein the professor just speaks for one hour and leaves, in this system the students can listen to the lecture a number of times, and the classroom session can be reserved for meaningful discussion and interaction,” he said.

He was critical of the “memorising and reproducing system” of teaching.

Gesture to students

Having come from a humble background and undergone considerable hardship, Prof. Jagadish and his wife floated the Chennupati and Vidya Jagadish Endowment for visiting students from developing countries.

“Prospective students can apply to the endowment for funding in Australian National University in the fields of physics and engineering. We have already funded a number of students from India and other developing nations,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 15, 2021 10:20:42 AM |

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