Kerala

NIIST scientist bags this year’s CSIR Young Scientist Award

Achu Chandran   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Achu Chandran, a scientist at the CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST) here, received this year's Young Scientist Award instituted by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for developing printed electronic materials and devices for strategic and commercial applications.

Dr. Chandran and his team at NIIST's Materials Science and Technology Division has developed a low-power consuming, self-sterilising printed fabric heater using a conductive silver ink, which too was developed in-house.

In simple terms, printed heaters are heating elements screen-printed on to flexible materials such as fabrics. They warm up when electricity is applied.

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, they applied the technology in a face mask and demonstrated its capability of annihilating pathogens at 120 degree Celsius by resistive heating using a 5-Volt power supply. His team has now filed for a patent on this technology, the NIIST said in a statement.

''Printed fabric heater technology is effective against all types of pathogens, including SARS-Cov-2, as the device achieves standard sterilisation temperature (120 degree Celsius) in a few seconds. A face mask integrated with the fabric heater can be reused after sterilisation of the same by connecting to a mobile phone charger or a 5-V power bank,” said Dr. Chandran.

Potential uses

The technology has potential in smart textiles. For instance, normal, light-weight clothing equipped with printed fabric heaters can replace bulky jackets used for warmth in cold locales. They can also be incorporated in, say, gloves and socks for providing warmth.

Dr. Chandran, who hails from Chemmakkad, Kollam, joined the NIIST in 2019 after a three-year stint with the Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI).

At CEERI, his team had developed printed meso-scale hotplates for use in the centres of the DRDO's Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR). These hotplates were successfully integrated with micro-farming units developed by the DRDO.


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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 1:39:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/niist-scientist-bags-this-years-csir-young-scientist-award/article37128896.ece

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