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Imagine an airplane. What comes to mind? A wing, an engine, aluminium? Probably not aluminium. Aluminium smelter seems so far removed from an airplane, that the connection seems absurd. However, the reality is that it is  that enables the cost-effective and ubiquitous airplanes. Effectively:

Materials are to devices, what aluminium is to an airplane. Material scientists are the first among a series of scientists and engineers who invent novel devices. Take a look at the electronic device below.

Look closely and you will see two rectangular patterns which are the electrodes that are used to transport current. Between then is a suspended membrane, similar to the membrane stretched on a drum (do you see the stretch marks?). This suspended sheet is single atom thick and is made from graphene, a two-dimensional semiconductor. It takes a really smart and innovative materials researcher to design, deposit, and manipulate graphene so that the poor device engineers can make devices./span>

So, can you now imagine devices without the materials? In fact, can you imagine any electronic product without the materials? You can’t.

Welcome to the world of nanotechnology. It’s a world where materials and device researchers work together to create the next-generation of devices. At CeNSE, the collaboration is so close that we do not even distinguish between “Materials Scientists” and “Electronic Engineers”. There is just one breed, “The Engineer.”

Two of the most frequently asked questions are:

  1. I am an electronics engineer. Can I work on materials at CeNSE?
  2. I am a materials scientist. Can I work on devices at CeNSE?

Answer to both questions is a resounding, yes!! Don’t believe us? Say hello two of our young PhD students.

Name: Pramod Ravindra

Background: Electrical Engineer

Research: Works on oxide-based heterojunction solar cells. Last seen trying to eliminate grain boundaries with extreme prejudice.

Name: Shashwat Rathkanthiwar

Background: Material Scientist

Research: Works on optoelectronic devices based on wide bandgap semiconductors such as AlN and AlGaN. Last seen hunting dislocation defect.

Nano-materials is the study of materials with at least one dimension is in the nano scale, i.e. < 1 µm. At such small lengths properties deviate from what they are in bulk materials, giving rising to interesting and useful phenomenon. Applications range from electronics, energy harvesting, energy storage, sensors, optics, and opto-electronics devices. Material scientists are required because they know how to manipulate materials, make them grow in unnatural and interesting ways. Current research efforts at CeNSE in nanomaterials are directed along the following major themes:


Low Dimensional Semiconductors

Metal Oxides