The Physics Department, Punjab Engineering College (Deemed to be a University), Chandigarh successfully organized a week-long “Kaaryashala on Synthesis and Characterization of Advanced Multifunctional Materials for Energy Harvesting Applications”. The advanced Kaaryashala is fully funded by the Science and Engineering Research Board (Department of Science and Technology) Government of India under the ‘Accelerate Vigyan’ scheme and took place from January 16 to 22, 2023. Kaaryashala has been designed to blend theoretical knowledge with practical experience on advanced functional materials for energy harvesting applications. More than 70 applications from the participants of various institutions across the country were received out of which 28 applications were accepted based on their merit.
The event began with Prof. Sucheta Dutt, Head of the Applied Sciences Department giving a green welcome to Prof. Baldev Setia, Director PEC and Prof. Rajeev Ranjan, IISc Bangalore as Guest of honour. Prof. Baldev Setia, Director of PEC during the inaugural session apprised the participants about the rich history of PEC and the importance of the department of Applied Sciences. He congratulated the Coordinator and his team for organising such informative and practical sessions with experts and the best resource persons in the fields. Prof. Rajeev Ranjan, IISc Bangalore in his welcome note complimented PEC and Prof. Sanjeev Kumar, Coordinator of the Kaaryashala for conducting such educational sessions on Synthesis and Characterization of Advanced Functional Materials for Energy Harvesting Applications. He emphasized the increasing energy demand and also the need for sustainability.
Prof. Rajeev Ranjan started the seven-day Kaaryashala with his expert lecture on Piezoceramics: Essentials of Synthesis & Characterization. He described the basics and important parameters for ferroelectrics to be used for various applications. He also discussed the characterization methods with their importance.
On second day, Dr. Jayant Kolte, Thapar Institute of Engg & Tech. Patiala presented various important parameters for the ferroelectric and magnetic phases to be selected for magnetoelectric composites in a very interesting manner. He also discussed the importance of magnetoelectric composites for energy harvesting applications.
Third day started with the lecture of Dr. Ramendra Sundar Dey, Institute of Nano Science & Tech. Mohali. He discussed the energy harvesting in a very different and interesting manner for the synthesis of ammonia gas. Later he discussed the basic aspects of metal air batteries and supercapacitors.
On fourth day, Dr. Dipankar Mandal, Institute of Nano Science & Tech. Mohali described the health care applications of ferroelectric polymers through energy harvesting. He also described the triboelectric effect and ferroelectrets for energy harvesting applications.
Dr. Ajay Singh, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai described the basics and applications of thermoelectric materials on the fifth day. He also encouraged the participants to utilize the facilities available at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai. Participants interacted with him related to efficiency of thermoelectric materials for commercial applications.
Sixth day started with the lecture of Dr. O.P. Thakur, Solid State Physics Laboratory (DRDO), New Delhi on SiC for energy harvesting applications. He discussed the crystal growth of SiC crystal to wafer polishing. He also presented the importance of SiC for various strategic applications and encouraged the participants to work in semiconductor physics.
On the last day, Prof. Rahul Vaish, Dean Academic Affairs, IIT Mandi emphasized on triboelectric effect for energy harvesting applications in very interesting manner. He also interacted with the participants through toy based modules for energy harvesting applications.
Dr. Gyaneshwar Sharma, TD (PG) College, Jaunpur discussed pyroelectric effect, electrocaloric effect and energy storage phenomena in ferroelectric materials with the participants. He shared very interesting parameters and methods to analyze the above mentioned phenomena.
Participants got hands on experience in the lab on various instruments as well as different synthesis methods. Four groups were made and experienced the synthesis and characterization techniques with fundamental calculations. They also got hands on training on Rietveld refinement method for the fitting of XRD data. Participants also got fascinated by prototypes developed by PhD students of Physics department for energy harvesting applications.