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Noble metal nano-structures - Preparation using soft templates, characterisation and applications (NANO-SOFT-2005)
Start date: 01 Jun 2008, End date: 31 May 2009 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The present project is aimed at imparting thorough training to the candidate in nanomaterials synthesis, characterisation and applications. We have recently adopted an innovative approach for the synthesis of noble metal nano structures having high catalytic activity for selective hydrogenation reactions using swollen mesophases of anionic surfactants as 'soft templates'. Two patents have been obtained for the works related to this. In the present project bi-metallic nano structures of Pt and Pd alloyed with transition metals and other noble metals will be prepared using cationic, anionic and non-ionic surfactants forming mesophases of different structures (hegagonal, lamellar or cubic). Radiolytic (gamma and electron beam) and chemical reduction methods w ill be used to reduce the metal ions in the mesophase.The mechanism of fast reduction reactions will be studied using unique ultra fast lasers at the state of the art facilities available in LCP called ELYSE. The novel nanostructures thus produced such as clusters, rods, wires etc. would be thoroughly characterised using most modern techniques such as TEM, HRTEM, STM, AFM, XPS etc. Their potential application as catalysts for selective hydrogenation, electro-catalysts for fuel cell reactions and hydrogen storage would be investigated in collaboration with academic and industrial partners. The electronic, optical and magnetic properties would be investigated during the re-integration phase in India. Thus the project is expected to increase our knowledge of t he formation of metallic nanostructures using 'soft templates', their morphology-activity relationship and novel catalysts for many industrial processes and fuel cell applications. The proposed project will not only empower the fellow to establish an independent research career, but also it will strengthen our existing collaborations and bring in new ones.
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