Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering The University of by aee17186


									                 Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering
                      The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
                                               February 02, 2010

   Multifunctional Titanium Oxide Nanostructures and its composites
                       for Solar Energy Conversion

                                  Vaidyanathan (Ravi) Subramanian

Titanium dioxide is a multifunction material with applications in several areas. These
include energy conversion, environmental remediation, and biotechnology. Recently,
the development of ordered titanium oxide nanostructures such as nanotubes and its
potential benefits for solar energy utilization has been attracting significant interest. This
presentation will focus on the multifunctionality of ordered titanium oxide nanostructures
with particular focus on its energy production capability.
The presentation consists of two parts. In the first part, the synthesis and
characterization of various forms of ordered titanium oxide nanostructures prepared by
a one-step process called anodization will be discussed. The benefits of geometry,
flexibility, and a method to reduce titanium consumption will be presented. These
aspects influence light absorbance, photocatalytic efficiency, and cost. The titanium
nanostructures can demonstrate interesting results in other solar assisted processes
such as value added chemical synthesis. Some preliminary results along these
directions will also be discussed.
In the second part, the application of titanium oxides as a support for visible light
absorption will be discussed. Harvesting visible light from the sun is one of the key
challenges that have to be met prior to commercializing solar energy technologies.
Firstly, the synthesis of other novel oxides that demonstrate better photoabsorption
properties in the visible region compared to the titanium oxides will be presented. Later,
the effects of visible light absorbing dyes immobilized over the titanium oxide
nanostructures will be shown. The photoelectrochemical application of a titanium oxide -
ruthenium dye composite as an anode in a 1st generation solar cell will also be

About the presenter Prof. Subramanian has received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from University of
Notre Dame, Indiana in 2004. He has been working at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), since fall 2006 as an
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering. He holds additional position as an adjunct faculty of Electrical and
Biomedical Engineering at UNR. He is the founding faculty of the student organization called the sustainable energy
forum that advocates alternate energy technology awareness among students in the campus.

His research interests include development and characterization of materials for alternate energy technologies with
focus on photovoltaics and fuel cells. He has developed different methods for the synthesis of oxides and oxide-
metal composites for energy conversion applications. Prof. Subramanian has authored over 20 peer reviewed
articles, presented at over 15 conferences at national and international meetings, and chaired several technical
                                 VAIDYANATHAN (RAVI) SUBRAMANIAN, Ph. D.
                                                Assistant Professor
               University of Nevada, Reno – Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
                                  1664 N. Virginia St. – MS 388, Reno, NV 89557
                           Tel: (775) 784-4686; Fax: (775) 327-5059; E-mail:

To top