ABSTRACT: Composite materials synergistically combine the properties of their constituents; therefore, enormous research has been undertaken worldwide to synthesize multifunctional composites. Composites are synthesized through many methods such as physical mixing of its components, chemical methods such as core/shell, nanoparticle-decorated nanowires and so on. While the chemical methods offer superior properties, they are hardly scalable and often require a secondary processing to achieve the composite properties. This lecture covers synthesis of composite materials in two typical morphologies, viz. nanowires and 3D nanostructures, of a range of materials and their applications in energy conversion and storage, catalysis, sensing and so on by large scale electrospinning and hydrothermal techniques. Electrospinning technique has been utilized to synthesize composite of binary metal oxides as nanowires and 3D nanostructures in large scales – nanowires and nanoflowers of TiO2/SnO2 composite gave one of the best performance as a charge separation and transport medium in dye-sensitized solar cells and perovskite solar cells. The TiO2/SnO2 composite has been further shown to be ideal for supercapacitive charge storage, lithium ion battery, catalysis, and sensors. On the other hand, hydrothermal process has been utilized to synthesize composites of three or more metal oxide components in a single nanowire with synergistic properties as well as carbon-nanocomposites using soluble or non-soluble precursors for a number of applications.
BIOGRAPHY: Professor Rajan Jose supervises the Nanostructured Renewable Energy Materials Laboratory in the Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP). He has investigated nanostructured perovskite ceramics for microwave and superconducting electronics during doctoral research at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Trivandrum, India and has received PhD degree in the year 2002. He has contributed to the science and engineering of diverse range of materials including metals and alloys, luminescent quantum dots for biological and energy applications, glass and glass ceramics for quantum electronics, and electrochemical materials for energy conversion and storage. He is currently the Dean of Research (Technology), a member of Senate, and a Senior Professor at the Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP). He was employed as a scientist at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (India), AIST (Japan), Toyota Technological Institute (Japan), and the National University of Singapore (Singapore) before joining UMP. He has published 175 papers in Web of Science (Thomson Reuters) indexed journals which are cited over 7400 times with an h-index of 46. He holds over 21 patents nationally and internationally. His current research interests include nanostructured materials and renewable energy devices; most of his research is on the structure – property relationship in materials for a desired device functionality.