Million dollar Indian
An Indian American assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering at Kansas State University receives a USD 500,000 National Science Foundation Career award.
Mr Gurpreet Singh, an Indian American assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering at Kansas State University, has received a USD 500,000 National Science Foundation Career award for his research on nanosheets. The prestigious award will also help Mr Singh organize educational activities for high school students and teachers. He has received the award for his research on “Scalable liquid exfoliation processing of ultrathin two-dimensional metal dichalcogenides nanosheets for energy storage devices,” according to a University release. He will use the award to develop ultrathin metal sheets that can help produce better rechargeable batteries, supercapacitors and catalysts for photoelectrochemical hydrogen production.
Mr Singh also plans to organize hands-on educational activities, including nanotechnology-oriented summer workshops for high school science teachers and female high school students. “I want to create excitement about the opportunities in nanotechnology and also make others aware of the challenges related to scalable manufacture and high-cost that is currently hindering introduction in practical applications,” he said. With his career award, Mr Singh will study large-scale production of ultrathin sheets - a few atoms thick and several micrometers wide - of transition metal dichalcogenides or TMDs. Nearly 40 types of TMDs have been identified, including naturally occurring molybdenite.
Little is known about the structure of TMDs and their mechanical, electrical and electrochemical properties, Mr Singh said. Some of TMDs’ physical and chemical properties can address energy-related concerns. For these TMDs to improve technology, they must be produced in ultrathin sheets, Mr Singh said. Bulk quantities of nanosheets are necessary for energy applications, including rechargeable batteries, supercapacitors and catalysts for photo-electrochemical hydrogen production.