Page 06/05/2018 11:52:05

Mechanical Engineering Graduate Seminar by Prof. Mohammad Ashraf Gondal

​Prof. Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Gondal from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals gave a ME seminar on “Pulsed Laser Synthesis and Processing of Nano-Composites: Fundamentals and Applications” on May 07, 2018 at 12:00 PM.

Nanomaterials are a fascinating class of materials that possess unique properties, and can be employed for various applications. In particular, their unique size and shape dependent physio-chemical, optical and electronic properties make them exceptionally attractive as novel structural building blocks for the synthesis of a new generation of innovative materials that boast numerous applications. Recently, research efforts have focused on the synthesis of high purity semiconductor nanocomposite materials using the pulsed laser ablation in liquid [PLAL] technique. When such materials are combined to form heterogeneous structures, the properties of the resulting composite depend on the properties of the constituent components, as well as on the chemical and morphological characteristics of the dispersion. 
Lately, a rapid, clean and one-step method called PLAL has been developed at our laboratory for the synthesis of high-purity nanocrystals of metal oxides semiconductors and their nanocomposites using different aqueous media like methanol, acetone and deionized water. In this framework, the second harmonic of a Nd:YAG nanosecond pulsed laser was employed as an irradiation source for pulsed laser ablation. In addition to pure and composite metal oxides, quantum dots of CdSe and CdS were also synthesized using the same setup. 
The morphological and optical characterization techniques like XRD, HRTEM and optical absorption of the synthesized nanocomposites and CdSe and ZnO quantum dots, reveal that the material possesses much better characteristics as compared to nanomaterials prepared via complicated wet chemical methods. The different nanocomposites prepared using the PLAL technique at our laboratory are SiC/ TiO2, TiO2/ZnO, reduced graphene oxide/Cadmium Sulphide (RGO/CdS), (RGO/ZnO), RGO/WO3 and TiO2/ZnO/CdS. The main aim of adding ZnO is to reduce the electron-hole recombination in the TiO2 while CdS was used to increase the light harvesting efficiency of TiO2 in the visible spectral region.
These nano-composites were then applied for photovoltaic and photocatalytic applications. For photovoltaic applications, dye sensitized solar cells (DSSC) using these nanocomposites were fabricated and their performance efficiency was investigated by measuring I-V characteristics and also impedance using state of the art Auto Lab Setup and solar simulator.  For photocatalytic applications, these nano catalysts were applied for degradation of organic pollutants, disinfection of bacteria and oil water separation. These nanocomposites demonstrated substantial improvement in the carriers’ transport efficiency. In addition, they have exhibited improved visible-light responsiveness. These developments have opened new avenues for many applications especially for energy harvesting and clean water using solar radiations. 
* The author is thankful to KACST for supporting this work under NSTIP project # 15-ADV4907-04

Dr. M. A. Gondal is a Distinguished Professor at the Physics department and coordinator of laser research group at King Fahd University of petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) and visiting professor at MIT, USA since 2012. Dr. Gondal previously worked as a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Applied Physical Sciences of the Research Institute, KFUPM. Dr. Gondal got his Ph.D. degree from the Institute of Applied Physics, the University of Bonn, FR Germany (1983) in the field of high-resolution spectroscopy of molecules using the Laser Magnetic Resonance (LMR) technique. Dr. Gondal was appointed as a Regular Associate Member of the International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy (1988-1995). Recently Dr. Gondal has worked at MIT on a joint project on development of super-hydrophilic and super-ollieophobic surfaces for oil water separation and also have a joint project on laser induced waste water treatment using nanostructured metal oxides and nanocomposites with National University Singapore. Dr. Gondal’s research interests are in the multidisciplinary areas of , applied physics, lasers, photonics, nanotechnology, materials science, sensors, solar cells, chemical physics, environment, design and fabrication of different kinds of lasers, laser remote sensing, pollution monitoring using lasers, development of laser based high sensitive analytical techniques (LIDAR, PAS, LIBS,LEI), synthesis of nano structured metal oxides/nanocomposites using novel pulsed laser ablation technique and their applications in corrosion inhibition, petrochemicals,  non destructive testing using laser generated ultrasound, laser applications in petrochemical industries such as methane cracking using photolysis, laser-photo-catalysis for production of high value hydrocarbons & hydrogen generation for fuel cells development, waste water treatment for removal of organic pollutants and disinfection of bacteria,  laser desulfurization of crude oil and laser applications in different fields and atomic and molecular spectroscopy using lasers. Dr. Gondal managed, coordinated and participated in many research projects funded internally by KFUPM and externally by various industrial organizations and national, regional and international funding agencies like KACST NSTIP, TIC schemes.
Dr. Gondal has published over 480 research papers in international journals and conferences of high repute and have over 5600 citations with h index 41 as per google scholar. Seven of his recently published papers have been listed in top 25 as cited by Science Direct. He has 18 patents so far published by US patent office. Dr.  Gondal was awarded Al-Marai Innovation Prize for the year 2011for his invention in the field of environment using nano-structured materials. Dr. Gondal was awarded thrice the Distinguished (Best) Researcher Award by KFUPM for the years 2005-2006, 2010-2011 and 2015-2016 based on his research excellence and teaching.  He is a one of the recipient of the Best Research Paper award, instituted by the British Mechanical Engineers in 2007. Also awarded the Best Paper Oral Presentation Award in International Conference on Optoelectronics and Image processing (ICOIP 2015) held in Chicago, USA 2015 and best paper award on “Detection of Ozone using Fourth Harmonic of Nd:YAG Laser at 1st International Conference & Exhibition on Laboratory Technology, Manama Bahrain (Oct 20-22, 2008).  He is also awarded the best project award for year 2008/2009, 2017/2018 by KFUPM. He has been a key note speaker for many international conferences and workshops.Dr Gondal got Distinguished Professorship Award for 2009/10,2012/13 and 2015/16. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Physics, the Australian Optical Society, the Association of Professional Engineers and Scientists Australia, the Pakistan Institute of Physics, International Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), American Chemical Society and ex-member of the German Physical Society. He is a member of 8 Editorial Boards such as International J. Molecular Spectroscopy, International J. Photoenergy, Arabian Journal of Science & Engineering, Research Journal of Environmental and Earth Sciences, Research Journal of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology and Associate Editor of Sensors and instruments.  Please see detailed CV on his personal webpage