Application of Anodized Titanium Oxide Nanotubes for Energy and Environment

Vaidyanathan (Ravi) Subramanian
Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering
University of Nevada, Reno

Abstract:  Titanium dioxide is a well known multifunctional material. One can find its applications in energy technologies and environmental pollution control. Over the last five years our group has specialized in the development of ordered titanium oxide nanostructures and studying its application to solar energy utilization. In this presentation, I will discuss the multifunctional aspects of ordered titanium oxide nanostructures with particular focus on their photocatalytic applications. The first part of this presentation will consist of a discussion on the preparation of the titanium oxide nanostructures. The nanotubes can be grown on various geometries and substrates using a simple and cost effective approach. The benefits of modifying the geometry and architecture of the substrate to prepare the nanotubes and its effects on solar energy utilization for photovoltaics and environmental remediation 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. In the second part of this presentation, I will focus on the synthesis and photoelctrochemical characterization of composite heterostructures for visible light harvesting and utilization. One approach is to employ small bandgap materials for this purpose. The performance of chalcogenide nanocrystal deposits on TiO2 nanotubes and its preliminary application in a solar cell device will be discussed.

Bio:  Prof. Subramanian received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from University of Notre Dame, Indiana in 2004. He is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), since fall 2006. He holds additional position as an adjunct faculty of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering at UNR. He currently serves as the solar energy thrust area coordinator at the renewable energy center 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. He is a member of the energy technology division at the Electrochemical Society. He is also serving as a guest editor for the journal Catalysis Today. 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. For more information about Dr. Subramanian, visit: