Current and future research is directed along the following
1) Energy Storage: Due to their high energy and power density, environmentally friendly nature and abundance as a natural resource, Lithium-based technologies are a promising candidate to ease our ever-increasing dependence on fossil fuels. Our research is focused on development of this technology for applications ranging from portable electronic devices to aerial and ground transportation by examining processes at multiple length and time scales. The essential theme is to identify design limitations and scenarios of operation to minimize cell degradation at the microscale (e.g. increase in internal resistance) that may not be captured in a typical laboratory experiment, and thus open doors for improvement.
In our laboratory, major equipment such as vacuum glovebox (make: Jacomex), multi-channel battery cycler (make: BioLogic), vacuum oven, vacuum mixer (make: MTI Corp.), rolling press, disc cutter, film coater & split cell (make: MTI Corp.) have been procured for fabrication of Li-ion coin cells through generous funding provided by sponsors such as IITD, DST and CSIR. Auxiliary equipment such as vacuum pumps and weighing balance are also available.
2) Flapping Wing Aerodynamics & Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs): The flight of insects and birds, their high lift to drag ratio, and maneuverability in extreme conditions has fascinated humans for centuries. By studying the characteristics of their flight dynamics and modeling new engineering designs based on our learning from Nature is one way to identify low power, longer endurance and optimized kinematics in the design of efficient MAVs.
Currently, our focus is on fluid-structure interaction of flexible wings and this research has been sponsored through an ARDB project. By using lattice Boltzmann method (LBM), an in-house code has been developed which has a signficant advantage of being capable of running of mutlicore systems using MPI (Message Passing Interface) based parallelization. For mimicing wing flexibility, a two-dimensional lumped torsional flexibility model has been developed for a multi-component system. This model is being used to investigate the role of wing flexibility on fluid mechanics associated with forward propulsion.
3) Microfluidics: To study complex fluids
whose dynamics are strongly influenced by interfacial
interactions. In particular, the influence of thermal and
electrical actuation through experiments and mesoscale numerical
methods like LBM to identify operating conditions for highest
throughput for a desired size of the droplet using microfluidic
devices for applications in drug delivery and the food industry.
Along the same path, analysis of multiphase flows commonly
encountered in biological fluids, such as corpuscles in blood
and flow cytometers are of interest.
4) Nanofluids: To explore the physics at the atomistic scale to explain the influence of nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes (CNT) and their surface chemistry on enhancement of heat transfer and critical heat flux in boiling through molecular dynamics (MD) based methods.