• A Banerjee

      Articles written in Bulletin of Materials Science

    • Bi-layer functionally gradient thick film semiconducting methane sensors

      A Banerjee A K Haldar J Mondal A Sen H S Maiti

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      Gas sensors based on metal oxide semiconductors like tin dioxide are widely used for the detection of toxic and combustible gases like carbon monoxide, methane and LPG. One of the problems of such sensors is their lack of sensitivity, which to some extent, can be circumvented by using different catalysts. However, highly reactive volatile organic compounds (VOC) coming from different industrial and domestic products (e.g. paints, lacquers, varnishes etc) can play havoc on such sensors and can give rise to false alarms. Any attempt to adsorb such VOCs (e.g. by using activated charcoal) results in sorption of the detecting gases (e.g. methane) too. To get round the problem, bi-layer sensors have been developed. Such tin oxide based functionally gradient bi-layer sensors have different compositions at the top and bottom layers. Here, instead of adsorbing the VOCs, they are allowed to interact and are consumed on the top layer of the sensors and a combustible gas like methane being less reactive, penetrates the top layer and interacts with the bottom layer. By modifying the chemical compositions of the top and bottom layers and by designing the electrode-lead wire arrangement properly, the top layer can be kept electrically shunted from the bottom layer and the electrical signal generated at the bottom layer from the combustible gas is collected. Such functionally gradient sensors, being very reliable, can find applications in domestic, industrial and strategic sectors.

    • Synthesis of nanocomposites using glasses and mica as templates

      D Chakravorty S Basu B N Pal P K Mukherjee B Ghosh K Chatterjee A Bose S Bhattacharya A Banerjee

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      Various nanocomposites were synthesized using either a silica-based glass or mica crystallites as the medium. In some cases by an oxidation or a sulfidation treatment a core-shell nanostructure could be generated. Iron–iron oxide core-shell structured nanocomposites exhibited excellent humidity sensing behaviour. Gold–gold sulfide core-shell nanorods exhibited a number of optical absorption peaks which arose because of their structural characteristics. Nanoparticles of silver and silver oxide could be aligned in a polymethylmethacrylate film by an a.c. electric field of 1 MHz frequency. The composites showed large sensitivity to relative humidity. Lead sulfide nanowires of diameter, 1.2 nm, were grown within the nanochannels of Na-4 mica. These exhibited a semiconductor to metal transition at around 300 K. This arose because of high pressure generated on the nanowires. Copper sulfide nanowires grown within the Na-4 mica channels showed metallic behaviour. Silver core–silver orthosilicate shell nanostructures developed within a silicate glass medium showed discontinuous changes in resistivity at some specific temperatures. This was explained as arising due to excitation of Lamb modes at certain pressures generated because of thermal expansion mismatch of the core and the shell phases. Optical properties of iron core–iron oxide shell nanocomposites when analysed by effective medium theory led to the result of a metal non-metal transition for particle diameters below a critical value. Similar results were obtained from optical absorption data of silver nanoparticles grown in a tetrapeptide solution.

    • A soluble-lead redox flow battery with corrugated graphite sheet and reticulated vitreous carbon as positive and negative current collectors

      A Banerjee D Saha T N Guru Row A K Shukla

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      A soluble-lead redox flow battery with corrugated-graphite sheet and reticulated-vitreous carbon as positive and negative current collectors is assembled and performance tested. In the cell, electrolyte comprising of 1.5M lead (II) methanesulfonate and 0.9 M methanesulfonic acid with sodium salt of lignosulfonic acid as additive is circulated through the reaction chamber at a flow rate of 50 ml min-1. During the charge cycle, pure lead (Pb) and lead dioxide (PbO2) from the soluble lead (II) species are electrodeposited onto the surface of the negative and positive current collectors, respectively. Both the electrodeposited materials are characterized by XRD, XPS and SEM. Phase purity of synthesized lead (II) methanesulfonate is unequivocally established by single crystal X-ray diffraction followed by profile refinements using high resolution powder data. During the discharge cycle, electrodeposited Pb and PbO2 are dissolved back into the electrolyte. Since lead ions are produced during oxidation and reduction at the negative and positive plates, respectively there is no risk of crossover during discharge cycle, preventing the possibility of lowering the overall efficiency of the cell. As the cell employs a common electrolyte, the need of employing a membrane is averted. It has been possible to achieve a capacity value of 114 mAh g−1 at a load current-density of 20 mA cm-2 with the cell at a faradaic efficiency of 95%. The cell is tested for 200 cycles with little loss in its capacity and efficiency.

    • Series-connected substrate-integrated lead-carbon hybrid ultracapacitors with voltage-management circuit

      A Banerjee R Srinivasan A K Shukla

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      Cell voltage for a fully charged-substrate-integrated lead-carbon hybrid ultracapacitor is about 2.3 V. Therefore, for applications requiring higher DC voltage, several of these ultracapacitors need to be connected in series. However, voltage distribution across each series-connected ultracapacitor tends to be uneven due to tolerance in capacitance and parasitic parallel-resistance values. Accordingly, voltage-management circuit is required to protect constituent ultracapacitors from exceeding their rated voltage. In this study, the design and characterization of the substrate-integrated lead-carbon hybrid ultracapacitor with co-located terminals is discussed. Voltage-management circuit for the ultracapacitor is presented, and its effectiveness is validated experimentally.

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