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Novel Wet Chemical Methods for the Synthesis

"Nanotechnology has opened up new avenues in materials science by unveiling numerous unknown size-dependent properties of materials that come in to existence when the particle size enters in to the nano-regime. Several intriguing unprecedented properties and wide spectrum of envisaged applications have propelled researchers to design synthesis approaches which can yield nanomaterials with desired attributes. Out of myriad of synthesis approaches, which are in practice for the preparation of nanomaterials, the wet chemical approaches, in particular, have garnered huge attention and have been explored the most. This dissertation describes novel wet chemical methods suitable for the preparation of nanomaterials of both inorganic (metals and metal oxides) and carbonic (graphene) materials. Furthermore, it also demonstrates the successful implementation of the synthesized nanomaterials in the detection and removal of waterborne pollutants. Novel oil impregnated gelatinous surfactant self assemblies based syntheses have been designed for the constrained growth of metals nanoparticles. By exploring strict spatial confinement offered by the rigid surfactant (namely CTAB and Tween 80) gels, a controlled growth of Au and Ag nanoparticles, with myriad of exotic shapes, has been achieved. From the application viewpoint, attempts were made to utilize all the synthesized metal nanoparticles for detection and removal of the waterborne pollutants. Besides acting as templates for the growth of metals nanoparticles, metals containing surfactant gels have also served efficiently as metalprecursors for the preparation of metal oxides (ZnO, CuO, and ZrO2) nanoparticles. The results establish surfactant gel method as a valid and efficient alternative for the conventional sol gel method. Hitherto unknown use of surfactant gels as exfoliation medium for the fast and facile exfoliation of graphite in to graphene has also been demonstrated. A green synthesis approach, which involves use of ubiquitously available grapes extract as environmentally benign reducing agent for the preparation of reduced graphene oxide (RGO) has also been proposed. A quality comparison between RGO and the exfoliated graphene was carried out in order to scrutinize the effectiveness of both the methods for the preparation of graphene. A series of studies have been undertaken to probe the contribution of different parameters such as pH, heating temperature, and duration in deciding the physiochemical properties of RGO. RGO, synthesized via green reduction approach, was successfully utilized as adsorbent for the treatment of synthetic dye polluted water. Fabrication of hydrophobic clothes through coating of RGO is also carried out and the effect of heating temperature on the wetting properties of the RGO coated cloth has also been investigated. As prepared RGO coated clothes are successfully utilized as absorbent and filtration medium for the separation of oil/water mixture. Furthermore, the same RGO coated clothes were also explored as antibacterial fabric against E. Coli. Overall, the current study presents several novel synthesis methodologies for the fabrication of nanomaterials and also encompasses sufficient empirical evidences to decipher the role of different reaction parameters in deciding the physicochemical properties of nanomaterials. The study also highlights various possible uses of nanomaterials in accomplishing the goal of water treatment."

Student Name: 
Ravi Kant Upadhyay