Dr Suprakas Sinha Ray, chief researcher and leader of the National Centre for Nano-
Structured Materials at the CSIR, has been honoured as guest editor of the prestigious Journal of
Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.
Dr Suprakas Sinha Ray
The April edition of the Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology represents an overview of current topics in the field of polymer nanocomposites based on various nanoparticles, such as clay, carbon nanotubes and inorganic nanoparticles. This edition provides coverage of fundamental insights into these materials, methods of their fabrication and characterisation, tuning of their properties, as well as present and future applications
The journal, published by American Scientific Publishers, is ranked 29th among 175 materials science multidisciplinary journals, 30th among 125 chemistry multidisciplinary journals, 17th among 84 applied physics journals, and 13th among 58 physics-condensed matter journals.
In the guest editor's article Ray discusses the emergence of polymer nanocomposites (PNC) as one of the most important research areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology over the past few years. The term 'composite' is generally used to define any material made of more than one component. Depending on the nature of matrix, the composite materials can be divided into three broad categories, such as metal, ceramic and polymer. In most of the commercially-available composite materials the structural building block is in the micrometre length scale and generally used to increase the mechanical properties of the matrix.
If the dimension of the structural building blocks changes from micrometre to nanometre length, the resulting composite is known as nanocomposites. However, the key concept to define PNCs is not specifically embodied within the shape of the particle, but how do the characteristics of the particle provide a means to engineer and tailor morphology to achieve a desired property suit from the PNC.
Ray joined the CSIR in October 2006 and leads the unique national nano centre that is hosted and located at the CSIR and funded by the Department of Science and Technology.
The centre aims to be a world player in the discovery of new materials and material properties at the nano-scale level, leading to the development and application of new nano-based products and processes, which improve the competitiveness of South African industry and the quality of life of South Africans.