Our Research

Applied Nano Engineering Laboratory focus on highly interdisciplinary and applied research on the following thematic areas:


Nano phase change materials can absorb a lot of latent heat which make them intriguing candidate for heat transfer applications such as thermal management of electronic devices and battery cooling. VIEW MORE.......

Self lubricating coatings over metallic substrates with high resistance to corrosion and wear based on 2D materials. VIEW MORE......

Development of stable nanofluids for functional applications and their evaporation studies. VIEW MORE......

Development of antifouling coatings to manufacture surfaces that prevent biological contamination and extend the lifespan of equipment prone to biofouling and bio-corrosion. VIEW MORE......

Development of novel nanomaterials for controlling air and water pollution. This include development of catalytic nanoparticles for controlling engine emissions and functional polymer membranes for water filtration as well as oil separation. VIEW MORE......

Development of heterogeneous catalysts from waste animal bones for biodiesel synthesis. VIEW MORE.......

Phase Change Materials

Phase change materials (PCMs) undergo the solid-liquid phase transformation, (known as the melting-solidification cycle), at a temperature within the operating range of a selected thermal application. As the material changes phase from solid to liquid, it absorbs energy from its surroundings while remaining at a constant or nearly constant temperature. ANEL is acitvely involved in various studies related to PCM and its applications. The major work on PCM include the development of nanoencapsulated PCM (nanoPCM) and thermal applications of nanoPCM based nanofluid (PCM nanofluid). The PCM nanofluid was successfully implemented as coolants in heat exchangers of thermal power plant (Dadri Power plant, NTPC). Various applications including electronics thermal management using PCM nanofluid based minichannel heat sinks, PCM nanofluid based battery cooling techniques, thermal property enhancement of PCM with different nanofillers, evaporation studies of PCM nanofluids etc. are some of the ongoing works. 

Appl. Thermal Eng. (2018) 147, 756-769

Themal Management of Electronic Devices

Focussing on the development of active and passive cooling systems for thermal management applications, namely electronics and battery cooling. In particular, the potential benefits of phase change materials based cooling systems are being investigated. Presently, the research is towards the development of stable PCM based nanofluids, PCM encapsulation and nanoparticle enhanced PCMs for thermal management of electronics. The electronics cooling using corona wind is an efficient method in terms of compactness and power consumption as compared to conventional fan based cooling. Research is being carried out on the development of ionic wind pump incorporating needle electrodes with CNT. Digital Interferometric techniques is used for the heat transfer studies.

Appl. Thermal Eng. (2019) 163, 114342

Corrosion and Wear

One of the cheapest and widely proven methods in corrosion protection of structures is surface modification by protective coatings, which acts as a barrier to the external environment. Owing to their inherent properties, 2D materials find widespread applications in protective coatings. Inorganic 2D nanosheets such as graphene, molybdenum disulphide (MoS2), hexagonal boron nitride (hBN), etc. have been utilized for the preparation of wear and corrosion resistant coatings. Moreover, coatings of van der Waal’s heterostructures of 2D material have aided to improve the corrosion and wear properties of metals. ANEL tries to develop coatings of 2D heterostructures with high resistance to wear and corrosion.

ACS Appl. Nano Mater. (2021) 4, 834−849
J. Phys. D Appl. Phys. (2017) 50, 4, 045031


The enhanced thermophysical properties of nanofluids make them a promising candidate for a plethora of thermal management applications. They are suitable as an efficient coolant in thermal power plants. Evaporation loss is one of the significant issues in cooling towers, which results in excessive consumption of coolants. In ANEL we are investigating the effect of different nanoparticles on the evaporation of nanofluids with a cooling tower set up fabricated in house and by sessile droplet method under different conditions of temperature, humidity, the concentration of nanoparticle etc. Heat transfer performance of nanofluids in mini channel heat sinks is also an area of focus.

Appl. Thermal Eng. (2020) 168, 5, 114862


Microorganisms present in the aqueous environments can attach onto the surfaces that can lead to biofilm formation and eventually biofouling. This can lead to the serious negative impacts in industries. The design of antifouling surfaces is a very attractive alternative to prevent biofouling.  Several natural and engineered nanomaterials have demonstrated strong antifouling properties through diverse mechanisms including photocatalytic production of reactive oxygen species that damage cell components and viruses, compromising the bacterial cell envelope, interruption of energy transduction mechanism, and inhibition of enzyme activity and DNA synthesis. ANEL focuses to develop an environmental friendly metal oxide nanoparticles based coatings to improve the biofouling action on the marine structures.

Air/Water pollution

In the conventional method of biodiesel transesterification, crude biodiesel was washed several times to remove various impurities and many gallons of water have to be used in the water washing process to obtain clean biodiesel. Such issues are solved by the development of a superhydrophobic membrane by the electrospinning method to purify the crude biodiesel which minimizes the excess wastage of water. These hybrid polymer membranes offer biodegradability and can be a potential candidate for oil/water separation.
Ongoing research include development of electrospun polymer membranes with functionalized 2D materials for the removal of heavy metal ions from water. 
Another active research in controlling the air pollution is towards the development of rare earth metal oxides based catalytic nanoparticles for reducing the engine emissions. Catalytic nanoparticles of mixed oxides of ceria are coated on the DPF for the regeneration of the soot trapped in DPF. Corona assisted Diesel particulate filters are also being developed in the lab for trapping the particulate matters in diesel engine exhaust. 
Appl. Nanosci. (2020) 10, 795–806
Appl. Nanosci. (2020) 10, 2429–2438

Heterogeneous Catalysts

The use of biodiesel is an alternative to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, thereby restricting harmful exhaust emissions. The yield of biodiesel and the recovery of the catalysts after the transesterification process for biodiesel synthesis are major challenges, which are yet to be addressed. The development of heterogeneous catalysts from waste materials like waste animal bone, eggshells, and fish bones are essential to research in terms of green catalysts and waste management.

Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. (2020) 27, 15925–15930


Applied Nano Engineering Laboratory
School of Materials Science and Engineering
National Institute of Technology Calicut
NIT Campus P O, Kozhikode, Kerala,
INDIA - 6703601



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