Postgraduate Studies

Research Areas | Ongoing Research

Research Areas

 

 

(1)   Fuel Cell and Lithium Battery Research at Physics Department:

The fuel cell and lithium battery research is carried out at Caribbean’s first fuel Cell materials research Lab at the Department of Physics. The broad research areas are as follows:

  • Development of Membranes for Fuel Cells:

The main area of research is to develop new and novel electrolyte membranes for applications in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC), and Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC’s). Various chemical and physical techniques are used to develop these membranes. The membranes developed are then evaluated using various characterization techniques and later tested in fuel cells. Research on materials for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC’s) will be started shortly.

  • Development of Catalysts for Fuel Cells:

New and novel catalysts are under the process of development at FCMRL. The goal is to develop new, non-platinum-based catalysts to work with the developed membranes. Research is also carried out on the nano tubular support for the catalysts, and their testing in fuel cells.

  • Modelling of Fuel Cells:

Modelling is very important aspect of fuel cell development, and is done to evaluate various parameters related to fuel cell in order to use the top-to-bottom approach in fuel cell development. Various models for different phenomena are developed using various software like Matlab.

  • Development of Dye sensitized Solar Cells:

Materials for application in dye sensitized solar cells are also synthesized, and dyes are made in collaboration with the Department of Chemistry. Solar cells will be synthesized and tested in the future.

  • Development of Electrolytes for Lithium Batteries:

Non-aqueous polymer electrolytes in gel, as well as film form, are developed under this area of research for application in lithium batteries. Various techniques are used including acid-based approach, ternary system approach, polymer-in-salt approach, etc. The materials developed are tested for their suitability in lithium batteries, using different characterization techniques.

              

 

(2)   CERAMICS AND REFRACTORIES

 

       Development of ceramics and refractories based on regional materials for a wide range of

       applications.  Current research includes: 

  •  Chemical and mineralogical characterisation of raw materials, compositional studies,

         synthesis, high-temperature solid-state reactions.   

  • Physical and mechanical testing, x-ray and electron microscopy. Analyses, micro-

        structure/property relationships.

 

                                    

 

(3)   MEDICAL PHYSICS AND BIOENGINEERING

 

  • Recordings of mass potentials as well as signals from neurons to determine the   manner in which the brain interacts with its neural network functions. EEG studies. 
  • Blood flow studies for photoplethysmography.
  • Magnetocardiography using superconducting quantum  interference device (SQUID).
  • Nuclear medicine studies using radio pharmaceuticals.
  • Objective assessment of the scoliotic spine.
  • Anthropometrics and ergonomics.
  • Assessment of human movement, fitness testing.

     

 

(4)   ASTRONOMY

  • Theoretical Astronomy
    The area of focus in theoretical astronomy is with statistical analyses on the large- scale structure of the Universe, as well as quasars analyses on the large- scale structure of the Universe, as well as quasars.
  • Observational Astronomy
    Observational astronomy offers opportunities to study variable stars and other objects such as quasars and BL lac objects.  This is done with the 16” L X 200 Meade Telescope equipped with CCD camera.
  • Astrobiology
    Mud volcanoes and the pitch lake are studied as analog sites for Mars and Titan respectively as conditions for extremophiles.

                                   

 

(5)   SOLAR ENERGY STUDIES

       The design, construction and testing of low and high temperature flat plate collectors for use        with

  • Solar crop dryers.
  • Solar air conditioners, refrigerators and solar powered heat engines. 
  • Solar timber dryers.

              This area of research may be conducted as a joint effort with other departments.

                          

           

(6)   EARTH MATERIALS STUDIES & ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSICS

  • Various aspects of mineralogy and petrology of Trinidad and Tobago, including resources of the continental shelf.
  • Environmental monitoring with respect to sound and aerosols in certain work environments.
  • Implications of sea surface temperatures for the Caribbean region in environmental studies.
  • Climate change studies/modelling.
  • Air pollution modeling (with respect to the regional industries).
  • Solar water decontamination methods for rural areas.
  • Lava flow problems (in collaboration with the Department of Mathematics and Seismic Research Unit).

    

 

(7)   QUANTUM OPTICS, FIBRE-OPTICS & OPTOELECTRONICS

  • Quantum physics and solar energy technologies and medical technologies.
  • Optoelectronics, fibre-optics and solar energy technologies and medical technologies.

                          

(8) ELECTRONICS

  • VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) Implementation of Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Algorithms.
  • Simulation and Design of Communication Systems.
  • Design of Speech Recognition Systems.
  • Design of Spectrum Analyzer.

                       

(9) GEOTHERMAL ENERGY STUDIES

Research into geothermal energy exploration and production, development and technologies in the areas of:

  • Geothermal heat pumps
  • Engineered geothermal systems
  • Geothermal reservoirs