NSFAC 2015 at ICT

Excerpt: DEMOCRITUS (460-370 BC) once said “I would rather discover a single casual explanation than become king of the Persians”.

NSFAC-2015 at ICT

Paradigm of functional applications of Colorants - 5 Years on

DEMOCRITUS (460-370 BC) once said “I would rather discover a single casual explanation than become king of the Persians”. In the modern context, Dr. B. N. Jagtap, Chief Guest advocated it may be read as “I rather be a good researcher than a director of an institute”. This is only for younger people.


Welcoming the audience on behalf of the Dyestuff Technology Department and the Symposium Committee, Prof N. Sekar, Convenor said that 11 Invited lectures by speakers from premiere institutions like BARC, TIFR, NCL, IIT-Roorkee/Indore/Guwahati, NISCAIR and University of Delhi/Hyderabad besides 7 Oral and 10 Poster presentations on various subjects in functional applications of colorants were made in NSFAC-2015, a 2-day symposium on 29-30 October 2015 at K.Venkataraman Auditorium. Shrikant Thakare anchored the proceedings while Chairmen moderated the sessions attended by faculty, students and delegates from the industry and TEQIP, DST, CSIR and BRNS provided financial support. Souvenir in a CD was given to the participants. In the interactive sessions, the speakers fielded the questions with viable answers. Excerpts:

Prof P.M.Bhate

Giving introductory remarks, Prof P. M. Bhate, Chairman said the symposium kicked off in the International Year of Chemistry in 2011 with the idea of providing a platform to researchers all over the country in this ever growing field of functional colorants to exchange notes with each other and has been received well by the research community in India. Symposium attracts active workers who network, make new contacts and learn out of deliberations.

Dr.G. S. Shankarling

Committee Member and Head of the Department Dr. G. S. Shankarling said that the Dyestuffs Technology was established by Prof K.Venkataraman, former Director UDCT in 1944 followed by emergence of 3 notable industries within a decade viz. Aniline Dyes, Indian Dyestuff Industries and Amar Dye Chem, with pilot plant at the institute. Professors B. D. Tilak, S. V. Sunthankar, S. Seshadri, D. W. Rangnekar and V. R. Kanetkar followed suit. Research work carried out by these stalwarts is outstanding and led to an impact on dyestuff and allied industries. Currently the torchbearers Professors P.M.Bhate, N. Sekar and Dr. G. S. Shankarling continue with the tradition. Besides training over 1000 graduates, 450 post graduate and doctorates, they published over 2000 research papers. With facilities such as laboratory, pilot plant and analytical, projects are undertaken from government (12), industry (8) and consultations (13) in the last 5 years. Department has connectivity with SDC, DMAI and GDMA and organises conferences like Convention on Colorants jointly with DMAI. It produced about 100 first generation entrepreneurs like Pidilite Industries Ltd (N.K.Parekh), Sudarshan Chemical Industries Ltd (K.L.Rathi) and Eskay Dyes & Organic Chemicals (Dr.S.K.Bumgara) to mention a few.

Prof A. B. Pandit

Prof A. B. Pandit, I/c Registrar reiterated that the origin of dyestuff industry in India is in ICT and the basic FIAT and BIOS reports are still available as the starting point of the industry. He wished for happy union, productive learning and to visit the departments to see the existing facilities as all the departments collaborate very closely. Dyestuff department like any other technology has 2 components viz. chemistry and engineering. The former is strong in organic synthesis processes which are required for the development of new dyes and pigments but to scale up one needs engineering skills. Consequently, both the departments are under one roof and their close collaborations results in technology. That's how dyestuff graduates have embarked on their own industry and have been 1st generation entrepreneurs. Dyestuff industry is now reviving and fighting back Chinese competition and reclaiming the market. So revisit our learning as productive and continue the activity of dyestuff department especially functional colorants, the topic of this symposium so that India is considered as one of the top dyes manufacturing destinations and support Prime Minister Modi's Make in India campaign.

Prof P. R. Vavia

Wishing the participants interactive deliberations, Prof P. R. Vavia, I/c Vice Chancellor said that the institute realised before independence that there was a need for chemical technology to start chemical industry contributing to the growth of nation. He appealed that word may be spread regarding the courses and degrees offered so that more people would enrol at the institute since new faculties and courses are on the anvil. Placement is good and a majority of students go abroad for higher studies and return to contribute to the growth of the industry. He hoped that from the symposium, one would realise innovations that are taking place and new things happening in the chemistry of dyestuffs.

Dr. Alok Ray

A specialist on laser dyes and high-power dye lasers who worked with the predecessors of the department, Dr.Alok Ray, Committee Member, Senior Scientific Officer, Laser & Plasma Technology Division of BARC has been collaborating in the symposium from the beginning. He said that the department has strong academic linkage with the industry. Application of dyes like biological, sensors, dye-sensitised solar cells and laser are increasing.

Dr. B. N. Jagtap

Introducing Dr. B. N. Jagtap, Prof Bhate said that he is a distinguished scientist in the Department of Atomic Energy and Convenor, Chemical Sciences of Homi Bhabha National Institute. Presently, he is Director, Chemistry Group BARC, coordinating R&D programs in energy (Nuclear, Solar and Hydrogen), health and environment. His research interests are laser physics, technology, nano photonics and accelerator based physics. Having done science for 39 years, he is also an artist and poet. After graduation from Ruia College, he obtained admission in Dyes and Intermediates at UDCT, sought after subject in those days and after 17 days joined BARC. He considered it was neither a loss nor a gain to both the institutions.

Delivering Keynote Address on “Taming Fluorescent Dyes for High Tech Applications” Dr. B. N. Jagtap discussed about atoms, molecules, dyestuffs etc to get new features from the same. Starting from atomic hypothesis proposed by Democritus, there have been changes in our understanding of the nature that atom as the building block and development of quantum mechanics with microscopic interactions put together than controlled atoms and molecules the way we want them to behave. Rather than satisfied with certain properties that the molecules have, can we change by doing something so that we can invent new things and use them for technologies? Produce controlled source of single core atoms (new dimension to physics), isolate the single atom and make it stationary at the space formed. Lot of things relating to quantum technologies come from this. Controlling properties of medium of certain wavelength and transporting it is done with quantum phenomenon and it generates some profiles which are contrary to expectations and much lower than the natural bandwidth. Microscopic control of chemical reactions and quantum influence phenomenon enables study of chemical reaction. Most sophisticated equipments and facilities are required to make a mark in science and one also needs right ideas.

The Conference in progress. L to R: Dr. G. S. Shankarling, Dr. Alok Ray, Prof P. R. Vavia, Dr. B. N. Jagtap, Prof P. M. Bhate & Prof N. Sekar

Dr. Jagtap discussed about the themes in physics and chemistry which are the control and manipulation of atomic and molecular properties using custom-made interactions. They are becoming immensely successful in realizing newer technologies, particularly in the optical domain. With fluorescent dyes, can we control and manipulate properties viz. basic properties, like tamper with lifetime of a dye and spectrum? Strategies developed for fluorescent behavior of organic dyes and their implications in high technology applications.

Physics inspired strategy seeks to control light emission using nanophotonic structures with potential applications in nano-lasers, light emitting devices and solar cells e.g. manipulation of the fluorescence efficiency of organic dyes embedded in self assembled photonic crystals, and demonstrate a mirrorless, quick to fabricate and large laser- light emitting crystal laser operating at a low threshold (0.7mJ). This novel laser could be used as a solid nanophotonic laser source in optical circuits. Chemistry inspired approach seeks to modulate the molecular properties of dye molecules through molecular recognition guided supramolecular host- guest interactions. It provides a powerful construction principle for novel stimuli responsive molecular assemblies with tunable properties. Effort is made to discuss the diverse photophysical characteristics of several host–guest assembles and their dynamic responses towards simple external stimulants, revealing their prospects in making aqueous dye lasers, stabilizers, enhancers, fluorescent supramolecular capsules, structure specific DNA sensors etc (Location cited in the abstract of Dr. Jagtap).

A dye like Thioflavine T due to its intense fluorescence is used as fluorescent sensor and efficient inducer that could be used as probe for monitoring RNA in detection of cancer by their chemistry department. Having interacted with physicists, chemists and biologists, Dr.Jagtap covered the outlook about things that are happening in controlling activities of various dye molecules and how we look at them in future. He concluded that if future presents no more than natural extension of the past, the things would be done indeed, its continued vitality must rest on the expectation or at least hope that the things are never as simple as they appear in the first place and then the surprises will continually happen.

As reported by Dr. K. S. Murthy, Pidilite Industries Ltd.