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Ravindranathan Thampi

Sfi Airtricity Associate Professor of Solar Energy

School Of Chem & Bioprocess Engineering
Engineering Building
Belfield
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7161995
Email: ravindranathan.thampi@ucd.ie

Biography

Ravindranathan Thampi joined the UCD School of Chemical & Bioprocess Engineering as the SFI-Airtricity Professor in Solar Energy  Engineering in July 2009. His research group is devoted to the study of chemical solar energy conversion and fuel cell systems. He is also involved with Science Foundation Ireland's (SFI) Strategic Research Cluster (SRC) in 'Advanced Biomimetic Materials for Solar Energy Conversion'.  His research focuses on four topics: (a) new and inexpensive PV technology (3rd generation PV), (b) solar H2 production through water splitting, (c) fixation of CO2 using solar energy and (d) fuel cells. After finishing M.Sc. from the University of Kerala, India, he obtained his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras. Subsequently he joined the research centre of Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd. Before joining UCD in July 2009, he was a group leader and Project Manager at the Laboratory of Photonics & Interfaces (LPI), EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland, where he worked for over 23 years and intimately followed the invention and development of dye sensitized solar cells from its very beginning. He has extensive collaborations with several countries, notably EU countries, USA, India and Japan. Besides his teaching and research activities, he directs and manages many research projects funded by various national and international institutions. His interests lie in catalysis, fuel cells, nanomaterials, solar cells, and photoelectrochemical water splitting. Some of his inventions have been commercially applied and licensed to industries. He teaches 1) Chemistry of Renewable Energy Technologies, 2) Hydrocarbon Fuels and C1 chemistry, 3) Photovoltaics and 4) Applied Chemistry. He has published about 90 research papers on solar energy, photocatalysis, heterogeneous catalysis, solid state chemistry, fuel cells and biosensors in top international journals and books. He was an Associate Editor of the ASME Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology. He was also an Editorial Board Member of IJoMS (International Journal of Materials Science). He has ten patents to his credit. He was the international co-ordinator of the ISCB biosensor development project funded jointly by the Swiss and Indian governments, which has now reached the commercial prototype stage (licensed to industry) of the value-chain. His past industrial experience include the scaling up of a laboratory invention in catalysis to a large commercial petrochemical plant. His other experience includes IP management and assisting industrial start-ups. He serves as an expert in several international scientific review panels. Earlier, he was a member of the IEA SOFC annexe panel for making standards for electrochemically testing solid oxide fuel cells.

Professional

Honours and Awards

Year: 2013.
Title: Sustainable Energy Award 2013: Research
Year: 2011.
Title: ERUDITE Fellowship in Residence
Year: 2013.
Title: Irish Research Laboratory Award 2013 Finalist

Associations

Association: American Chemical Society, USA, Function/Role: Overseas Member
Association: National Geographic Society, Function/Role: Member
Association: Catalysis Society of India, Function/Role: Life Member
     

Conference Contributions

Philip Ryan, Owen Byrne, Praveen K. Surolia, Richard Twohig, Dr. Mahfujur Rahman, K. Ravindranathan Thampi* (2013) SMARTOP project. [Poster Presentation], Euro Nano Forum 2013, Dublin , 18-JUN-13 - 20-JUN-13.
K Ravindranathan Thampi (2012) Selected advancements in flexible solar cells: Research and applications. [Keynote Address], SmartSurfaces2012: Solar & Biosensor Applications, Alexander Hotel, Dublin , 06-MAR-12 - 09-MAR-12.
K. Ravindranathan Thampi*, Grace Morgan, James Sullivan, Nadia Coburn, Danilo Dini, Han Vos and J.M. Don MacElroy; (2011) New Methods and Architectures for CO2 Reduction Through Artificial Photosynthesis. [Invited Lecture], 241st ACS National Meeting, Anaheim, California, USA , 27-MAR-11 - 31-MAR-11.
K. Ravindranathan Thampi; (2011) InternationalConference of Nanoscience and materials. [Conference Organising Committee Member], COCHIN NANO 2011, Cochin, India , 14-AUG-11 - 18-JUN-11.
Thampi, K.R.; (2010) International Energy Conference. [Plenary Lecture], 1st European Energy Conference, Barcelona, Spain , 20-APR-10 - 23-APR-10.
Thampi, K.R.; (2010) Meeting aimed at developing alternatives for the world energy challenge. [Plenary Lecture], International Bunsen Meeting on Light Harvesting and Solar Energy Conversion, Stuttgart, Germany , 29-MAR-10 - 31-MAR-10.
Thampi, K.R.; (2009) EMPS hosted meeting on Nanovation activities in UCD. [Plenary Lecture], UCD Nanovation, UCD Dublin, Belfield Dublin 4 , 14-OCT-09 - 14-OCT-09.

Committees

Committee : International Organising Committee of Cochin Nano-2011 Conference
Committee : ARBOR Steering Committee
       

Outreach Activities

1) Lectured and particpated in Research Summer School (Chemistry of Solar Energy Conversion) in Trinity College Dublin 2009.


2) Lectured and particpated in Research Summer School (Solar Energy Conversion) in UCD, May-June, 2011.


3) Special invitee to the 'ROBUST-DSC' Final FP7 project meeting (Amsterdam, 2011).
4) Helped to form the Indian Biosensor Society

5) Meeting with Mr. Richard Ashworth MEP on the theme of Sustainable Pathways for Alagal Bionenergy (EnAlgae INTERREG project) on the 11th and 12th of December 2012 at the Louise Weiss Building, European Parliament, Strasbourg.

6) Conference Chair of OMTAT 2013 (Optoelectronic Materials and Thinfilms for Advanced Technology 2013), January 3-5, 2013, CUSAT, Kochi, India.
7) Inaugural Plenary Lecture, OMTAT 2013 (Optoelectronic Materials and Thinfilms for Advanced Technology 2013), January 3-5, 2013, CUSAT, Kochi, India
8) My contributions to En Algae project has been highlighted in an EU documentary video (2013).
Run time 5.56 min.
http://eu.is.not.only.brussels.nweurope.eu/project/en_algae_uk.html
9) ARBOR project has been selected as a finalised for the RegioStars awards. The presentation of the projects are taking place in Brussels on the 8th October (Room 3A, Centre Albert Borschette, Rue Froissart, 36 1040 - Bruxelles) as part of the Open Days of the regions events.

http://ec.europa.eu/regional policy/cooperate/regions for economic change/regiostars en.cfm
   

Publications

 

Book Chapters

Lorenzo Rovelli and K. Ravindranathan Thampi (2014) 'Chapter 1: Solar water splitting using semiconductor systems' In: Jacinto Sa (eds). Fuel production with heterogeneous catalysis. USA: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group. Available Online [Details]
K. Ravindranathan Thampi; (2010) 'Mesoporous Oxide Layers Applied to Advanced Energy Conversion Methods' In: K. Ravindranathan Thampi; (eds). Nanoparticles: Synthesis, Characterization and Applications. USA: American Scientific Publishers. [Details]
 

Peer Reviewed Journals

Sullivan, J.A., Thampi, K.R., Neville, E.M., Ziegler, J., MacElroy, J.M.D. (2014) 'Serendipity following attempts to prepare C-doped rutile TiO2'. Applied Catalysis A: General, . [Details]
Sullivan, J. A., Neville, E. M., Herron, R.,; Thampi, K.R., and MacElroy, J.M.D. (2014) 'Routes to visible light active C-doped TiO2 photocatalysts using carbon atoms from the Ti Precursors'. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A-Chemistry, . [Details]
Sheehan, S.; Surolia, P.K.; Byrne, O.; Garner, S.; Cimo, P.; Li, X.; Dowling, D.P.; Thampi, K.R. (2015) 'Flexible glass substrate based dye sensitized solar cells'. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 132 :237-244. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Meng, K. and Surolia, P.K. and Byrne, O. and Thampi, K.R. (2015) 'Quantum dot and quantum dot-dye co-sensitized solar cells containing organic thiolate-disulfide redox electrolyte'. Journal of Power Sources, 275 :681-687. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Ke Meng, Gang Chen* and K. Ravindranathan Thampi* (2015) 'Metal chalcogenides as counter electrode materials in quantum dot sensitized solar cells: a perspective'. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 3 :23074-23089. [DOI] [Details]
S. Sheehan, P.K. Surolia, O. Byrne, S. Garner, P. Cimo, X, Li. D.P. Dowling* and K. Ravindranathan Thampi* (2015) 'Flexible Glass Substrate Based Dye Sensitized Solar Cells'. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 132 :237-244. [DOI] [Details]
Ke Meng, K. Ravindranathan Thampi* (2015) 'Efficient quasi-solid dye- and quantum dot- sensitized solar cells using thiolate/disulfide redox couple and CoS counter electrode'. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, . [DOI] [Details]
O. Byrne, P.K. Surolia, P. Ryan, S. Li, D. Marvin and K.R. Thampi* (2014) 'Comparison of alternative photovoltaic technologies (dye-sensitised, amorphous- and spherical silicon) with respect to their angular and thermal performance for building integrated applications'. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, . [Details]
Ke Meng, Praveen K. Surolia, Owen Byrne and K. Ravindranathan Thampi* (2015) 'Quantum dot and quantum dot-dye co-sensitized solar cells containing organic thiolate-disulfide redox electrolyte'. Journal of Power Sources, 275 :681-687. [DOI] [Details]
Meng, K., Surolia, P. K., Thampi, K. R. (2014) 'BaTiO3 photoelectrodes for CdS quantum dot sensitized solar cells'. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2 (26):10231-10238. Available Online [Details]
Ghavre, M., Byrne, O., Altes, L., Surolia, P. K., Spulak, M., Quilty, B., Thampi, K. R., Gathergood, N. (2014) 'Low toxicity functionalised imidazolium salts for task specific ionic liquid electrolytes in dye-sensitised solar cells: a step towards less hazardous energy production'. Green Chemistry, 16 (4):2252-2265. Available Online [Details]
Ke Meng, Praveen K. Surolia and K. Ravindranathan Thampi (2014) 'BaTiO3 Photoelectrodes for CdS Quantum Dot Sensitized Solar Cells'. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2 :10231-10238. [DOI] [Details]
O. Byrne; I. Ahmad; P. K. Surolia; Y.K. Gun¿ko*; K.R. Thampi* (2014) 'The optimisation of dye sensitised solar cell working electrodes for graphene and SWCNTs containing quasi-solid state electrolytes'. Solar Energy, 110 :239-246. [DOI] [Details]
K. Ravindranathan Thampi*, Owen Byrne and P. K. Surolia (2014) 'Renewable energy technologies and its adaptation in an urban environment'. American Institute of Physics Proceedings, 1576 :3-18. Available Online [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
S. Sheehan, K.Ravindranathan Thampi* and D.P. Dowling* (2014) 'Influence of Microwave plasma pre-treatments of TiO2 electrodes on dye sensitized solar cell efficiencies'. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, 725 :12-18. [DOI] [Details]
J.A. Sullivan*, E.M. Neville, R. Herron, K.R. Thampi*, J.M.D.MacElroy (2014) 'Routes to visible light active C-doped TiO2 photocatalysts using carbon atoms from the Ti precursors'. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A-Chemistry, 289 :60-65. [DOI] [Details]
O. Byrne, A. Coughlan, P.K. Surolia and K.R. Thampi* (2013) 'Succinonitrile based solid state electrolytes for dye sensitised solar cells'. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, . [DOI] [Details]
E. M. Neville, J. Ziegler, J.M. D. MacElroy, K. Ravindranathan Thampi*, J.A. Sullivan* (2014) 'Serendipity following attempts to prepare C-doped rutile TiO2'. Applied Catalysis A: General, 470 :434-441. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
K. Meng, P. Surolia, O. Byrne and K.R. Thampi* (2014) 'Efficient Quantum dot-CdS Sensitized Solar Cells Made Using Novel Cu2S Counter Electrodes'. Journal of Power Sources, 248 :218-223. [DOI] [Details]
L. Szymanski, P. Surolia, O. Byrne, K. R. Thampi, and C. Stubenrauch (2013) 'Porous Sponge-like Anatase TiO2 via Polymer Templates: Synthesis, Characterization & Performance as a Light Scattering Material'. Colloid and Polymer Science, 291 :805-815. [DOI] [Details]
Elaine M. Neville, J. M. Don MacElroy, K. Ravindranathan Thampi* and James A. Sullivan* (2013) 'Visible light active C-doped titanate nanotubes prepared via alkaline hydrothermal treatment of C-doped nanoparticulate TiO2: Photo-electrochemical and photocatalytic properties'. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A-Chemistry, 267 :17-24. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Michael J. Mattle and K. Ravindranathan Thampi* (2013) 'Photocatalytic degradation of Remazol Brilliant Blue® by sol-gel derived carbon-doped TiO2'. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 140-141 :348-355. [DOI] [Details]
Elaine Neville, Michael J. Mattle, David Loughrey, Bashyam Rajesh, Mahfujur Rahman, Don MacElroy, James A Sullivan* and K. Ravindranathan Thampi*; (2012) 'Carbon Doped TiO2 and Carbon, Tungsten Co-Doped TiO2 Through Sol-Gel Processes in the Presence of Melamine Borate: Reflections Through Photocatalysis'. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 116 :16511-16521. [DOI] [Details]
S. Agrawal, N.J. English*, K.R. Thampi* and J.M.D. MacElroy (2012) 'Perspectives on ab initio molecular simulation of excited-state properties of organic dye molecules in dye-sensitised solar cells'. Physical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP, 14 :12044-12056. [DOI] [Details]
S. Agrawal, P. Dev, N. English*, K.R. Thampi* and J.M.D. MacElroy; (2012) 'A TD-DFT study of the effects of structural variation on the photo-chemistry of polyene dyes, Chemical Science (The new Royal Society of Chemistry Journal for reporting findings of exceptional significance from across the chemical sciences)'. Chemical Science, 3 (2):416-424. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Saurabh Agrawal, Pratibha Dev, Niall J. English,∗ K. Ravindranathan Thampi∗ and J. M. D. MacElroy; (2011) 'First-principles study of the excited-state properties of coumarin derived dyes in dye-sensitized solar cells'. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 21 (30):11101-11108. [DOI] [Details]
 

Conference Publications

Ciaran Lyons , J.M. Don MacElroy and K. Ravindranathan Thampi (2012) Synthesis of organic dyes for dye sensitized solar cells SmartSurfaces2012: Solar & Biosensor Applications Alexander Hotel, Dublin, , 06-MAR-12 - 09-MAR-12 [Details]
Elaine M. Neville, Julia Ziegler, J. M. Don MacElroy, K. Ravindranathan Thampi and James A. Sullivan (2012) Formation and characterisation of doped rutile phase TiO2: for use as a photocatalyst SmartSurfaces2012: Solar & Biosensor Applications Alexander Hotel, Dublin, , 06-MAR-12 - 09-MAR-12 [Details]
Stephen Sheehan, JMD MacElroy, K Ravi Thampi and Denis P Dowling (2012) Transparent conducting thin films of FTO deposited by dip coating and spray techniques SmartSurfaces2012: Solar & Biosensor Applications Alexander Hotel Alexander Hotel, Dublin, , 06-MAR-12 - 09-MAR-12 [Details]
Owen Byrne, Praveen K. Surolia, K.R. Thampi (2012) Increased light capture and enhancement of open circuit voltage (Voc) thermal stability in dye sensitised solar cells SmartSurfaces2012: Solar & Biosensor Applications Alexander Hotel, Dublin, , 06-MAR-12 - 09-MAR-12 [Details]
K. Ravindranathan Thampi*, Grace Morgan, James Sullivan, Nadia Coburn, Danilo Dini, Han Vos and J.M. Don MacElroy; (2011) New Methods and Architectures for CO2 Reduction Through Artificial Photosynthesis 241st American Chemical Society Meeting, Anaheim, California, USA [Details]
Thampi, KR (Thampi, K. Ravindranathan); Morgan, G (Morgan, Grace); Sullivan, J (Sullivan, James); Coburn, N (Coburn, Nadia); Dini, D (Dini, Danilo); Vos, H (Vos, Han); MacElroy, JMD (MacElroy, J. M. Don) ; (2011) New methods and architectures for CO(2) reduction through artificial photosynthesis AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, Meeting Abstract: 117-FUEL [Details]
All EnAlgae Partners (INTERREG-NWE); (2011) EnAlgae: Sustainable pathways for algal bio-energy European Biomass Conference, Berlin [Details]
Pathik Maji, Saurabh Agrawal, Neelima Rathi, Ciaran Lyons, Niall English, Edmond Magner, Don J.M. MacElroy, K. Ravindranathan Thampi*; (2011) Synthesis and characterization of porphyrin sensitizers for efficient dye-sensitized solar cells Challenges in Renewable Energy ISACS4 (Royal Society of Chemistry, U.K.) [Details]
K. Ravindranathan Thampi; (2011) Sensitized Solar Cells: Opportunities and Challenges Low Carbon Earth Summit , Oct.19-Oct.26, 2011, Dalian, China [Details]
J. O'Reilly, K.R. Thampi and D. Zerulla; (2010) Investigation of the SILAR Technique for PbS Q-Dots in a Quantum Dot Sensitised Solar Cell and Device Stability with Electrolyte ESFNanotechnology for Sustainable Energy [Details]
Rahman, M., MacElroy, J.M.D., Thampi, K.R., Dowling, D.P.; (2010) The influence of doping (Ti and/or Si) on structure, morphology and photoresponse properties of MOCVD deposited αFe2O3 thin film for efficient water splitting Nano and Surface Science Approaches to Production and Storage of Hydrogen Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands, [Details]
Neville, E.M., Mattle, M., Rajesh, B., Thampi, K.R., Sullivan, J.A., MacElroy, J.M.D.; (2010) Sol-gel fabrication of carbon-modified titania European Energy Conference Barcelona, Spain, [Details]
E. M. Neville, M. Mattle, B. Rajesh, K. R. Thampi, J. A. Sullivan and J.M.D. MacElroy; (2010) Sol-gel fabrication of carbon-modified titania European Energy Conference Barcelona, Spain, , 20-APR-10 - 23-APR-10 [Details]
Elaine M. Neville, Mahfujur Rahman, Michael J. Mattle, James A. Sullivan, Rory Herron, David A. Loughrey, K. Ravindranathan Thampi; (2010) Sol-gel synthesis and characterization of doped TiO2 materials as photocatalysts for water splitting under sunlight 6th International Conference on Environmental Catalysis Bejing, China, , 12-SEP-10 - 15-SEP-10 [Details]
Laura L. Tobin, Evin Lee, James Ryle, Dominic Zerulla, K. Ravindranathan Thampi, John T. Sheridan; (2010) Solar Simulators: LED Design and Characterisation SPIE Optics + Photonics: Solar Energy + technology [Details]
J. O'Reilly, K.R. Thampi and D. Zerulla; (2009) Investigation of advanced biomimetic materials for solar energy conversion Inspire BioNano 1st International Conference [Details]
                                                                                         

Research

Research Interests

MISSION

1. Research and teaching of renewable energy concepts 2. Heterogeneous catalysis & Photocatalysis 3. Photoelectrochemistry & Solar cells 4. Fuel cells, particularly SOFC and DMFC 5. Mesoporous materials 6. Chemical sensors 7. Research management

These web pages contain only list of publications for the period starting from July 2009 (i.e., after joining UCD). Previous publications are available at www.epfl.ch

Research Group Members and Associates (2009 - 2011):

Post-doctoral Researchers: Drs. Saibh Morrissey, Pathik Maji, Praveen Surolia, Owen Byrne, Pratibha Dev, Courtney Collins.

Senior Research Colllaborator: Dr. Mahfujur Rahman

Ph.D. Students:

Lukasz Szymanski (Ph.D. completed)

Ciaran Lyons, Ke Meng, Elaine Neville, Saurabh Agrawal, Jennifer O'Reilly, Neelima Rathi, Stephen Sheehan, Lena Altes, Mahroo Falah Poorsichani.

Research Projects

Sponsor : EC - European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
Title : Energetic Algae
Start Date / End Date : 01-JAN-11 / 31-DEC-15
Sponsor : Higher Education Authority (HEA)
Title : PRTLI 5: ESI-PhD-ENS - Split Accounts School of CBE
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAR-11 / 28-FEB-16
Sponsor : EC - European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
Title : ARBOR Accelerating Renewable Energies through Valorisation of Biogenic Organic Raw Material
Start Date / End Date : 25-SEP-09 / 31-MAR-15
Sponsor : EC Framework (FP7)
Title : SMARTOP Self Powered Vehicle roof for on-board comfort and energy saving
Start Date / End Date : 01-NOV-10 / 31-OCT-13
Sponsor : Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology (IRCSET)
Title : The preparation of mesoporous TiO2 screen-printed layers on polymer substrates at low and medium temperatures for manufacturing flexible roll-to-roll dye sensitised solar cells
Start Date / End Date : 15-SEP-10 / 14-SEP-12
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Photocatalytic conversion of carbon dioxide and water to hydrocarbon fuels by harvesting sunlight
Start Date / End Date : 24-MAY-10 / 02-AUG-10
Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
Title : Self powered vehicle roof for on-board comfort and energy saving
Start Date / End Date : 01-DEC-09 / 01-APR-10
Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
Title : Flexible sensitized solar cells
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-09 / 31-DEC-09
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : R Thampi Start Up Grant
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-09 / 29-FEB-12
Sponsor : Airtricity Developments (UK) Ltd
Title : SFI-Airtricity Professorship in Solar Energy Engineering
Start Date / End Date : 01-JUL-09 / 31-DEC-15
   

Collaborators

Internal Collaborators

Additional Funding Support obtained from the following programmes (as funded investigator/collaborator)


1) SFI Strategic Research Cluster on 'Advanced Biomimetic Materials for Solar Energy Conversion

www.seccluster.ie


2) "Excitation Energy Transfer in Light Harvesting Nanostructures: Quantum Coherent Dynamics and Correlated Environmental Fluctuations"

External Collaborators

EPFL, Switzerland

UL, Ireland

ISCB (Swiss-India)

University of Stuttgart, Germany

Trinity College Dublin

Dublin City University

Fiat, Italy

ECN, The Netherlands

CUSAT, India

Imperial College, London

SolarPrint Ltd., Dublin

Webasto

Infineon, Germany

Swansea University, U.K.

Staffordshire University, U.K.

IZES gGmbH, Germany

NUI Galway, Ireland

Flandersbio, Belgium

...etc.