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Prof. Balbir Singh Kaith
Dr B R Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, India
Impact of swift heavy ions irradiation on the physico-chemical properties of IPNs

Superabsorbent hydrogels are three-dimensional cross-linked network of linear or branched polymers with high efficacy for absorbing either water or biological fluids. The ability to absorb aqueous fluids is due to the presence of certain functional groups like –NH2, -COOH and –OH. Cross-linked hydrogels based on natural materials, such as cellulose, starch, dextran, gum and chitosan, because of their easy availability, low production cost, non-toxicity and biodegradability have attracted great attention. It has been widely accepted that natural polymers have better biocompatibility and are non-toxic than most synthetic one. Such materials have been applied in controlled drug delivery devices, biosensors, tissue engineering, contact lenses, soil conditioning, removal of heavy metal ions and dyes. 

Gums are natural polysaccharides and are known to be potential antioxidants. They are mainly used as food additives. They have excellent properties such as high solubility, pH stability, non-toxicity and gelling characteristics. Research efforts in this area are directed towards the grafting and network formation of Gums with different vinyl monomers using cross-linkers under variable synthetic conditions so that they could be applied for varied applications. 

Till date lot of methods have been applied for the synthesis and modifications of cross-linked materials with improved properties suitable for different applications. It is well known that ion beam irradiation can play a crucial role to synthesize, modify, crosslink or degrade polymeric materials. High energetic heavy ions irradiation on polymer film induces significant changes like chain scission, cross-linking, structural changes, amorphization and degradation in bulk. Various researchers reported the effects of low and heavy ion irradiation on the properties of polymeric materials and observed significant improvement in optical, electrical, chemical, thermal and dielectric properties. Moreover, modifications induced in the materials mainly depend on the structure, the ion beam parameters like energy, linear energy transfer, fluence, mass, charge and the nature of the target material. Ion-beam irradiation is a useful technique for improving the surface properties of biodegradable polymers without missing the bulk properties. Therefore, a considerable interest has been grown to study the effects of SHIs irradiation on the properties of synthesized semi-IPNs and IPNs. The present work deals with the preparation of semi-IPNs and IPNs and impact of SHI like O7+ and Ni9+ irradiation on optical, chemical, structural, morphological and thermal properties alongwith impact on different applications. The results have been discussed on the basis of Linear Energy Transfer (LET) of the ions.

Professor B. S. Kaith is at present Professor of Chemistry, BRA National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, India. He did his Ph D in 1990 from University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Punjab University Chandigarh. He was Post Doctoral Fellow at University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni. He joined National Institute of Technology (Formerly known as Regional Engineering College), Hamirpur in 1991 and served that Institute till September 2007. In September 2007 he joined National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar as Professor in the Department of Chemistry. In September 2009 he became the Head of Chemistry Department. Dr. Kaith has more than 180 research papers in refereed International Journals, more than13 research papers in refereed National Journals, about 100 research contributions in the proceedings International Conferences and more than 90 research contributions in the proceedings of National Conferences. Research group of Dr. Kaith has won many best paper awards and also the Young Scientist Awards. Dr. Kaith has visited many countries including Australia, Thialand, Singapore, Germany, France, Switzerland etc. etc. He has attended many National and International Conferences. He has the honour of chairing the sessions in many National and International conferences. Dr. Kaith has produced 12 Ph D students and 08 are in pipeline. Recently his research group is working on Bio-degradable composites and impact of biodegradable components on the fertility of soil. His research group is also working on pH, temperature and electrical stimulus sensitive Smart Polymers and sustained Drug delivery systems / controlled release of insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers, hormones and micronutrients to plants in a eco-friendly way. One of his research students has carried-out research work on nano-particle size dependent anti-microbial and anti-fungal investigations of ZnO nano-particles. They are also using these ZnO nanoparticles as catalysts for the rapid degradation of dyes under the influence of UV-radiations. One of his student got YOUNG CHEMIST AWARD in the 14th Asian Chemical Congress held at Bangkok (Thailand) from September 5-7, 2011.Dr Kaith is reviewer to about 20-30 International Journals including those of RSC. Dr Kaith has delivered many invited talks / keynote addresses in many National / International conferences. Dr Kaith has attended many short-term courses. He has also organized many short-term courses and conferences/ workshops. Dr Kaith is life member of Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE, LM-17275), Indian Chemical Society (F/4968), Indian Society of Analytical Scientists (ISAS, LM-1097, Fellow, Society for Chemistry and Environment (A/B 21), Indian Holistic Medical Society, Associated with International Open University, Colombo (1090), International Journal of Chemical Sciences, Sadguru Publications, Udaipur (Rajasthan), India, Senior Member of APCBEES (membership No. 100047) [Asia-Pacific Chemical, Biological & Environmental Engineering Society, Hong Kong, Registered No. 52577283-001-07-10-2], Indian Council of Chemists (ICC, Fellow No. AF/ 6888), Asian Polymer Association (L-217) and Fellow Membership of International Congress of Environmental Research(F.I.C.E.R.) (F/889/11). Dr Kaith is expert / mentor to RISHI Project of Pushpa Gujral Science City, Jalandhar (Punjab) to foster the culture of innovation and creativity amongst the school students with the specific aim at discovering hidden talent amongst the potential innovators. Mr Antoine Barillec the student of Professor AlexandreMège-Revil at école Centrale de Lille Laboratoire de Mécanique de Lille, France, worked under the supervision of Professor B S Kaith at NIT-Jalandhar for the development of bio-material based brake-pads for the completion of his Internship. Recently Dr Kaith was the team member of the researchers from NIT-Jalandhar to participate in the Indo-French workshop “Developments and Innovations in Science and Engineering” and represented NIT-Jalandhar. In the Year-2014 Dr Kaith was awarded with the AWARD OF FELLOW OF THE YEAR for the Year 2014 by the Him Science Congress.
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