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Professor of Materials Chemistry

BTech IIT Bombay
PhD McMaster University

Materials Chemistry

In my group we have research expertise in electrochemical redox reactions at the interface of electrodes and electrolytes and morphology of electrodic materials within an ecological calculus at the cutting edge of new applications. Our research output has attracted worldwide recognition for creating framework that places emphasis on optimising rates of redox reactions, minimizing polarization losses and parasitic reactions and on design features for recovering materials and components with minimal loss of value.

Energy devices
A new metal–oxide photocatalyst composite material capable of absorbing both uv and visible light with redox-reaction rates that are up to 2-orders of magnitude faster for disinfecting water and for destroying pollutants in air. A spin-out company (CamSES Ltd) has been set up to exploit the properties. We are advancing innovative approaches to develop the next generation of ultra-high energy and power-density batteries based on novel Li chemistries, new electrolytes and specially engineered electrodes.  Nano-structured scaffolds infiltrated with sulphur in order to fabricate new Li-S batteries with energy densities that are 100% higher than the best Li-ion batteries with improved cycle life, approaching 1000 cycles thus potentially overcoming an outstanding problem that has hampered progress for several decades.  Research on solid oxide fuel cells using inkjet printing is based on optimising the atomic architecture of the solid electrolytes to improve conductivity and stability for low-temperature applications. 

Investigation into operating solid-state ionic sensors in electrochemically active mode has led to many practical applications such as on-board diagnostics in gas sensing, self-cleaning and mixed potential sensors for industrial usage and applied to molecular species such as SOx, NOx, H2S, HCl, H2O, CO, CO2.  We have integrated oxide materials within silicon-on-insulator, CMOS platform.  Two Start-up companies are manufacturing sensors based on our and

Recycling and Sustainability
A new environmentally clean process for recovering electro-active paste material from automotive-batteries for making new batteries (paste-to-paste recovery) has been developed. We have also made recent progress in light weighting such batteries by using light scaffold foams which are coated with a thin layer of metallic lead in amorphous state with low parasitic corrosion. We are advancing novel methodologies for carbon reduction and carbon sequestration in minerals, metals and materials processing.

Schematic diagram of an HCl gas sensor fabricated by screen printing


  • K Xi, S Cao, X Peng, C Ducati, RV Kumar and AKC Cheetam, "Carbon with hierarchical pores from carbonized metal organic frameworks for lithium-sulfur batteries" Chem. Comm.49 (22), 2192 – 2194 (2013)
  • R Vasant Kumar, J Yang and S Sonmez, "Relevance of reaction of lead compounds with carboxylic acid in lead recovery from secondary sources" J. Powder Metallurgy & Mining, Open Access, 2:1,doi: 10.4172/2168-9806/1000107 (2013); patent RV Kumar, S Sonmez and VP Kotzeva - PCT/GB2007/004222;  EU 07824458.9; RU 2009117620; US 12/513707; CN 200780041628.4; IN 2216/KOLNP/2009
  • W Jiang, N Ullah, G Divitini, C Ducati, RV Kumar, Y Ding, ZH Barber, "Vertically oriented TiO xN y nanopillar arrays with embedded Ag nanoparticles for visible-light photocatalysis" Langmuir 28(12),5427-5431 (2012).
  • XH Xie, JL Sun, C Brigden, I Farnan, YR Hong, RV Kumar, "Understanding the relationship between dopant and ionic transport in yttria-doped ceria-zirconia" J. Mater. Chem.  21(26), 9570-9575 ( 2011).