MGU and Inha University’s Collaborative Effort Secures Patent

The combined effort of Mahatma Gandhi University (MGU) and Inha University(South Korea) has resulted in a remarkable patent announcement. Through this partnership, MGU secured an Indian patent for an innovative and versatile capacitive temperature sensor.

The foundation of this cutting-edge sensor lies in the meticulous combination of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), ionic liquid, and Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNT) to form nanocomposites. One of the exceptional features of this capacitive sensor is its ability to effectively monitor temperatures in the range of 10 to 50 °C. Additionally, it operates within a frequency range of 20 to 100Hz and functions optimally at a working voltage of 1V.

The journey towards the development of the revolutionary sensor can be traced back to the dedicated research endeavours of Dr. Elizabeth Francis. Conducting her PhD studies under the guidance of Prof Sabu Thomas, Director, IIUCNN, and Dr K T Varughese ,President of Conclavit, Bengaluru, an Educational Platform for Advanced Training, Dr. Francis employed a solution mixing technique to develop PVC/MWCNT nanocomposites This initial success prompted further investigations, igniting a curiosity to explore films containing both noncovalently modified and unmodified carbon nanotubes.

To elevate the research, Dr. Elizabeth Francis embarked on a nine-month collaboration with Inha University in South Korea, under the guidance of Prof. Jaehwan Kim. Then, dielectric studies were conducted on platinum-coated samples, under the supervision of Dr. Ko
Hyun-U. The findings highlighted favourable dielectric features, leading to further tests on selected samples for capacitive temperature sensing studies at varying temperatures and constant
frequencies, and vice versa.The research unveiled the superiority of noncovalently modified carbon nanotubes. The optimisation process, coupled with rigorous testing, led to the identification of Polyvinyl Chloride with 3% loaded noncovalently modified carbon nanotubes as the
optimal composition.

Dr. Elizabeth Francis’s groundbreaking research marked a remarkable achievement in the field of sensor technology. The culmination of her efforts was the submission of her research in March 2018, followed by the well-deserved recognition and awarding of her work in December
2018. The invention can contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of electronic devices that measure temperature. It opens new avenues for the development of highly efficient sensors with potential applications across various industries. Her research exemplifies the significance of interdisciplinary collaboration and persistent experimentation in expanding the horizons of scientific innovation.