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Centre for Photonic and Advanced Materials

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1 Centre for Photonic and Advanced Materials
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman

2 Introduction Photonic and advanced materials are areas of technology, which are advancing rapidly in the past two decades. These technologies have been propelled into their present position as the technology of choice and imparted dramatic impact to many modern industries such as energy, manufacturing, medical, biotechnology, communication, etc. and they are still rapidly expanding to almost every imaginable field.

3 Objectives The objective of forming this centre is to be part of an R&D team of multi-discipline that would play an important role in acquiring knowledge and technology for the development of the country, particularly in the area of photonics and advanced materials. Mission To be an innovator of ideas and solution provider through research and development activities and initiatives To provide researchers with the opportunities and resources to conduct research and development work

Concentrator photovoltaic design, solar hot water system, solar furnace, high temperature solar processes, Solar pumped laser system, Solar Power Plant (Central tower, Parabolic dish, Parabolic Trough), Solar Hydrogen, etc.

Waveguide and fiber based optical sensors, optical biosensors, optical chemical sensors, micro-fluidic sensor, plasmonic sensors, optical sensor system, optical coherence tomography (OCT), etc.

Fiber to the home system (FTTH), optoelectronic devices, optical fiber communication systems and network modeling, optical sensor network, optical sensor system etc.

Rheology and processing of polymers, Nanomedicine, Multi-phase flow (slurries and suspensions), Nanocomposites, Polymeric nano-pigments, Investigation of the rheological properties of thickened wastewater sludge, Recyclability of silver based conductive adhesives, etc.

Optimizing the processes through computer modelling, Metal-Matrix Composite (MMC) fabrication process by gravity die/squeeze casting technology, materials processing of lead-free interconnection and new alloys with desirable mechanical properties, reliability and manufacturability, etc.

9 Selected Projects

10 Pre-commercialized project on grid connected dense array concentrator photovoltaic system
Project leader: Prof Dr Chong Kok Keong Co-researchers: Dr Philip Tan (advisor), Prof Dr Faidz Abdul Rahman, Dr Yap Vooi Voon, Wong Chee Woon, Dr Lau Sing Liong, Dr Ng See Seng, Dr Tan Kia Hock, Jessie Siaw Fei Lu, Yew Tiong Keat, Tan Ming Hui, Tan Woei Chong Funded by: Akaun Amanah Industri Bekalan Elektrik (Malaysia Electricity Supply Industry Trust Account), Ministry of Energy, Green Technology & Water Project Description: 1. To construct 120 meter square non-imaging solar concentrator 2. To design the 20 KWp dense array concentrator photovoltaic system 3. To connect the electrical output power of CPV system to the Grid 4. To compare the performance of CPV system with flat plate PV system

11 Research and development on secondary optics in dense array concentrator photovoltaic system
Project leader: Prof Dr Chong Kok Keong Co-researchers: Wong Chee Woon Funded by: e-Science Fund Project Description: This study embarks on the following objectives: 1) To analyze secondary optics of Non-Imaging Planar Concentrator using Monte-Carlo ray tracing method. 2) To fabricate secondary concentrator attached to dense array Concentrator Photovoltaic receiver with cooling system. 3) To increase packing factor of solar cells in dense-array configuration for optimizing the overall system performance. 4) To evaluate the performance of secondary concentrator in dense array concentrator photovoltaic system.

12 Patent fund for the Non-imaging dish concentrator for the application of concentrator photovoltaic system Project leader: Prof Dr Chong Kok Keong Co-researchers: Dr Philip Tan (advisor), Wong Chee Woon, Yew Tiong Keat, Tan Ming Hui, Tan Woei Chong Funded by: Akaun Amanah Industri Bekalan Elektrik (Malaysia Electricity Supply Industry Trust Account), Ministry of Energy, Green Technology & Water Project Description: 1. file patent for the new invention supported by AAIBE fund in Malaysia as deemed appropriate; 2. file patent for the new invention supported by AAIBE fund in overseas in the manner as deemed appropriate

13 Research on novel non-imaging optics to improve the efficiency of concentrator photovoltaic system
Project leader: Wong Chee Woon Co-researchers: Prof Dr Chong Kok Keong Funded by: FRGS Project Description: A research on non-imaging optics to achieve high solar concentration ratio with uniform illumination area has been proposed by using multi-faceted mirrors as the optical aperture to gather and to concentrate the incident sunlight into a target plane. A prototype of non-imaging solar concentrator with a total reflective area of 4.16 m2 has been constructed. A CPV module, which mounted on the target, mainly consists of multi-junction solar cells, cooling block and electrical connections. Performance study on the system has been carried out to achieve high solar concentration ratio with the variation of flux distribution at the target plane.

14 Hybrid solar holographic and luminescent concentrator for bifacial solar cells
Project leader: Ir Dr Lim Yun Seng Co-researchers: Prof Dr Faidz Abd Rahman and Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat Funded by: e-Science Fund Project Description: The luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) consists of a transparent plate doped with luminescent materials, such as laser/organic dyes, semiconductor quantum dots, rare earth materials, and semiconductor polymers. Incident sunlight is first absorbed by the luminescent materials, then re-emitted at different wavelength and guided to the edge of solar concentrator by total internal reflection. The holographic solar concentrator (HSC) is another planar solar concentrator with similar structure as the luminescent solar concentrator. The only difference is that HSC uses holographic films to diffract sunlight to a larger incident angle so that total internal reflection could occur inside the concentrator and guide the light toward solar cells. In this research project, a new hybrid luminescent and holographic solar concentrator (LHSC) with bi-facial solar cells is proposed and developed. A simulation model for LHSC will be developed and prototype of LHSC will be constructed and tested. Diagram of LSC LSCs with various luminescent dyes

15 Investigation of Pt-reinforced Sn-3. 8Ag-0
Investigation of Pt-reinforced Sn-3.8Ag-0.7Cu solder alloy in bi-facial solar cells for solar electricity generation Project leader: Dr Karen Wong Mee Chu Co-researcher: Ir Dr Lim Yun Seng Funded by: UTARRF Project Description: Prototypes of bi-facial solar panels are constructed using Sn-3.8Ag-0.7Cu solder reinforced by Pt particles as interconnection material. The connectivity between the ribbon and metallization is investigated and the efficiency of the solar panel is determined. One patent has been filed PI on 19 December This patent is sponsored by Kass International Sdn Bhd. This project has won two awards at the 24th International Invention, Innovation & Technology Exhibition 2013 (Gold Award & Special Award for Best Invention)

16 Fabrication and investigation into novel structures of nanocrystalline TiO2 dye-sensitized solar cell for achieving high conversion efficiency in sustainable energy development. Project leader: Dr Liang Meng Suan Co-researchers: Dr Khaw Chwin Chieh, Dr Lai Soon Onn, Dr Wang Chan Chin, Dr Lew Kim Luong Funded by: ERGS Project Description: In the past few hundred years we have built factories and automobiles that burned fossil fuels which took millions of years to form. The fossil fuels are depleting fast and we will run out of them in the not so distant future. However, we have a clean and sustainable source of energy if we can harvest solar energy directly. The DSSC project in UTAR focus on novel approaches such as the nanocrystalline titanium oxide layer, injected with an electrolyte, generating current by picking up electrons released by dye molecules as it absorbs light. The whole mixture is sandwiched between transparent conducting glasses doped with tin oxide. Electricity starts to flow when the cell is exposed to sunlight.

17 A study on effect of inorganic nanocrystal in organic solar cells
Project leader: Dr Chen Kah Pin Co-researchers: Dr Lew Kim Luong, Dr Liang Meng Suan, Dr Lim Siong Kang Funded by: UTARRF Donor Acceptor Project Description: Organic solar cells (OSCs) have attracted considerable interest due to their great potential for the production of flexible and large-area solar cells at dramatically low costs and easy-processing fabrication properties. However one of the major problems in organic solar cell development is their low efficiency. One of reasons of low efficiency is its limited absorption spectra and poor absorption coefficients compared to crystalline inorganic materials. This project introduces inorganic nanocrystals TiO2 into the organic bulk hetero-junction solar cells to improve their performances. The inorganic nanocrystals TiO2 offer several advantages such as having high absorption coefficients and size tunability.

18 Analysis of Long Period Fibre Gratings (LPFGs) sensing performance
Project leader: Yong Yun Thung Co-researchers: Dr Lee Sheng Chyan, Prof Dr Faidz Abd Rahman Funded by: UTARRF Project Description: One of the common techniques used for LPFG fabrication is using electrical arc-induced whereby the fabrication system can be setup by using simple arcing circuit with aligner to write the grating on fibre. Our objectives are to analyse and optimize the LPFGs sensing performance at the wavelength of 800 to 900nm by using arc-induced method. Current research trend is focusing on the improvement of measurand sensitivity. However it is found that there wasn’t much research work on the LPFGs sensitivity performance at the wavelength range of 800nm to 900nm. Therefore it has a high research value for analyzing of LPFGs sensing performance at this wavelength range. Wavelength, nm dBm

19 Study of biological components immobilization on polymer-based film and its effects on the characteristics of Long Period Optical Fiber biosensors Project leader: Prof Dr Faidz Abdul Rahman Co-researchers: Dr Loh Han Chern, Dr Tan Ching Siong (MMU), Loh Mey Chern Funded by: FRGS Project description The research focus on designing and characterizing biosensors based on arc-induced long period fiber gratings (arc-induced LPFGs). The LPFG was coated with polyelectrolytes (PEs) to increase the sensitivity. It is then coated with gold nanoparticles (GNPs) and lastly, a biological component to detect an analyte.

20 Design and Fabrication of Micro Fiber Sensor Based on Arc-Induced Method
Project leader: Lin Horng Sheng Co-researchers: Yong Yun Thung, Dr Yong Thian Kok, Prof Dr Faidz Abdul Rahman Funded by: UTARRF Project Description: MF is of great interest device application on optical sensing due to its high evanescent field that interacts with surrounding refractive index (SRI). This can be explained by the conceptual diagram in Fig. 1, the model is similar to a Mach-Zehnder or Michelson interferometer. The input power, Pin is launched to the MF at fundamental mode (HE11). The transition of the taper are deemed to be abruptly changed that significant portion of power is coupled to higher order mode (HE12) from the dominating HE11 mode at the entrance and vice versa, HE12 mode is coupled back to dominating HE11 mode at the exit [1]. Along the tapered length, the MF is air cladded and hence sensitive to SRI. Besides that, modal interference occurs along the tapered length and it results sinusoidal spectrum as shown as Fig.2 Fig. 1 Conceptual diagram of MF interferometer Fig. 2 Simulated transmission spectrum of MF

21 Short pulse high energy laser pulsed system
Project leader: Dr Teh Peh Chiong Co-researchers: Dr Yeap Kim Ho Funded by: UTARRF Block Diagram Project Description: The research focus on the development of the driving electronics and control system required to drive the fiber laser system through gain switching to generate short (nanosecond to microsecond) optical pulses. This research has the goal to establish the understandings and parameters required for development of a compact, single seed laser source which can be extended to high energy pulsed laser system through fiber amplification. Typically, these lasers operate to generate pulses with nanosecond duration and require to process a wide variety of different materials ranging from polymer to metal. For the laser pulse width having nanosecond duration, this energy transfer is thermally based, as the material will absorbed the pulse energy, balanced by the diffusion of heat into the surrounding substrate. With the availability of high performance Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and high speed Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs) components, the implementation of arbitrary waveform generation for generating pulses/arbitrary waveforms become feasible and cost effective. Experiment setup Electrical pulse 200ns Optical pulse 8ns 200ps Arbitrary

22 Optical Encrypted Digital Holographic Watermarking
Project leader: Dr Yong Thian Khok Funded by: UTARRF Project description: Digital watermarking is a commonly used technique to protect the owner copyright by embedding hidden information (watermark) into the digital contents. In this project, we are going to define, design and develop a new secure optical encrypted digital holographic watermarking scheme. The encrypted hologram is optically generated using digital holography technique, which is then embedding into host image. Only the authorized party can extract the watermark pattern and thus it offer higher security protection. The proposed scheme has a capability to watermark 3D objects with another hidden 2D or 3D object. The scheme will be analyzed in term of security and efficiency and to be implemented in image copyright protection through encryption and watermarking.

23 Continuous-measurement interpretation of master equations
Project leader: Dr Tan Eng Kiang Co-researchers: Hong Kai Sze Funded by: UTARRF Project Description: We wish to provide a new measurement interpretation to conventional Markovian quantum optical master equations . This is done following the recently proposed measurement master equation [1] which has been derived directly from the prescription by J. von Neumann. We proceed by showing that conventional master equation for an open system can be obtained directly from the perspective of generalized measurements where the evolution of the system is subject to a sequence of measurements occurring at a fixed rate. [1] Cresser J. D. et al., Opt. Comm. 264 (2006) 352

24 Development of a Fundamental & Accurate Formulation to Optimize the Optical Performance of Radio Telescopes in THz Frequencies Project leader: Dr Yeap Kim Ho Co-researchers: Ir Prof Dr Tham Choy Yoong Emeritus Prof Dr Kazuhiro Hirasawa Dr Yeong Kee Choon Dr Humaira Nisar Dr Teh Peh Chiong Funded by: FRGS Project Description: Optical design in the THz region is challenging because neither set of the techniques for the analysis in the optical and microwave bands could be applied directly in the analysis of the THz band. Since cross polarization, distortion, and diffraction cannot be ignored in the THz region, this project aims to develop a rigorous formulation which accounts for all these effects in the design of THz radio telescopes.

25 Tension-Compression Cyclic
Fig. S-N Curve Fig. Fatigue Test (10Hz) (a) Before fracture (b) After fracture Tension Cyclic Fig. Testing Specimens Tension-Compression Cyclic Original Specimen Fractured Specimen Fracture point Tool life prediction of industrial tool steel SKD 61 & SKD 11 under extreme high pressure of working condition in metal forming process Project leader: Dr Wang Chan Chin Co-researchers: Kam Heng Keong Funded by: UTARRF Project Description: Tool life is an important indicator of the forging operation in manufacturing process. Studies and analyses of forging process are usually based on material properties of tools and workpiece. There are 2 types of alloy tool steel: JIS SKD61 and SKD 11 to be studied. Static tests and fatigue tests will be used to find out more about the material properties under different loading. Dynamic universal testing machine will be used to carry out the experiment to identify the S-N curve of fatigue life characteristic on specific carbide tool materials by applying various frequencies, amplitude of loading condition. From the S-N curve shown, the material SKD 61 that were tested under tension cyclic loading could sustain a higher number of cycles (about 5 times higher at 800MPa) compared to testing under tension-compression cyclic loading.

26 Structural performance of lightweight concrete beam
Project leader: Lim Jee Hock Co-researchers: Dr Lim Siong Kang Funded by: UTARRF Project Description: Nowadays, lightweight foamed concrete is commonly found in construction field due to its light-weight properties, and some advantages. In this project, engineering properties of lightweight foamed concrete have been studied, such as density, compressive strength and flexural strength. The main objective of this research is to study the structural performance of structural beam incorporated with lightweight foamed concrete at 1750kg/m3 ±10% of density. Besides that, the compressive strength of the lightweight foamed concrete is a target to obtain at least 25N/mm2 at 28 days which can be used for structural purpose. In addition, the structural tests will be conducted to compare the flexural strength of composite beam (normal weight and new type of lightweight concrete) by using simple beam with third-point loading. The experimental test method is base on ASTM C78/C78M – 10: Standard Test Method for Flexural Strength of Concrete (Using Simple Beam with Third – Point Loading).

Project leader: Dr Chee Swee Yong Co-researchers: Tinavallie A/P Grumoorthy Funded by: Synthomer/Revertex Malaysia Sdn Bhd Project Description: The increased volume in heavy goods vehicles has led to dramatic increases in stress levels on bitumen surfaces. As a result, road engineers increasingly use polymer modified bitumen to improve its durability. Cationic SBR latex blended bitumen has been found to give better performing properties, such as ductility and elastic recovery at low temperature, compared to natural rubber latex (NRL). Hence, improvement of such properties of the NRL blended bitumen is needed to meet the customer requirement, which was done by grafting polystyrene (PS) chain onto NR backbone. NR-g-PS latex particles

28 A study of the thermal aging of carboxyalted nitrile rubber latex thin film
XNBR Glove Project leader: Dr Mohammod Aminuzzaman Co-researchers: Dr Chee Swee Yong Funded by: Synthomer Sdn Bhd Project Description: Objectives: To investigate the effect of accelerated aging on the mechanical properties of carboxylated nitrile rubber (XNBR) latex thin film To study the chemistry of the aging process in XNBR thin film by using FT-IR. To predict shelf life of XNBR products (glove) of using Arrhenius equation. Measurement of tensile strength virgin thin film aged thin film crack Surface morphology

29 Preparation and Characterisation of Superabsorbent Based on Carboxymethyl Cellulose and Modified Cellulose from Ceiba pentandra (L.) Gaertn. (Kapok Tree) Project leader: Dr Chee Swee Yong Co-researchers: Jennifer Khoo Meei Yun Funded by: FRGS Project Description: Most of the current synthetic SAPs on the market are expensive, poorly degradable and harmful to the environment. Polysaccharide-based SAPs are garnering popularity due to the environmental problems caused by synthetic polymer waste. Only a few researches have focused on the synthesis of both CMC-based SAP and modified natural polysaccharide-based SAP. In this study, the highest water absorbency of the modified cellulose-based SAP was 552 g/g in distilled water and 96 g/g in saline solution. The grafting efficiency obtained was 77.3 %.

30 Catalytic Performances
SELECTIVE OXIDATION OF ACTIVATED CARBON SUPPORTED VANADIUM BASED OXIDE CATALYSTS Project leader: Dr Leong Loong Kong Co-researchers: Dr Gulnaziya Issabayeva Funded by: UTARRF Project Description: The objectives of the present research are to synthesise the modified vanadium based oxide catalysts supported on the activated carbon. Besides that, the catalytic properties (i.e. activity and selectivity) could be further enhanced by manipulating various parameters, i.e. synthesis methods and the addition of support materials in producing a good and well-performed VPO catalyst system. The physical and chemical characteristics of modified vanadium phosphate catalysts supported onto activated carbon will be studied. XRD Profile Catalytic Performances

31 ULTRASONIC SYNTHESIS OF VANADYL PYROPHOSPHATE CATALYSTS FOR PARTIAL OXIDATION OF N-BUTANE TO MALEIC ANHYDRIDE Project leader: Dr Leong Loong Kong Co-researchers: Dr Tang Siah Ying Dr Yogeswaran a/l Mohan Funded by: UTARRF Project Description: The objectives of the present research are to synthesise the vanadyl pyrophosphate catalysts using newly modified synthetic route, i.e. ultrasonic assisted technique. The synthesised catalysts would exhibit higher specific surface area of the catalysts and further improve the catalytic properties (i.e. activity and selectivity) of the catalysts. The effect of ultrasonic treatment on the physicochemical characteristics of the synthesised vanadium phosphate catalysts will be studied.

CAPTURE AND REFORMING OF METHANE Project leader: Dr Sumathi A/P Sethupathi Co-researchers: Dr Leong Loong Kong Funded by: e-Science Fund Project Description: 1. To elucidate the potential of activated carbon (AC) for carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage. 2. To investigate the roles and behaviors of metal in the preparation of catalytic AC for CO2 methanation. 3. To investigate the catalytic activity of AC catalyst in the CO2 reforming of methane (CH4) reaction and characterize the optimum catalyst. 4. To understand the reaction conditions for CO2 methanation by AC catalyst. 5. To propose a suitable reaction mechanism based on the thermodynamic analysis and experimental observations.

33 Developing A Novel Adsorbent for CO2 Capture from Flue Gas: Amine−crosslinked Cellulose−supported Aminosilane Project leader: Tan Kee Liew Co-researchers: Dr Sumathi, Dr Yamuna, Chong Foon Yee Funded by: UTARRF Project Description: A novel amino−functionalized solid sorbent will be prepared by grafting a monoaminosilane, namely 3−aminopropyltrimethoxysilane (APTMS) onto a cellulose−based support, which is derived from oil palm fronds. Additional functional amino groups are introduced into between the cellulose chains by means of crosslinking. The grafting process variables will be optimized to produce an optimized adsorbent, with the maximum sorption capacity under simulated flue gas conditions. The optimized sorbent is to be characterized in terms of textural properties, eg. pore surface area and pore volume. Elemental analysis and thermal stability analysis of the developed sorbent will be conducted as well. An adsorption test rig will be set up to evaluate the practical performance of the adsorbent. The effects of temperatures, CO2 partial pressures, composition of moisture on the adsorption capacity and kinetics are studied within the typical flue gas range.

34 CFD and Experimental Studies on a Solar Driven Membrane Distillation in Wastewater Treatment
Project leader: Chong Kok Chung Co-researchers: Dr Lai Soon Onn, Dr Ooi Boon Seng (USM) and Dr Lau Woei Jye (UTM) Funded by: UTAR Research Grant Figure 1 Schematic Diagram of Experimental Setup Project Description: The aim of the project is to design design and fabricate the laboratory experiment on solar driven membrane distillation process in the wastewater treatment. Subsequently, experimental studies were conducted to investigate the effect of heat and mass transfer properties (e.g. difference inlet temperature and flow rate) on the permeate flux in distilled water production by using self fabricated membrane with different additive. Furthers, CFD simulation was utilized to study the effect of heat transfer properties (e.g. difference inlet temperature and flow rate) in the membrane module. Figure 2 Cross Sectional View of Hollow Fiber PVDF Membrane Figure 3 CFD Simulation Result on Membrane Module Temperature Distribution

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