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Domain Themes

Emerging Materials | Structural Materials | Functional Materials | Materials Genomics & ICME| Materials Education

Domain Coordinators

Prof. Monica Katiyar, IIT Kanpur & Prof. A. K. Singh, IIT Kanpur

Domain Sub-Themes


Sub-themes Coordinators & Affiliation
Materials Education Prof. Rajiv Shekhar, IIT Kanpur
Particulate materials Prof. Anish Upadhyaya, IIT Kanpur
Ultrahigh temperature materials Prof. Kantesh Balani, IIT Kanpur
Bio-inspired and patterned functional materials Prof. Anigmanshu Ghatak, IIT Kanpur
Biomaterials for biomedical applications Prof. Bikramjit Basu, IISc Bangalore
Nanomaterials Prof. Krishanu Biswas, IIT Kanpur
Electronic Materials Prof. M. Anbarasu, IIT Indore & Prof. Vipul Singh, IIT Indore
Energy Materials Prof. Amartya Mukhopadhyaya, IIT Bombay & Dr. Suhash Ranjan Dey, IIT Hyderabad
Advanced composite materials Prof. Kamal Kar, IIT Kanpur
Opto-electronic materials and devices Prof. D. Goswami, IIT Kanpur
Smart materials Prof. V. Sampath, IIT Madras & Prof. Ajay Thakur, IIT Patna
Polymeric and soft materials Prof. Rajiv Prakash, IIT BHU (Coordinator) Prof. T.G. Gopakumar, IITK (Co-coordinator)
Materials genomics and integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) Prof. T. A. Abhinandanan,IISc Bangalore & Prof. A. K. Singh, IIT Kanpur
Advanced high strength and high performance steels Prof. S.B. Singh, IIT Kharagpur
Light alloys Prof. A. Gohkale, IIT Bombay
Glassy and amorphous materials Prof. Kallol Mondal, IITK
Earth abundant element based functional materials Prof. Ajay Thakur, IIT Patna

Domain Team


Rajiv Shekhar, Anish Upadhyaya, Kantesh Balani, Anigmanshu Ghatak, Krishanu Biswas, Kamal Kar, D. Goswami, T.G. Gopakumar, Kallol Mondal


Bikramjit Basu, T.A. Abhinandanan


Amartya Mukhopadhyaya, A. Gohkale


M. Anbarasu, Vipul Singh


V. Sampath


Ajay Thakur


Rajiv Prakash


S.B. Singh


Suhash Ranjan Dey

Domain: Advanced Materials

Broad Coverage

Ability of a nation to harness nature as well as to cope up with the challenges posed by it is determined by its knowledge of materials and its ability to develop and produce them for various applications. Advanced Materials are at the heart of many technological developments that touch our lives. Electronic materials for communication and information technology, biomaterials for better health care, sensors for intelligent environment, energy materials for renewable energy and environment, light alloys for better transportation, materials for strategic applications and more. India has its own unique set of resource and technological challenges. The objective of the IMPRINT India Initiative in this domain is to come up with research and education policies which will provide the developmental path for Advanced Materials for our nation.

Structural Materials

The engineering materials are divided into two themes: Structural and functional. As India is developing rapidly, the requirements of quality structural materials is on the rise. High level of demands are placed on various sectors including steel, cement, light metals and alloys, etc. This, in turn, requires quality raw materials and availability of power at affordable price. At the same time, there is a need for newer structural materials such as advanced composites and particulate materials. The objective of this theme is to provide a technology roadmap for the nation to meet the ever growing requirements in this sector.

  • Steel: India is the fourth largest producer of steel in the world with annual production of nearly 87 million tonnes and aims to produce 300 million tonnes by 2025. Corresponding to this, high targets have been set on production of raw materials such as iron ores, coking coals, ferro-alloys, etc. Innovations are needed to mitigate challenges faced by the nation on raw materials front, technologies for utilization of non-coking coal, for example. Apart from the technological challenges, there are challenges associated with trained manpower and infrastructure. In terms of product mix, there is a need to develop indigenous technologies for the development of advanced high strength steel (AHSS) and cold rolled grain oriented (CRGO) steel for critical sectors.

  • Light Alloys: Light metallic materials consist alloys based on aluminium, titanium and magnesium, their foams / honeycombs and related fabrication technologies. They are of utmost importance in defence and space applications, since a large proportion of defence/space systems structural weight is made of light alloys, allowing higher payload to be used. Extraction of the respective pure metals to the required purity levels is equally important.

  • Advanced Composite Materials: Availability of lightweight, high-strength, and high-stiffness materials is a key requirement for efficient transportation, efficient power generation, efficient energy storage, reduced emission and better protection of army personnel against variety of threats. The design flexibility provided by advance composite materials makes them most suited for many diverse applications such as structural applications where high stiffness is needed, and high energy absorbing applications where larger dissipation of energy is required. However, efforts from research communities are needed to mass produce these materials in order to reduce cost and broaden the area of application.

  • Particulate Materials: The use of particulate materials or powders as starting material provides the advantage of formulating novel compositions and tailoring microstructures. This makes it well suited to process a range of advanced materials in demanding applications. Particulate materials are formed using powder metallurgy (P/M), a net-shape processing technique offering several economical and ecological benefits for manufacturing small and medium-sized components. A unique attribute of this technique is high material utilization (>98%) and the flexibility that it provides in consolidating parts at processing temperatures well below the melting point. This theme aims at providing a comprehensive understanding of the various application areas of particulate materials using P/M technique with an emphasis on processing components for strategic (ordinance, aerospace and nuclear) and automotive sectors.

  • Ultrahigh Temperature Materials: Ultra-high temperature ceramics (UHTCs) are a class of materials that can be used under extreme thermal environments (>2400°C) as they display high melting temperatures (> 3000°C) while showing high temperature strength, resistance to oxidation/chemical reactivity, radiation damage and high temperature erosive attack. Materials research and technology development in this field is mandated for developing the UHTCs needs for hypersonic aerospace application.

Functional Materials

In addition to structural materials, electronic, opto-electronic, energy and functional materials are needed for variety of applications such as electronics, photovoltaics, communication and information technology, sensors, etc. They are equally critical for the devolvement and security of the nation.

  • Electronic Materials: Electronics is omnipresent in today's world. From VLSI circuits to light emitting diodes (LEDs), photo detectors and photo voltaic devices, its applications are immense. In addition to conventional semiconductor (silicon), several new emerging materials have shown unique property-portfolio to facilitate future electronic devices.

  • Energy Materials: The key to sustainable growth and general well-being of Indian population relies on energy security. Accordingly, the thrust in scientific research and technology development should encompass development of cost-effective, robust, high performance and eco-friendly energy conversion technologies, such as solar photovoltaics, fuel cells, thermoelectrics and energy storage technologies, such as rechargeable batteries, redox flow batteries, supercapacitors.

  • Optoelectronic Materials And Devices: That sub-field of photonics wherein light-matter interaction results in the development of light sources, detectors, and control of light is typically defined as the field of optoelectronic materials and devices. In this context, light can be used in the broadest sense of the entire electromagnetic radiation. Such optoelectronic materials and devices can have far reaching applications ranging from ultra-high band communication and renewable energy on one end to defence and health care on the other end.

  • Smart Materials: Smart materials are those materials that possess both intrinsic and extrinsic capabilities to respond to stimuli and environmental changes. They respond to changes in temperature, stress, pH, magnetic field, electrical field, etc. The term smart materials encompasses a wide variety of materials, such as shape memory alloys, piezoelectric materials, smart gels, electrostrictive materials, magnetostrictive materials, rheological fluids, electrochromic materials, conducting polymers, MEMS, optical fibres, pH-sensitive materials, etc. Smart materials are still to become popular as evidenced by the smaller extent to which they find applications in different domains in India today. The full potential of smart materials is yet to be tapped. They can be used from very simple to very sophisticated applications.

  • Earth Abundant Element Based Functional Materials: Elements with low abundance in earth's crust (including rare-earth elements) form an important ingredient of a wide variety of advanced functional materials critical for self reliance. Typical application areas include Heat Resistant Permanent Magnets, Exchange-Spring Magnets, Solid State Lighting, Solid State Display, Catalysts for Artificial Photosynthesis, Photovoltaic Materials, Electrodes Materials for Batteries and Fuel Cells, etc. Sustained R&D is needed for development of advanced functional materials from earth abundant elements and deployment of these materials for end applications across various sectors including energy, manufacturing, defence, etc. This is crucial for our self-reliance in functional materials.

Emerging Materials

While there have been tremendous improvement in engineering materials over decades, materials scientists and engineers have been coming up with newer and better materials every few years. Therefore, a theme on emerging materials has been included. Most of these materials are at research stage but could lead to new products and better lives for the future generation.

  • Nanomaterials: Nanomaterials represent a field of vigorous activities in recent times and is key to the success of many advanced technologies for critical sectors like defence, healthcare, agriculture, environment and so on. It is increasingly realized that reducing the scale and distribution of grains and phases yields properties which is significantly different from the bulk properties. The main focus of this sub-theme will be to develop the understanding of effect of size on the materials properties, to develop nano-materials for different application domains and to provide roadmap for scaling up of nano-materials production at industrial scale.

  • Biomaterials And Devices: The theme of biomaterials and devices proposes to address some of the existing clinical challenges, relevant to Indian population. For example, musculo-skeletal disorders, cardiovascular and neurological diseases. In order to address human diseases, there is a need to manufacture 'make-in-India' medical devices and implants, which should help in the repair and replacement of diseased and damaged parts of the human skeleton, heart, bone, teeth and joints, thereby restoring the function of the otherwise functionally compromised structures.

  • Polymeric And Soft Materials: From its inception until today, polymeric materials have enhanced our quality of life. Other soft materials include gels, self-assembled molecular and biomolecular structures. These classes of materials have a wide range of applications depending on the functional groups incorporated into the basic units. In a short span of time these materials have gained tremendous impetus over other type of materials because of their interesting physical properties and ease of tailoring of properties through molecular engineering.

  • Glassy And Amorphous Materials: Glassy and amorphous materials, specially metallic glasses and amorphous alloys have gained considerable attention due to their intriguing structure, exciting properties which in many ways are much better than the existing engineering crystalline alloys, and possibility of their use in many applications, ranging from structure materials due to their excellent mechanical properties, corrosion and wear resistant coating, magnetic material, electrode materials, catalyst, etc.

  • Bio-Inspired And Patterned Functional Materials: Bio-inspired materials are man-made materials, the structure, geometry and functionality of which mimic natural materials. The focus/objective of research on this specific theme are the following: 1) developing knowledge about multi-functionality of natural materials,2) exploring bio-mimetic, self organization processes for synthesizing such materials, 3) exploring fabrication and deployment method of such materials in large and economical scale for the benefit of the society.

Materials Genomics And Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (Icme)

Progress in materials science and engineering has made great strides in recent years as our understanding of phenomena at various length scales has improved. Increased computational powers and our ability to model various phenomena at different length and time scales have made it possible to design and develop new materials and processes. Materials Genomics and ICME aim at accelerated discovery, design, realization and deployment of new materials and has many components ranging from ab-initio calculations to higher length scale modelling (multi-scale modelling), multi-scale experiments for development, validation and verification of models, materials informatics, computational materials science, computational materials design, enabling platforms to facilitate integration and carry out integrated computational materials engineering. India needs to discover, realize and deploy modern materials at a rapid pace to gain technological leadership. The objective of this exercise to take stock of where we are, where we want to be in next 5, 10 & 20 years, identify the gap areas & and develop educational and research roadmap for the country so that we meet the needs of the nation in accelerated discovery, development and deployment of new materials.

Materials Education

All four themes of this domain require skilled manpower, engineers, scientists, etc. Therefore, a theme on materials education is included to prepare a roadmap of Materials Science and Engineering education in the country.

The modern materials scientist or engineer is expected to accelerate the deployment of new, customized materials. This requires a thorough understanding of (I) the effect of atomic composition and structure on material properties, (ii) engineering principles for designing "green" unit operations for the production of materials with desirable properties, and (iii) evaluating material performance under real-life conditions. Consequently, the conventional microstructure-properties-processing based curriculum should be supplemented with topics such as quantum mechanics, transport phenomena, solid mechanics and numerical simulation. In fact, the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) curriculum should be designed in a manner such that the lectures and laboratories gives students a good grasp of the entire materials life cycle, from materials design to recycling/disposal. The PG curriculum should specifically account for the wide variation in the academic background of its students. In addition, a research strategy should be devised, which would help fulfil the country's current materials needs while simultaneously propelling India towards global materials leadership.