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Indigenous low-cost compact optical non-contact device for in situ characterization of soft-matter.

Primary Information


Advanced Materials

Project No.


Sanction and Project Initiation

Sanction No: Sr/s9/z- 05/2015

Sanction Date: 03/07/2017

Project Initiation date: 19/08/2017

Project Duration: 36

Partner Ministry/Agency/Industry

Department of Science and Technology


Role of partner:The partner ministry funds about 50% of the total project. The partner contributes to all the significant aspects of the project including capital equipment, manpower costs and recurring expenditure.


Support from partner:The partner supports about 50% of the project is about 65 lakhs INR. So far, 30 lakhs INR has been received.

Principal Investigator

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Sivarama Krishnan
Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai.

Host Institute


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Dillip K Satapathy
Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India


Scope and Objectives

We will implement indigenously and deliver a marketable prototype of a low-cost optical non-contact device for in situ characterization of a wide variety of soft-matter including polymers, emulsions and foams which are industrially relevant in a wide variety of sections. This system will employ a multi-angle light scattering (MALS) system with source and detector combinations together with a non-contact temperature measurement as well as controlled heating system to test characterize, test and analyse the health of samples of interest. Hitherto, such a comprehensive system for metrology and monitoring is not available as a product to the best of our knowledge.


Develop indigenously a marketable low-cost industrially relevant multi-angle light-scattering system (MALS) for in situ soft-matter characterization and evaluation applicable over a wide range of sample temperatures and sizes. Develop indigenously a precision temperature control system for soft matter samples, liquids, gels and others. Develop software for system control, analytics and user-interface for easy measurements.


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Scientific Output

We have been successful in the developing a state-of-the-art cloud point or critical solution temperature for the liquid, gel and other phases. We have been engaged in the study of thermo-responsive polymers and modification of their properties by controlling the solvent.


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Results and outcome till date

We have developed an indigenous a cloud point or critical solution temperature system which is low-cost yet without compromising on the precision of measurements. The in-house system is internationally competitive with a temperature control better than 0.2 C with repeatablility better than 0.1 C. Completely automated system for cloud-point measurement with advanced software control of the system, data analytics and intuitive user-interface.

Societal benefit and impact anticipated

Soft-matter systems are ubiquitous and provide for a huge market. Among the systems we studied, we have focused on thermo-responsive polymers, notably pNIPAM. These are well-suited for drug delivery with critical solution temperatures in the range associated with the human body. The realization of our project will provide industry with a low-cost soft-matter characterization tool and impact the development of these systems within India.

Next steps

We will implement a light-scattering system to build an indigenous low-cost soft-matter characterization. We will further develop the algorithms and software to go with the development of this device.

Publications and reports

An arduino based critical solution temperature measurement system, G. Kumar, Mayarani, D K Satapathy, S. R. Krishnan, Rev. Sci. Instr. (under review).


None yet.

Scholars and Project Staff

a) Gobind Kumar b) Ramesh Kumar c) Jayesh Sadasivan

Challenges faced

a) Delays in the release of funds b) Lack of suitable feedback mechanism which will enable us to understand what the evaluation committees expect from the project c) Challenges in procuring specialty polymers.

Other information


Financial Information

  • Total sanction: Rs. 11846400

  • Amount received: Rs. 6040600

  • Amount utilised for Equipment: Rs. 2793715

  • Amount utilised for Manpower: Rs. 1571463

  • Amount utilised for Consumables: Rs. 933325

  • Amount utilised for Contingency: Rs. 556328

  • Amount utilised for Travel: Rs. 171843

  • Amount utilised for Other Expenses: 105000

  • Amount utilised for Overheads: Rs. 1239100

Equipment and facilities


Indigenous precision temperature control system, fully automated critical solution temperature or 'cloud point' measurement system, lock-in amplifier, lasers, proportional integrator-differentiator system, 3D printer,

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