Dreaming “green” depends on thinking very small
Imagine photovoltaic panels you can print from your desktop. Or solar-sensitive house paint that powers your lights and heats your home. Or batteries you can flex like plastic.
These are just a few of the innovations that have come from the lab of Somenath Mitra, distinguished professor of chemistry and environmental science at NJIT’s College of Science and Liberal Arts.
A pioneer in the use of nanotechnology for “green” applications, Dr. Mitra also runs one of the world’s leading research groups that develop technologies to measure trace air pollutants in real time. He has developed a variety of air-monitoring techniques for parts-per-billion-level measurements in ambient air and industrial stacks — innovations critically important both commercially and in environmental monitoring.
Dr. Mitra’s recent innovative use of microwaves to purify and functionalize carbon nanotubes has earned him a national reputation. It’s also spurred him to begin thinking about the next big thing: the potential environmental impact of “nanowaste” as the creation, use and disposal of nanomaterials grows.