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Research Groups

Following is the list of Research Groups of our department

GREEN AND SUSTAINABLE ENERGY GROUP (GSERG)

Energy resources are indispensable to all forms of life. Their use or misuse has global consequences. Under this scenario there is a demand to develop smarter ways of exploiting fossil fuels and to obtain more sustainable sources of energy.

Green and Sustainable Energy Research Group (GSERG) aims to promote and undertake fundamental and applied research related to the efficient use of energy. We are working to find solutions to the energy challenges of the present century the integration of renewable energy sources, as well as the traditional energy sources of oil and gas.

 

Key areas of GSERG

  • Fuel cells
  • Batteries
  • Photovoltaics

Group Members

  • Sana Sabahat (Assistant Professor)
  • Saira Arif (Assistant Professor)
  • Asghari Gul (Assistant Professor)

 

Research Themes

Dr. Sana Sabahat

In the production of advanced electrode materials for energy storage devices like solid oxide fuel cell and Li-ion batteries, perovskite materials possess great attention. Our group has synthesized a series of perovskite compounds varying dopant concentrations by sol-gel method for fuel cell and battery devices. For characterization, we study structural and morphological profiles, electrical and electrochemical conductivity, and transport properties of the synthesized materials.

Running Projects:

HEC-NRPU entitled: ENERGY CAPABILITY ENHANCEMENT OF SOLID-OXIDE FUEL CELLS (SOFC) – REALIZATION OF A COMPLETE PROTOTYPE SOFC FOR COMMERCIALIZABE PURPOSES.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Sana Sabahat

COMSATS Research grant 2018, entitled: FLUORINATION OF TRANSITION METAL OXIDE FOR ELECTROCHEMICAL DEVICES.

Contact Information:

Email address: s.sabahat@comsats.edu.pk

Dr. Saira Arif

The main area of research is to synthesize multifunctional nanocomposite films using polymer materials and nanoparticles to be used for energy storage devices. The synthesized materials will be characterized using various spectroscopic, morphological and Electrical conductivity measurement techniques. Graphene oxides (GO) have recently emerged as new carbon-based nanoscale materials that provide an alternative path to preparing graphene. GO being insulating in nature can be reduced by different strategies including chemical, thermal and photo-thermal treatment using nanosecond pulsed laser, which in turn make it a conducting material and suitable for many applications.

The interaction of laser with all forms of matter gives their rich chemical information and has many applications. Experimental setups with varying range of lasers and photonic configurations are utilized in wide range of fields such as biomedicine, diagnostics, spectroscopy, laser-based contaminations removal/cleaning and deposition, surface modification and material processing. The group also studies the interfacial behavior of nanoscale materials when exposed to the lasers. 

Running project:

A STUDY ON THE PULSED LASER-ASSISTED REDUCTION OF GRAPHENE OXIDE (FUNDED BY HEC)

Contact information:

Email address: saira.arif@comsats.edu.pk

Dr. Asghari Gul

The organic polymers used in solar cells are usually solution-processable and are cheap, resulting in low costs for fabricating a large volume. Molecular engineering during the synthesis (like changing the type, length and functional group) can change the band gap and thus allowing for electronic tunability. Few disadvantages related to the organic photovoltaic cells are that they are less efficient, have low stability and strength compared to inorganic silicon solar cells. Polymer based solar cells are lightweight, potentially disposable, inexpensive to fabricate, flexible and potentially have less adverse environmental impact.

In our group a variety of organic/organometallic conjugated polymers are being currently synthesized and investigated with the aim of meeting above challenges. A range of standard electrochemical and spectroscopic techniques are used to study the structure of the synthesized material, solar energy conversion mechanisms, electrode/electrolyte interfaces and charge carrier kinetics of photoelectrode in devices.

In addition, some computer aided software like Gaussian and Amsterdam Density Function are also used to calculate the band gap, HOMO-LUMO energy levels and photovoltaic properties of the materials.

Running Project:

SYNTHESIS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF CONJUGATED ORGANIC POLYMERS FOR POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS IN PHOTOVOLTAICS.

Funding body: COMSATS University Islamabad, Islamabad campus, Pakistan

Contact Information:

Email address: asghari.gul@comsats.edu.pk

Phone: +92-(0)5190495575

 WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY GROUP

Introduction

The aim of this research group is based on advancing water resources and environmental solutions to achieve a sustainable future. Water is the most important element for living life. 70% of earth’s surface is covered with water. Its flow controls our environment, weather, location of population and agriculture. Its flow can be an instrument of destruction or a source of beauty. In potable form, it appears as one of the most important substances in the 21st century. As the population grows, water demands for energy production, farming drinking and even for other household activities is increased. At the same time, climate change and human activity are disrupting water cycles, putting freshwater systems under pressure. Moreover, the infrastructure development, Pollution and resource extraction are the additional challenges. This research forms links between applied pure and science and nature. conservation and environmental concerns.

Group Members

Dr. Safia Zahid (Assistant Professor)

The discharge from these industries releases large amount of effluents including dyes, metals, ionic liquids etc. which is dangerous for aquatic life. We deal with the synthesis of novel, cheap and efficient adsorbents and different removal procedures to remove these industrial effluents from waste water.

Contact information:

Email address: Safia.zahid@comsats.edu.pk

Dr. Muhammad Waseem (Assistant Professor)

Heavy metals are naturally present in soils and water which are highly toxic to most organisms. Being carcinogenic, these metals have direct possible threat to biota and an indirect one to the human health. We deal with the synthesis of highly functionalized adsorbents for the removal of toxic metals by using adsorption and ion-exchange methods. Various kinetic and adsorption models are then applied to explore the sorption mechanism.

Contact Information:

Email address: m.waseem@comsats.edu.pk

Phone #: +92-3328922044

Dr. Saira Arif (Assistant Professor)

Wastewater contaminated with organic pollutants creates serious environmental problems. The laser-induced decomposition of organic molecules will be performed with the aim of removing toxic species from such contaminated water wastes. The goal of the research work will be to demonstrate the effective use of laser-induced techniques for the substantial decomposition of these toxic compounds to non-toxic products.

Contact information:

Email address: saira.arif@comsats.edu.pk

 Dr. Jaweria Ambreen (Assistant Professor)

Research Interests

  • Water treatment
  • Photocatalysis and water splitting
  • Sensing Applications

Our research interest lies in the synthesis and fabrication of polymeric membranes and metallic oxide nanomaterials e.g. nanoparticles, nanofibers and nanorods etc. for environmental remediation. Improper disposal of household water and industrial effluents are major sources of residual dye and other organic pollutants posing serious environmental and health threats. In contrast to conventional methods of water decontamination like adsorption, chemical separation, precipitation and coagulation; use of fabricated metal oxide nanoparticles particularly for water remediation is worth investigating due to their efficient photocatalytic properties, stability and cost effectiveness.

Project Theme

Fabrication of mesoporous hybrid silica nanoparticles for photocatalytic and gas sensing applications.

Contact information:

Email address: jaweria.ambreen@comsats.edu.pk

Dr. Farooq Khurram Shahzad (Assistant Professor)

His research interests mainly cover the following aspects:

(1) organic synthesis

(2) polyoxometalate chemistry

(3) nanomaterials chemistry

(4) Polymer synthesis

The topics are concerned with rational design and preparation of new functional materials, property exploration and applications in the fields such as optical nonlinearity, catalysis, photochemistry, chemical degradation, luminescence, electrochemistry, functional biomedical materials and so on.

Contact information:

Email address: farooq.khurum@comsats.edu.pk

NANOBIOMATERIALS GROUP

Research in Nanobiomaterials (NBM) is generally focused on the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials in the form of metal oxides, polymer composites and core/shell materials for biomedical applications. These materials are also suitable for bactericidal, fungicidal and other biological activities. NBM develops new and modified nanomaterials for drug loading and targeted drug delivery. This strategy will provide significant route to treat various diseases. 

 

Group Members:

Dr. Rafaqat Hussain (Professor of Chemistry)

Research Interest:

To synthesize novel bio-ceramic materials for orthopedic applications; Antibacterial, magnetic and special optical properties to bio-ceramics.

Contact Information:

Email address: rafaqathussain@comsats.edu.pk

Campus Phone #: +92-51-9247000-9247002 & 9049802

Dr. Muhammad Waseem (Assistant Professor)

Research Interest:

Design and synthesis of nanomaterials for drug loading/release and delivery applications. To prepare the nanocomposite for the removal of toxins from aqueous solution. Other biological studies like antimicrobial activities and anticancer properties were also explored.

Contact Information:

Email address: m.waseem@comsats.edu.pk

Phone #: +92-3328922044

Dr. Sana Sabahat (Assistant Professor)

Our research group focuses on synthesis and functionalization of metallic nanoparticles for biological applications (anti-cancer studies). Green chemistry/synthesis of metallic nanoparticles. Investigation of binding mechanism of DNA with drug modified metallic nanoparticle via different characterization tools. Computational analysis of synthesized nanomaterials.

Contact Information:

Email address: s.sabahat@comsats.edu.pk

Dr. Saira Arif (Assistant Professor)

Research Interest:

The main goal of the research is to synthesize polymer matrix composites and nanocomposites for biological, high thermal and mechanical strength applications. Different synthetic routes including laser based and conventional polymerization techniques will be utilized to realize the synthesis of proposed materials. The synthesized materials subject to evaluation using experimental and computational solid mechanics techniques and thermal analysis.

Contact Information:

Email address: saira.arif@comsats.edu.pk

Dr. Jaweria Ambreen (Assistant Professor)

Research Interests

  • Fabrication and synthesis of biocompatible nano-hybrid materials
  • Electrical, Catalytic and Drug delivery applications

Our research work is intended to design, synthesize and fabricate the novel functional hybrid nanomaterials like nanoparticles, nanofibers, polymeric membranes, coatings, blends and gels with the objective to more in-depth understanding of their characteristics suitable for biomedical applications. Experimental as well as theoretical studies are being done to analyze the data in detail.

Contact Information:

Email address: jaweria.ambreen@comsats.edu.pk

Office phone number: +92-51-9049-5565

Dr. Aneela Malik (Assistant Professor)

Dr Aneela Maalik’s research interest lies in the field of Organic Chemistry including:

  • Organic synthesis (heterocyclic compounds, natural products and Organic asymmetric synthesis)
  • Homogeneous Catalysis
  • Biosynthesis of nanoparticles (NPs)
  • Bioassay studies of synthesized bioactive compounds
  • Investigation of promising pharmacological, physical and medicinal properties of organic moieties & their NPs
  • Study of organic scaffolds as potential enzyme inhibitors

Contact Information:
Email address: aneela.maalik@comsats.edu.pk  

4: COMPUTATIONAL CHEMISTRY GROUP

Research in the computational chemistry group is focused on the application of theoretical and computational techniques based on chemistry. The aim of the research is to extend the knowledge and understanding of molecular structure, quantum mechanics, develop new tools for modelling, design/model material, understanding of the experimental data, simulation and interpretation along with the manipulation. The group is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary involving broad range of topics covering the prediction of properties of small molecules to those of large biomolecular systems conjugates like protein-ligand complexes, modelling chemical reactions in different environments, research in sustainable energy and environmental chemistry. Our projects are of academic as well as industrial importance.

 

 

2D & 3D docking pose of monomer (ball & stick) at IT69 active site, showing the H-bonding (in purple) with key contributing amino acids.

Molecular orbital diagram showing different energy levels

 

Most commonly used softwares are                

  • Molecular Mechanics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Semi Emperical
  • Valence Bond
  • Molecular Desing Software

 

Group Members

Dr. Asghari Gul (Assistant Professor)

Research Interests:

Our theoretical research group uses chemistry based computational tools to study structural behavior and properties of the molecules. Computer simulations are carried out to predict the properties of newly synthesized and previously reported material for conductive and biological applications. Theoretical calculations are carried out to understand the electronic properties, to calculate HOMO-LUMO energy level, band gaps, spectral properties like UV-visible, FTIR, NMR, drug designing and drug-DNA interaction etc.

We develop and apply a wide range of theories, tools and methods like density functional theory, ab-initio methods, molecular mechanics and molecular dynamics to investigate compounds, monomers and polymers etc.

Running Projects:

Principal Investigator: Dr. Asghari Gul

  • Designing new polymers with tuned band gaps for potential photovoltaic applications
  • Designing of new material and predicting their properties by a computer-aided program for therapeutic applications

Contact Information:

Email address: asghari.gul@comsats.edu.pk

Phone: +92-(0)5190495575

 

Dr. Sana Sabahat (Assistant Professor)

Research Interests:

The area of research is computational study of Nanomaterials. We are also focused to study the drug interactions with biological moieties via computational tools. We generally opt different theoretical models like density functional theory, molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations for virtual screening of compounds. We collaborate with both computational and experimental research groups of different disciplines.

Contact Information:

Email address: s.sabahat@comsats.edu.pk

 

Dr. Saira Arif (Assistant Professor)

Research Interests:

Our research interest is aimed at exploiting the modern computational chemistry methods, especially to understand the electronic structure theory and to formulate theoretical models helping to obtain the deep insight into experimental observations in chemistry and related fields. The new experiments will be designed based on the previous studies. The area of main research is the computational study of polymers, Nano-composites, laser-induced phase separation and adsorption studies of metal ions on nanoparticles using a variety of theoretical methods particularly Molecular operating environment, density functional theory, ab-initio methods, simulations-based analysis and kinetics modelling etc.

Contact Information:

Email address: saira.arif@comsats.edu.pk

Dr. Aneela Maalik (Assistant Professor)

Research Interests:

Dr Aneela Maalik’s research group interest lies in the computational studies like DFT calculations, In Silico studies including Molecular docking, kinetic modelling studies of the organic molecules. The interaction of small molecules and a protein with the best orientation of ligands through the formation of a complex having overall minimum energy is carried out through molecular docking approach. These investigations allow us to characterize the behavior of small molecules in the binding site of target proteins as well as to elucidate fundamental biochemical processes which in turn leads to the better understanding of structure-based drug design.

We know that the realistic interactions between receptors and small molecules are still relied on experimental technology. But at the same time, accurate as well as low computational cost scoring functions may bring docking application to a new stage.

Contact Information:
Email address: aneela.maalik@comsats.edu.pk