From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : CNR Rao and his scientific contributions
Mains level : Not Much
Bharat Ratna Professor C.N.R. Rao has received the International Eni Award 2020 for research into renewable energy sources and energy storage, also called the Energy Frontier award.
Who is CNR Rao?
- Rao is an Indian chemist who has worked mainly in solid-state and structural chemistry.
- Rao is one of the world’s foremost solid state and materials chemists. He has contributed to the development of the field over five decades.
His scientific contributions
His work on transition metal oxides has led to a basic understanding of novel phenomena and the relationship between materials properties and the structural chemistry of these materials.
- Rao was one of the earliest to synthesize two-dimensional oxide materials such as La2CuO4.
- He was one of the first to synthesize 123 cuprates, the first liquid nitrogen-temperature superconductor in 1987. He was also the first to synthesis Y junction carbon nanotubes in the mid-1990s.
- His work has led to a systematic study of compositionally controlled metal-insulator transitions.
- Such studies have had a profound impact in application fields such as colossal magnetoresistance and high-temperature superconductivity.
- He has made immense contributions to nanomaterials over the last two decades, besides his work on hybrid materials.
Answer this PYQ from CSP 2020 in the comment box:
Q. With reference to carbon nanotubes, consider the following statements:
1. They can be used as carriers of drugs and antigens in the human body.
2. They can be made into artificial blood capillaries for an injured part of the human body.
3. They can be used in biochemical sensors.
4. Carbon nanotubes are biodegradable.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2, 3, and 4 only
(c) 1, 3, and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
Citations for the Energy Frontiers award
- Professor Rao has been working on hydrogen energy as the only source of energy for the benefit of all mankind.
- Hydrogen storage, photochemical and electrochemical production of hydrogen, solar production of hydrogen, and non-metallic catalysis were the highlights of his work.
- The EF award has been conferred for his work on metal oxides, carbon nanotubes, and other materials and two-dimensional systems, including graphene, boron-nitrogen-carbon hybrid materials, and molybdenum sulfide (Molybdenite – MoS2) for energy applications and green hydrogen production.
- Green hydrogen production can be achieved through various processes, including the photodissociation of water, thermal dissociation, and electrolysis activated by electricity produced from solar or wind energy.
Significance of this award
- This is considered to be the Nobel Prize in Energy Research.