Studies

Chemistry (N003) themes 2022

 

No.

Field

Supervisor

Theme LT

Theme EN

N 003 Chemistry

1.

N 003

Dr. Svajus Asadauskas 

Polimerizacijos kinetikos įtaka poliuretano degradacijai ir viskozimetrinėms savybėms

Influence of polymerization kinetics on polyurethane degradation and viscometric properties

Polyurethanes (PUR) are widely used in plastic industry due to versatility of their properties and ease of manufacture.  Ester-based PUR are also gaining prominence in circular economy due to improved degradation.  In manufacture of PUR plastics, initial rheological properties are very important to perform pouring, filling, curing and other operations.  However, polyaddition of macrodiols and isocyanates often results in unusual viscometric trends, which are only vaguely understood.  Proposed graduate research will involve determination of kinetic and rheological parameters to establish the relationships between PUR components, polymerization conditions and target viscometric properties.  Utilization of PUR for composites or multilayers will be considered with a focus on degradation aspects and incorporation of renewable resources or secondary raw materials.  Understanding of organic or polymer chemistry, material science or bioengineering might be useful for this research area.

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2.

 

N 003

 

Dr. Svajus Asadauskas 

 

Nanostruktūrinės dangos dilimo slopinimui sausosios trinties procesuose

 

Nanostructured coatings for wear reduction during dry friction processes

It is estimated that degradation problems and accidents due to wear and friction lead up to 2% losses in Gross Domestic Product. Many chemical processes take place in a friction zone and their course is affected by surface types, lubricant properties, interfacial velocities, loads and other factors. Hence, key methods to reduce friction and wear are based on chemical principles. Proposed graduate research would involve studies of chemical and tribological transformations on metal or ceramic surfaces with or without nanostructured coatings.  A series of materials would be screened as fillers within the coatings for enabling beneficial tribochemical reactions.  Observed relationships will be used in developing nanostructured coatings and methods of surface texturing in order to improve the tribological performance under dry friction conditions.  Understanding of inorganic or organic chemistry, material science, nanotechnology or bioengineering might be useful for this research area.

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3.

 

N 003

 

Dr. Aldona Balčiūnaitė 

 

3D struktūros katalizatorių sintezė ir taikymas šarminiuose kuro elementuose 

 

3D structured catalysts and their application for alkaline fuel cells

The research and development of alternative power supply sources and the improvement of their performance are extensively studied worldwide. Such research is important from both fundamental and practical aspects to better understanding the mechanistic details of the ongoing electrocatalytic reactions. The aim of the work - the fabrication of efficient 3D structured anode/cathode catalysts, their characterization, and application for fuel cells. In this work, the multifunctional catalysts will be created by employing non-noble metals, which have a high surface area. The surface morphology, structure, and composition of the prepared catalysts will be investigated in detail using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), X-ray energy dispersive analysis (EDS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy ( ICP-OES). Electrocatalytic activity of the prepared anode catalysts will be evaluated towards sodium borohydride and/or hydrazine, glucose, etc. oxidation reactions, and cathode catalysts will be evaluated for the oxygen reduction reaction using cyclic voltammetry (CV), chronoamperometry (CA), chronopotentiometry (CP).

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4.

 

N 003

 

Dr. Aušra Baradokė 

 

Nežymėtų antikūnų prieš SARS-CoV-2 variacijas elektrocheminė detekcija, naudojant anglies darinių elektrodus

 

Electrochemical detection of unlabelled antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 variations based on carbon derivative electrodes

The investigation of infection-related biomarkers has become crucial after the outbreak of covid-19 in 2019. For this reason, research is vital to responding to the changing situation, caused by mutation of the virus, and the impacts of infection after it has occurred. 
During PhD studies, electrochemical signalling will be used, involving novel flexible electrodes as a platform for sensing. For sensing, conductive carbon structures and pseudo-conductive polymer coatings will be used. For analyte (biomarker) detection, particular bioreceptor-proteins will be immobilised on conductive surfaces using advanced surface chemistry. Successful immobilisation of bioreceptors will be evaluated under confocal microscopy, Bradford method etc. The analytical research will be performed in complex media (saliva, urine, tears, and blood plasma) for numerous analytes including dopamine, ascorbate, uric acid, vitamins, and proteins, to name a few. In order to increase the sensing performance, uncharged molecules (e.g. Zwitterionic) will be explored. If necessary, nanoparticles, polymers, and ionic membranes will be synthesised and research comparison studies conducted. Innovative electrochemical techniques and signal analytic techniques will be used to investigate bioreceptor-analyte interactions. The proposed research will have a significant impact on research and our Society.

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5.

 

N 003

 

Dr. Aušra Baradokė 

 

Fluorescuojančia žyme konjuguotų antikūnų prieš SARS-CoV-2 variacijas elektrocheminė detekcija, panaudojant mikro-/nano-struktūrizuotus elektrodus

 

Electrochemical detection of fluorescent-conjugated antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 variations based on micro-/nano-structured electrodes

Registration of infection-related biomarkers has become increasingly crucial for researchers in 2019 after the COVID-19 pandemic began. Because the long-term effects of the infection are still being examined, it is critical that the studies be modified to the changing environment and mutations of the virus. Therefore, an assessment of the post-infectious effects can be made as soon as feasible. During the PhD project, protein analytes will be labelled with a fluorescent molecule and a fluorescence signal registered on a semi-transparent electrode surface (e. g. indium tin oxide, gold micro- / nanostructures). A photomultiplier with fluorescence spectroscopy will be used to record the photo signal. To identify analytes (biomarkers), appropriate bioreceptor-proteins will be immobilised on conductive surfaces, if necessary, for particular analytes to capture. Confocal microscopy, the Bradford method, and other techniques will be employed to investigate efficiency of coverage by bioreceptors. The novel fluorescent compounds for electrochemical luminescence will be investigated to improve assay sensitivity and selectivity. Synthetic polymeric matrices for dye insertion and ionic membranes will be utilised. Innovative electrochemical technologies for detecting individual particles will be utilised to record the interaction between bioreceptors and their analytes. The proposed research will have a significant impact on research and our Society. 

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6.

 

N 003

 

Dr. Steigvilė Byčenkienė 

 

Mikroplastiko dalelių fotodegradacijos procesai ir mechanizmai naudojant metalo oksido nanokompozitus

 

The photodegradation processes and mechanisms of microplastic particles by metal-oxidebased nanocomposites

The abundance of microplastic particles is attributed to population density and urbanization. Current plastic waste management practices include thermal, mechanical, chemical, and photooxidative decomposition. Photocatalysis can be a viable, inexpensive, and energy-efficient method for decomposing microplastics particles. Recently, nanomaterials have become increasingly used in photocatalysis due to their unique properties that provide better catalytic activity. In addition, the high surface area to volume ratio of nanomaterials allows for more oxidation of contaminants than conventional non-nano materials. The aim of this work is to investigate the ability of nanomaterials synthesized on the basis of metal oxides to decompose microplastics of various chemical compositions. The surface morphology, structure and composition of the synthesized nanoparticles will be investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD), FTIR spectrometry and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The influence of various parameters on the degradation efficiency of microplastic particles will be examined in order to better understand the mechanism of degradation and to find the optimal conditions.

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7.

 

N 003

 

Dr. Jurga Juodkazytė 

 

Fotoelektrocheminė sintezė: procesų tyrimai ir taikymo galimybių paieška

 

Photoelectrochemical synthesis: investigation of the processes and application possibilities

Chemical industry is among the most polluting as well as energy-intensive sectors. Therefore new, environmentally friendly and economically efficient technologies are sought. Exploitation of renewable energy sources is essential for their development. Photoelectrochemical (PEC) energy conversion, which transforms light energy into chemical, is a promising technology, which has been attracting much attention recently. PEC water splitting for clean and sustainable production of hydrogen is the most investigated process, however, this technology also has a great potential in the synthesis of other high added-value chemicals, such as strong oxidants, HClO, H2O2, H2S2O8, etc., which are used for disinfection. These processes have been less investigated so far, therefore new knowledge about the reaction mechanisms, energy conversion efficiency and photoelectrode stability is required. This would provide a significant contribution into this area and transfer it to a higher level of understanding and practical applicability. 

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8.

 

N 003

 

Prof. habil. dr. Eimutis Juzeliūnas 

 

Ultraplonų metalų oksidų sluoksnių, suformuotų ALD metodu ant lengvųjų metalų lydinių, antikorozinės savybės

 

Anticorrosion performance of ultrathin films of metal oxides formed by ALD on lightweight alloys

The topic addresses an atomic layer deposition (ALD) of ultrathin films of Hf, Ti and Zr oxides to protect lightweight metal alloys (Mg-Al) from environmental degradation. Mg-based alloys due to their lightness and superior mechanical properties are promising materials in many fields where reduction of weight and energy consumption are of importance: consumer electronics, computers, aircraft and automotive industries. However, high susceptibility of Mg to corrosion is an issue and effective protection means are in great demand. On the other hand, corrosion activity of intrinsically biocompatible Mg alloys could be regarded as a valuable property in biomedical applications, which enables harmless dissolution of implants in-vivo and eliminates need for secondary surgery to remove temporary implants for osteosynthesis, cardiovascular stents or tissue scaffolds. We will study the corrosion behavior of the ALD-protected alloys in the environment, which mimicries that in vivo. Also, the anticorrosion performance will be evaluated in terms of practical application by testing the samples under continuous condensation conditions according to ISO standard. Surface self-healing by phosphating of damaged locations will also be investigated. The following techniques will be employed: dc-voltammetry, EIS, XRD, SEM-EDS, XPS, QCM and corrosion cabinets. 

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9.

 

N 003

 

Prof. habil. dr. Eimutis Juzeliūnas 

 

Fotoelektrocheminis silicio nusodinimas joniniuose skysčiuose

 

Photoelectrochemical deposition of silicon from ionic liquids

The proposed field addresses the photo-electrochemical deposition of silicon and formation of porous structures in ionic liquids. The electrochemical methods offer advancement in environmentally friendly, carbon-free and secure technologies of silicon treatment. Electrodeposition of thin Si layers could replace traditional multiple processes of Si wafer fabrication, which include highly energy consuming steps with significant carbon footprint: carbo-thermic production of metal-grade silicon, upgrading to solar grade, ingot casting, and slicing. Opportunities provide ionic liquids (ILs) whose advantages include wide electrochemical window, high health and safety standards, non-flammability, non-toxicity and biodegradability. However, low electric conductivity of Si at room temperatures limits the electrodeposition process. We propose light-catalyzed electro-deposition of silicon from ILs. Si conductivity will also be increased by Si co-deposition with n-p dopants as well as alloying additives. The expected results are of great importance in numerous fields of application: formation of photoactive layers for PV devices, antireflection coatings, energy storage applications (batteries and super-capacitors), electrodes for photo-electrochemical hydrogen generation by water splitting and platforms for (bio)chemical sensors.

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10.

 

N 003

 

Dr. Galina Lujanienė 

 

Nanokompozitų skirtų natūralių vandens sistemų taršos kontrolei plėtra

 

Development of nanocomposites for pollution control of natural water systems

Nanotechnologies are used in industry, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food production, as well as in waste management and in the restoration of areas affected by man-made disasters. However, there is a lack of modern methods that allow reliable control of polluted waters. The technologies currently used usually require a lot of energy and human resources and are not environmentally friendly. The aim of this work is to develop new materials and methods based on them for controlling pollution of natural waters that require less energy and human resources, are environmentally friendly and renewable, and do not require special disposal technologies. Natural materials will be used, including chitosan, clay and other minerals, as well as other natural and modified materials. 

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11.

 

N 003

 

Dr. Wanessa de Cássia Martins Antunes de Melo 

 

Naujų fotoaktyvių nanomedžiagų kūrimas

 

Development of new photoactive nanomaterials

With the development of nanotechnology, it became possible to utilize nanomaterials as antimicrobial agents, which can be activated by light irradiation ranging from the ultraviolet (UV) to near-infrared (NIR) spectrum. Due to their low cost, high throughput, excellent yield, tunable properties, multifunctionality, controllability and fast effect they have been recognized as an optimal candidate for defeating even the most challenging pathogens. Among a wide variety of photoactive NPs, this study will focus in develop a photoactive polymeric nanogel once a polymer-based NP displays a few advantages regarding drug delivery and it will be a novelty for the science. This nanomaterial will be developed to present the following properties: minimum level of toxicity, stability in the different mediums, possess a high drug encapsulation capacity, tuneable size, high production of ROS and photostability. Thus, this new nanogel may present remarkable properties that can also be applied in biosensors, tissue engineering, and biomimetic materials design.

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12.

 

N 003

 

Dr. Inga Morkvėnaitė-Vilkončienė 

 

Krūvio pernašos mikrobiniame kuro elemente pagerinimas, taikant nanomedžiagas

 

Improvement of charge transfer in microbial fuel cell by nanomaterials

The rapidly growing demand for energy resources and the need to monitor environmental pollution have led to a shift to alternative energy sources. Microbial fuel cells can also be considered as an alternative energy source, especially in addressing the issue of energy consumption in wastewater treatment plants. The development of microbial fuel cells focuses on improving the charge transfer from microorganisms towards the electrode. Various solutions are used for this purpose. One of them is the use of carbon and metal nanoparticles and electrically conductive polymers in biofilms on the anode and cathode. In this way, an increase in the active surface area, conductivity of the electrode and biocompatibility are achieved. Metal nanocatalysts, such as metal oxides, are considered inexpensive alternatives to the commonly used expensive platinum. In addition, polymeric membranes modified with hydrophilic and antibacterial nanoparticles can increase proton conductivity and reduce biological contamination compared to commonly used and expensive Nafion. These improvements could lead to a wider use of microbial fuel cells in power generation, wastewater treatment and biosensors. 

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13.

 

N 003

 

Prof. Habil. Dr. Eugenijus Norkus 

 

Binarinių ir trinarių lydinių gavimas cheminio nusodinimo būdu

 

Electroless deposition of binary and ternary alloys

Description in English is not available.

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14.

 

N 003

 

Dr. Milda Petrulevičienė 

 

Fotoelektrochemiškai aktyvių plonasluoksnių dangų formavimas, modifikavimas ir tyrimas

 

Formation, modification and investigation of photoelectrochemically active thin films

In an ongoing effort to decrease air pollution and prevent global warming European Commission has announced European Green Deal - an action plan with a major goal to reach zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. For the achievement of this goal it is necessary to increase exploitation of renewable energy resources. Research in sunlight energy conversion to chemical energy for production of hydrogen, strong oxidants or decomposition of certain organic compounds is of great interest for scientists and industry. The efficiency of light energy conversion systems strongly depends on the nature, synthesis route crystalline structure and morphology of photoelectrodes used in the systems. Therefore thorough investigation of photoactive materials is required to achieve high efficiencies. Such systems could be applicable for disinfection of pool and/or drinking water in situ, oxidation of organic substances, development of photoelectrochemical reactors, sustainable and clean electrosynthesis.

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15.

 

N 003

 

Prof. habil. dr. Arūnas Ramanavičius 

 

Fermentinių jutiklių ir biokuro celių kūrimas

 

Development of Enzymatic Sensors and Biofuel cells

Description in English is not available.

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16.

 

N 003

 

Prof. habil. dr. Arūnas Ramanavičius 

 

Imuno-jutiklių skirtų antikūnų nustatymui kūrimas

 

Development of immunosensors for the determination of antibodies

Description in English is not available.

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17.

 

N 003

 

Dr. Vilma Ratautaitė 

 

Molekulių įspaudais modifikuoto polimero formavimas ir pritaikymas elektrocheminio jutiklio konstravimui

 

Formation of molecularly imprinted polymers and application for electrochemical sensor design

Description in English is not available

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18.

 

N 003

 

Dr. Vilma Ratautaitė 

 

Molekulių įspaudų technologijų taikymas neorganinių junginių modifikavimui

 

Application of molecular imprinting technology for modification of inorganic compounds

Description in English is not available

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19.

 

N 003

 

Dr. Zita Sukackienė 

 

Nikelio ir jo lydinių cheminis nusodinimas

 

Electroless deposition of nickel and its alloys

 

The state of the art places high demands on materials for the manufacturing of complex devices and mechanisms. One way to meet these requirements is to coat the materials with thin layers of other materials, giving the products new desired properties. The small amounts of such materials forming new alloys on the surface allow to obtain a wide range of deposited materials that meet the desired conditions. Such thin layers with desirable properties can be formed using a very simple electroless deposition of metals. This method of metal deposition has a number of advantages - low-cost process, simple technique, possibility to choose working conditions according to the required result. One of the main advantages of electroless deposition method is the ability to deposit metal coating with uniform thickness on the most complex substrate profiles, which is usually not possible by other methods. The requirement for the desired metal to undergo a chemical deposition on the activated surface is to catalyze the oxidation of the reducing agent. Coatings thus deposited contain amounts of phosphorus or boron (depending on the choice of reducing agent) or other metals that alter the properties of the deposited metal. The aim of this work is to investigate the peculiarities of electroless deposition of nickel coatings in the glycine or citrate solutions using morpholine borane as reducing agents, as well as to determine the composition of the coatings obtained and the possibilities of their applications. Purposefully formed nickel and its alloys can be used not only as promising materials in fuel cells but also in the manufacturing of various complex systems.

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20.

 

N 003

 

Dr. Loreta Tamašauskaitė Tamašiūnaitė 

 

Iš bioatliekų gauti anglies katalizatoriai žemos temperatūros kuro elementams

 

Biomass derived carbon catalysts for low-temperature fuel cells

 

In the present study, novel efficient catalysts from biomass, e.g. wood or paper industry waste, will be developed and applied as a cathode material for low-temperature fuel cells. The aim is to synthesize nitrogen-doped carbon catalysts with graphene structure. Additionaly, the obtained nitrogen-doped carbon catalysts will be modified with various metal (Pt, Ag, Co) nanoparticles using chemical reduction and microwave synthesis. The surface morphology, structure and composition of the formed materials will be studied in detail using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Electrocatalytic activity of the created materials will be evaluated for the reduction of oxygen using cyclic voltammetry, chrono-techniques, and the rotating disk electrode method. Most promising created materials will be tested under working fuel cell conditions using the fuel cell test station. 

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21.

 

N 003

 

Dr. Loreta Tamašauskaitė Tamašiūnaitė 

 

Naujos medžiagos vandenilio gavimui, panaudojant vandeninius natrio borohidrido tirpalus

 

Novel materials for hydrogen generation from aqueous sodium borohydride solutions

In the present study, novel efficient materials will be created for hydrogen generation from aqueous sodium borohydride solutions. The materials will be developed by deposition of various metal nanoparticles or their alloys on the non-noble metal 3D-structured foams (Ti, Cu, Co) with extremely high surface area using the electrochemical and chemical methods. The surface morphology, structure, and composition of the formed materials will be studied in detail using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). The catalytic activity of created materials will be investigated by measuring the dependence of hydrogen generation rate on temperature, the concentration of sodium borohydride, etc. 

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22.

 

N 003

 

Dr. Linas Vilčiauskas 

 

Efektyvių medžiagų ir sistemų Na- ir Zn-jonų elektrocheminėms energijos kaupimo technologijoms paieška, charakterizavimas ir taikymai

 

Search, characterization and applications of novel materials and systems for Na- and Zn-ion energy storage technologies

Electrochemical batteries represent one of the most attractive choices for electrical energy storage since they cover the widest range of power and energy, have superior round-trip energy efficiency, low environmental footprint, and easy scalability. Aqueous Na- and Zn-ion batteries represent an attractive alternative to traditional non-aqueous Li-ion batteries, since they are based on abundant materials safe, non-flammable, low-cost and environmentally friendly. However, the narrow electrochemical stability window of water imposes a significant limit on the available energy densities of such systems and restricts their applicability to the field of stationary storage. The main tasks of this project are 1) search and preparation of novel electrode materials 2) structural, spectroscopical, morphological and electrochemical characterization of electrode materials 3) integration, characterization and optimization of electrode materials in battery cells. 

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