26th Edition of Faculty Seminar of the Department of Physical Sciences

Title: NUCLEAR APPLICATIONS IN MATERIALS AND AGRICULTURE 

Presenter: Prof. D. A. Pelemo

Date: Wednesday, 25th October, 2017 

Time: 3:00 – 4:30 pm 

Venue: Main Physics Laboratory (First College Building)

ABSTRACT_NUCLEAR APPLICATIONS IN MATERIALS AND AGRICULTURE

The nuclear techniques of interest in materials studies and particularly those available nationally include X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and the Tandem Accelerator.  The accelerator itself consists of many techniques, which when combined, will give good interpretation of results obtained on the samples. This presentation will expose the usefulness of the Tandem Accelerator facility as a veritable tool in materials and biological studies. For biological studies, the applications of the Tandem Accelerator in soils and plants using the Proton Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) technique are discussed. In the case of materials studies, the Tandem Accelerator, with its techniques, has been used in conjunction with other techniques to study thin films of which the particular material of interest is ZnO and doped ZnO materials because of their various excellent properties and applications.  In this study, 2-10 wt.% Sn was doped with ZnO with molar concentrations in the range 0.01-0.10 M to investigate its effect on the properties of ZnO.  The results show that Sn-composition increases with molar concentration even though the amount of Sn in the doped ZnO is small.  At various Sn-compositions (wt.%), the film thickness as determined from RBS increases with molar concentration.  With different molar concentrations but at specified composition there is an increase in film thickness as molar concentration increases.  As with compositions of the various constituent elements of Sn, Zn, and O, with increase in molar concentration the composition of Sn and Zn increase while that of O decreases.  Whereas as there is increase in Sn composition, the Sn composition increases, the composition of Zn and O decreases which is attributable to competing substitutional behaviour and comparable atomic radii of the Sn and Zn elements.  The transmittance of the films decreases with concentration, with that at 0.05 M showing lower value than those of 0.01 and 0.03 M.  The optical transmittance of the film under as-deposited, annealed and annealed after irradiation condition decrease as concentration decreases. This is explained in terms of radiation damage to Zn-based materials due to dislocation and deformation of the films.  The lowest transmittance observed for the annealed-only samples can be ascribed to O-adsorption to films when annealed in air.

Profile of Prof. D.A. Pelemo, B.Sc (Ife), M.Sc (McM), PhD (Lond.), DIC, FMSN

Professor Pelemo, one of the pioneer students of the Nuclear Technology Programme in Nigeria, a programme comprising Nuclear Engineering and Materials Science set up by the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU), Ile-Ife, Nigeria, graduated with First Class Honours in Engineering Physics (Materials Science) in 1980.  He did his National Service at the Physics Department, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1980/81.

He obtained M.Sc (Materials Science) at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1985 and PhD degree at Imperial College, (Department of Materials), University of London, London, United Kingdom in 1988.

On completion of his PhD programme he returned, in 1988, to the Centre for Energy Research and Development (CERD), OAU, Ile-Ife which provided for his scholarship and rose through the ranks from Graduate Assistant to become a professor in 2007.

Professor Pelemo, having worked at a research institute (CERD) with mandate on applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, had engaged in research on materials behaviour at elevated and high temperatures, materials characterisation using various analytical tools from Auger electron spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy to High Voltage Electron Microscopy (1 MeV) for internal structure and dislocation studies of titanium alloys.  His exposure to these analytical tools placed him in good position to apply 1.7MV Tandem Accelerator (one cardinal equipment for materials analysis, currently the only modern facility in Africa) to thin film studies, plant and biological materials and geological studies.  He has many publications in both national and international journals. 

Professor Pelemo was a member of many committees of the Centre (CERD) at OAU that developed many laboratories which include the X-ray Fluorescence Lab, the Materials Testing Lab and the Accelerator Facility.  He later trained on Radiation Engineering and Accelerator Technology at the University of Durham, Durham, UK where he acquired many skills on modern softwares associated with Ion Beam Analysis Techniques.

He attended many conferences both locally and abroad with scholarship and award of fellowship which include 

•UNDP Fellowship at Gansu Natural Energy Research Institute, Lanzhou, China

•International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Fellowship Award at Durham Univ., UK on Accelerator Technology

•International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Italy on Advanced Ion Beam Techniques

•African Laser Centre Scientific Award at iThemba LABS (Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences), National Research Foundation (NRF), Sommerset, Cape Town, South Africa, and

•US Department of Energy Fellowship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Tennessee, USA on Nuclear Threat and Nuclear Security.

Professor Pelemo served as pioneer managing editor of Nigerian Journal of Materials Science and Engineering (NJMSE), a member of editors on Irradiation technology and its application in the food and pharmaceutical industries, (Proceedings of the National Workshop), Obafemi Awolowo University, and a reviewer for Journal of Raw Materials.  He is a member of many Academic Societies, including the American Society for Metals International, Nigeria Institute of Physics and Materials Society (of Science and Technology) of Nigeria, MSN.

He has taught many courses both in the Departments of Physics and Engineering Physics, and of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering of the Obafemi Awolowo University.  He was an adjunct lecturer of Federal University of Technology, Akure. 

Professor Pelemo served as Head of Divisions of Materials and Electronics, and of Energy Management and Technology both at CERD, OAU.  He was the immediate past Director of CERD, OAU and he is a Fellow of the Materials Society of Nigeria (FMSN).  He is currently on approved/sabbatical leave at Landmark University, Omu-Aran.

 

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