Department Profile


Department Profile


The Post-graduate Department of Physics began functioning from 1958 with commencement of M. Sc. (Physics) course with Heat and Thermodynamics, Electricity and Magnetism, Radioactivity and Nuclear Physics as specialized papers. At present the department offers four specializations at M. Sc. Level viz. Condensed Matter Physics, Electronics & Communication, Theoretical and Computational Physics and Applied Energy Science. The Department is well equipped with necessary facilities and resources for teaching , higher learning and research.

History of the Department

Born 50years ago, the Department was set up for postgraduate teaching and research under the dynamic personality, of an icon of simplicity and lofty thoughts, Prof. A. R. Patel. With only 2 faculty members and 10 students to being with, M. Sc. Teaching got a momentous start. Research began with the study of micro-topography and dislocation configuration and movement in crystals by use of multiple beam interferometry and selective chemical etch-pit method. Diamond, mica, calcite, fluorite, quartz, barite, galena and alkali halides were the main crystals investigated. To help students learn better in the specialized field of Solid State Physics, ‘Edward’ vacuum coating unit, Vickers’ Metallurgical Microscope and ‘Philips’ X-ray machine were installed. The Department was bubbling with energy, with more than 10 research scholars and only 2 research guides working at that time. The students used to queen up, round the clock, waiting for their turn to work on the Vickers’ optical microscope. We encountered a problem of resolving screw dislocation components in materials like silicon carbide, and thus came to our rescue the ‘Carl Zeiss’ Electron Microscope – one of the few in the country in 1960s. Of course, later, having got installed the versatile 125 KV ‘Philips’ electron microscope with scanning, transmission and EDAX facilities, we gave away, free of cost, the older 65 KV ‘Carl Zeiss’ electron microscope to Gujarat University. Then, “why purchase or borrow a crystal from abroad for our studies here” was a pertinent question for development in the right direction, leading to fabrication of crystal growth techniques and processes in the early seventies. With all-out support from the Department Workshop, growth from solution, melt, flux, vapour, gel and Kyropoulos & Czochralski methods came into existence. That was also the period when Indian Physics Association (IPA) was being constituted.

The Department got the first research project on ‘crystal growth’ sanctioned by the UGC in 1975. In research labs, bulk single crystals were so far being studied. With a view to making electronic devices using the Solid State Materials grown in the Department, work on crystallization of thin films under high vacuum got a boost. M. Sc. Teaching was elevated too, by opening a new field of specialization, Solid State Electronics. I may emphasize at this point that ‘student care’ has remained our motto. If a student was not able to fare well in his/her exams,Prof.A.R.Patel would blame the teacher for the pitfall. But he had given full freedom to teachers, may be for devising an experiment, implementing new ideas, or for revising the syllabus.

The image of the Department got Spread across the country ,and we organized two international conferences in1978-1980.During all these years since inception ,the Department represented a true cross section of the country ,since it had attracted students from almost all the states .Interestingly ,we have had the fortune of interacting with distinguished ,top-position visiting science from BARC, TIFR, NPL, NCL, PRL, IITs, BHU, and so on.” When we are now growing crystals here, why not to study their characteristic electrical and mechanical properties” was a thoughtful question. Thus came into existence vander Pauw, Seeback and Hall studies along to support the on-going experiments in research labs, with relevant theory. Thus came Solid State Theory-Theoretical Physics as an additional field of research and teaching .Around the same time .thereby completing the story of ‘Crystal growth’ and characterization of bulk crystals and thin films,supported and backed by theory ,was a full fledged well known centre of research in condensed matter physics during nineteen eighties and ninetees. The Department was identified by the UGC for ‘special assistance’ in 1994:we are working presently in its third phase .Variety of materials of industrial and basic scientific importance,e.g.,TMDC.MWO4/MoO4,BBO,II-VI compounds ,metals & alloys have been investigated .In the present decade or so ,good many areas have added color to the Department :pseudo potentials, Schottky devices, low dimensional Conductors, proteins and other biomoleculers, high pressure measurements atomic and molecular Scattering, hadrons, non-conventional energy (Solar, wind) Systems, etc.

Over the years, We have also been sanctioned research projects from UGC,CSIR,DST,DNES,DAE,DRDO and ISRO. Just a few years ago, the department organized another national conference (TC- 2008) to its Credit. And, With the latest ’Brucker’ Single Crystal diffractometer and the powder diffractometer in operationon the research facilities have reached to a ew height. The work on nanomaterials already commenced, the Department has a bright future.

Past Heads of the Department


NameDuration
Prof. A. R. Patel (1964-1977)
Prof. R. C. Bhandari (1978-1979)
Prof. M. S. Joshi (1979-1983)
Prof. M. K. Agarwal (1983-1991)
Prof. R. Srivastava (I991-1996), (I/C 1999-2000)
Prof. P. D. Patel (1996-1999)
Prof. A. R. Jani (I/C 2000-2001), (2001-2006)
Prof. K. N. Joshipura (2006-2011)
Prof. A. R. Jani(I/C 2011-2014)

Achievements

(a) Thermoelectric materials i. e. Bi2Se3, Sb2Se3, Sb2S3 etc. are successfully synthesized by vapour phase technique, and characterized.

(b) Almost all transition metal dichalcogenides i.e. MX2 (M= Metal, X= Chalcogen) have been synthesized by vapour phase technique, characterized thoroughly and used in the fabrication of liquid junctionsolar cells as well their potential for MOSFET development is investigated using ohmic as well as Schottky contacts

(c) Biologically important molecules belonging to Pyrido [2, 3-d] Pyrimidine family and Pyrollo-Pyrimidine family synthesized by solution method and their three dimensional structure are solved successfully.

(d) Successful theoretical models developed in Condensed-Matter systems, as also in electron - collision Atomic-Molecular ionization physics and in Hadron Physics of heavy flavour baryons-mesons.

(e) Fellowships like Fulbright (USA), Commonwealth (UK), DAAD (Germany), INSA-Royal Society Fellowships awarded to faculty and to Ph. D. students; state-level and national awards/honours in research;

More than 2000 research papers have been published and about 150 Ph. D.s are produced so far from the Dept.

Our research work is published. and quoted in national/international journals like Phys. Rev. A, B, C (USA); J. Phys. B; J. Phys. G (UK); Eur. Phys. J – A, D, Physica-B, PLA, and other high impact factor journals. Some of the Faculty members have been the referees in the scientific journals. Ours is a well-recognized Department in teaching, research as well as out-reach (educational extension) programme.

Good teaching, Research and Externsion

Present Status of the Department


Self Finance R & D and Consultancy Centre for Impaired


This centre was established in the Department of Physics, Sardar Patel University, in the year 2003. The major emphasis of the center is to develop a low cost, need based and more appropriate aids and appliances for general needs of society and for the impaired people. The major application of the research work is to standardize and to design and develop the prototype devices, which is conducive to socio-economics conditions of our country. It is basically a research oriented mission aimed at field testing and suitably putting a new alternative technology and modifying the existing devices as per the users needs. Various prototypes are designed, developed, surveyed, and commercialized through various industries. We provide technology on consultancy bases to the industries for production and to the institutions for utilization. The centre is also involved in designing and upgrading the existing assistive devices of impaired people to improve their working efficiency by reducing their physical strain and by improving their mobility, which indirectly improve the quality of life. It also enhances the functional capacity and performance of such persons particularly in the day-to-day routine work. Over and above these activities, teaching and non teaching expertise available in the department would like to offer consultancy and assistance for design, repair and maintenance of various types of Instruments/ Equipments of various institutes and industries.

Dr. A. R. Jani (Chairman)(02692226843) Mr. B. H. Brahmbhatt(Secretary)(09426386764 ) Mr. S.N. Jha (Director Techn.)(09426089035) Dr. J.R. Gandhi (Director Opm.)(09898003657)

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Future Plans


  • Department of Physics, SPU is one of the departments in the state of Gujarat in which X-ray Crystallography is taught thoroughly in the all four semesters of M.sc programme. Good number of experiments of the Condensed Matter Group are oriented along this area.

  • Two elective papers in Bio-physics at M. Phil  level and a rigorous training is given to the students along this direction. To add, a group in the  department is actively engaged in the small molecular crystallography research. Looking towards this, DST has awarded FIST level - I programme in which single crystal Diffractometer facility has been given to the department. Since the laboratory is well established and developed in the field of crystallography and it is only such laboratory in the state of Gujarat, department wishes to further strengthen this facility and   focus on protein crystallography (Macro-molecular crystallography) research. To add, DST has recently sanctioned Rs. 148 lacs partly to develop this laboratory.