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Dr Suhaila Mohd Sanip PhD

Associate Professor, Head of Research

Dr Suhaila Mohd Sanip's photo

Dr. Suhaila spent her early years away from home to study in a prestigious boarding school in Negeri Sembilan. She was later awarded a scholarship to do her A-Levels in Sunderland and continued to earn a degree in Polymer Science and Technology from the University of Manchester (UMIST) Institute of Science and Technology, UK.

I believe that carbon nanomaterials will spur the development towards the future of renewable energy

She has spent more than 10 years in the UK including a short working stint as a researcher at the Malaysian Rubber Producer’s Research Association Laboratory in Hertford, UK upon graduating from UMIST. Dr. Suhaila was awarded an opportunity to enrich her knowledge in the field of Material Science by the Japan Society for The Promotion of Science through the RONPAKU Program in 2007.

She travelled to Nagoya, Japan every year and at the end of 2010, she completed her Phd in Engineering (Nanotechnology). Her years as a Researcher in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia helped her to publish her research articles in international journals. She was later appointed as a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Petroleum and Renewable Energy Engineering in UTM upon obtaining her PhD.

Research interests

Carbon Nanotubes for Energy Applications Graphene in Organic Solar Cells.

Research-based PhD and master’s positions are available for work to be done in related area.

The scope and focus of the project offered will be defined based on the applicant's academic background and research interest.

Interested applicants should have a background in any of the following disciplines:

  • Engineering (any discipline)
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

Fundamental Research Grant:

Title: Surface-energy studies on heat-treated graphene film for high performance hybrid photo-voltaic device application

Tremendous research progress has been achieved by the scientific community in the development of Hybrid Photo-voltaic Device (HPD) to be used as an alternative green solar energy source. Among these include the novel application of graphene (Gr) based film as the anode transparent conductive layer in photo-conversion process, where photons from solar radiation are allowed to penetrate into the HPD to concomitantly extract photo-generated charges. Heat-treated Gr film has high mobility and tunable energy levels, which provides the most relevant h+ acceptor, making it suitable to be incorporated as a charge transport material for photo-voltaic applications. However, the hydrophobic nature of Gr film has often been found to be the underlying factor for low power conversion efficiency (PCE) of HPDs. Improving the PCE of such HPDs will require better fundamental understanding of surface-energy properties of Gr film. Therefore, the main idea of this research is to determine the fundamental surface-energy properties and crystallinity characteristics of heat-treated Gr film in order to increase the PCE of HPDs.

The study aims to investigate the influence of heat treatment process towards the surface energy properties of mono- (SLG) and multi- (MLG) layer Gr film at different heating conditions (i.e. annealing temperature and annealing time), using characterisation methods based on contact-angle goniometry, atomic force microscopy, micro-Raman and x-ray diffraction (XRD). It is expected that improved fundamental knowledge of Gr surface-energy properties determined through this study will help increase PCE for HPDs by about 10% when compared with the current research for photo-voltaic devices, which is essential in reducing the carbon footprint of the nation. Aside from this, the key deliverables from this project is also imperative in contributing towards a more effective development of Gr-based photo-voltaic applications, identified as one of the impactful emerging clean/green technologies to realise for a Progressive Malaysia 2050.

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Shamsudin, M.S., Sanip, S.M. (2015) A review on the two-dimensional graphene exploited in organic solar cells applications. Advanced Materials Research, 1109, 514-518. (doi: 10.4028/

Shamsudin, M.S., Sanip, S.M. (2015) A review on graphene evidenced by raman spectroscopy. Advanced Materials Research, 1109, 509-513. (doi: 10.4028/

Shamsudin, M.S., Fishlock, S.J., Ahmad, R., Rusop, M., Sanip, S.M., Pu, S.H. (2014) Fundamentals of two-dimensional crystallographic carbon form and its future directions: A review. Advanced Materials Research, 832, 292-297. (doi: 10.4028/

Ahmad, RE., Shamsudin, M.S., Salina, M., Sanip, S.M., Rusop, M., Awang, Z. (2014) Characterization of MgZnO thin film for 1 GHz applications. Advanced Materials Research, 832, 310-315. (doi:10.4028/

Ahmad, R., Shamsudin, M.S., Sahdan, M.Z., Rusop, M., Sanip, S.M. (2014) Green and economic transparent conductive graphene electrode for organic solar cell: A short review. Advanced Materials Research, 832, 316-321. (doi: 10.4028/


Book Chapter

R. Ahmad, M.S. Shamsudin, Mohd Zainizan Sahdan, M. Rusop, S.M. Sanip (2015) Green and economic transparent conductive graphene electrode for organic solar cell: a short review. Solar Cells: Research and Development Of Solar Cells, 1, 2214-2219. ISBN: 978-3-03835-900-5.

R. Ahmad, M.S. Shamsudin, Mohd Zainizan Sahdan, M. Rusop, S.M. Sanip (2015) Green and economic transparent conductive graphene electrode for organic solar cell: a short review. Graphene, 3, 2264-2266. ISBN: 978-3-03835-902-9.



SESM1015 Professional Engineering & Functional Material
1. Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS)

Characterisation and Transport Properties of Functionalised Carbon Nanotubes Polymer Composites

Despite their excellent properties, CNTs have also found to be chemically stable but unfortunately tend to agglomerate due to the strong inter-tube van der Waals forces and their high surface energy as a result of the curvature of the thin nanotubes. This has hindered many useful applications especially in the biological and chemical areas due to the inherent solubility and difficult modifications of CNTs in most organic and aqueous solvents. As a result, extensive research has now focussed upon modification, pretreatment or functionalisation as a means to improve solubility of the CNTs and their ability to mix well in most organic substance. The functionalisation of CNTs is an effective method to better disperse and stabilise CNTs within a polymer matrix. A few of the common approaches to fucntionalisation are defect functionalisation, covalent functionalisation and noncovalent functionalisation. Noncovalent functionalisation by functional polymers, surfactants and large organic molecules have shown to be a promising technique to improve solubility and compatibilty of CNTs in organic solvents. The advantage of this method is that the structure and original properties of the CNTs remain unchanged after modification. Noncovalent functionalisation helps to improve the solubility and processibility of the polymer matrix with the addition of CNTs which is partly due to the presence of functional groups

2. Exploratory Research Grant Scheme (ERGS)

Thin Film Transparent Graphene Electrode for Organic Solar Cell (OSC)

Silicon based solar cell technology has been established as the main source in PV solar cells. The solar cell efficiencies vary from 8 to 29%. Though the silicon based efficiency is high, use of silicon technology has major drawbacks; with high production costs and suffers a decrease in performance under illumination, thereby limiting lifetime, durability and stability. Therefore new material such as 1D and 2D graphene has shown potential as the emerging technology for electrodes in organic solar cells. The use of thin film technology in graphene is expected to revolutionise the manufacturing process by a reduction in cost as the layers become much thinner and less purification processes will be required. The organic solar cells (OSCs) fabricated using thin film graphene is expected to show a power conversion efficiency of more than 70% (1.18 to 3.98 %) indicating that graphene indium-free transparent electrode is a potential substitute for the conventional indium tin oxide (ITO) electrode for use in cost-efficient OSCs.

The need for electrically conducting transparent electrodes is rising steadily with the advent of LCD displays and touch screens and the high intrinsic electron mobility in graphene makes promising candidates for replacing ITO for such applications. Current bottlenecks concern their availability and purity in sufficient quantities, and the formulation of inks for their deposition using solution-based techniques. The fabrication of electrodes and properties of thin film graphene electrodes will be the focus in this work for use in OSC applications.


Dr Suhaila Mohd Sanip
No. 3, Persiaran Canselor 1,
Kota Ilmu EduCity,
79200 Iskandar Puteri, Johor,

Room Number: 193 USMC/4027

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