Balakrishnan Munirathinam

Balakrishnan Munirathinam obtained his doctoral degree in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, in 2016. His PhD dissertation was on “Tailoring the surface of Ti and its alloy by electrochemical processing”. Basically, his work dealt with processing of Ti and NiTi alloy surfaces using electrochemical methods. Specifically, the aim of the research work was to assess the influence of crystallinity on electrochemical, semiconducting, tribo-electrochemical and nano-mechanical properties of TiO2 nanotubes (TNTs) and to understand the role of crystallographic texture on the surface and electrochemical properties of calcium phosphate coatings on titanium surface. After his PhD defence, he worked as Post‑Doctoral Fellow at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras for six months.

In April 2017, he started as a Post‑Doctoral Researcher in the CTE group working on the “Water and ion transport along interfaces in microelectronics and LED packages” under Prof. Arjan Mol.   

Research Interests:

Micro electrochemistry, Transport studies on metal-polymer interface, Tribocorrosion, Electrochemical Processing, Nanomechanical behaviour of thin films and coatings, Advanced material characterization.

Current Project:

The present work aims at a fundamental understanding of water and ion transport along the interfaces found in microelectronics and light emitting diode (LED) packages. Microelectronics and LEDs are generally encapsulated by polymers in order to protect the underlying electric circuit from environmental hazards, and to establish electrical connections. The interfaces within these packages, such as those between the metal bond wires and the polymer, provide pathways for water and ionic contaminants to reach the delicate electric circuit. Once the electric circuit is reached the combination of water and ions will provoke corrosion of metallizations, which is a major reliability risk for polymer encapsulated microelectronics and LEDs. The risk of corrosion is difficult to predict during the design phase due to the limited fundamental knowledge on the (physico)chemical processes underlying the transport of water and ions along interfaces. This project will study the interfacial processes over many length scales to enable prediction of durability and is focused on the characterization of the interfacial chemistry with electrochemical, surface analytical and microscopic techniques. Furthermore, the effects of water and ion mobility on the (local) corrosion of the encapsulated metallizations will be studied.

Key Publications:

 1.     Balakrishnan M, Lakshman N, Role of crystallographic texture and crystallinity on the electrochemical behavior of nanocrystalline Sr doped calcium phosphate coatings, Journal of the Electrochemical Society 63 (2016) D336–D343.

 2.     Balakrishnan M, Lakshman N, Role of crystallinity on the nanomechanical and electrochemical properties of TiO2 nanotubes, Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 770 (2016) 73–83.

 3.     Balakrishnan M, Lakshman N, Titania nanotubes from weak organic acid electrolyte: Fabrication, characterization and oxide film properties, Materials Science and Engineering: C. 49 (2015) 567–578.

 4.     Balakrishnan M, Pydimukkala H, N. Ramaswamy, Lakshman N, Influence of crystallite size and surface morphology on electrochemical properties of annealed TiO2 nanotubes, Applied Surface Science. 355 (2015) 1245–1253.

 5.     Balakrishnan M, R. Narayanan, Lakshman N, Electrochemical and semiconducting properties of thin passive film formed on titanium in chloride medium at various pH conditions, Thin Solid Films. 598 (2015) 260–270.

 6.     Balakrishnan M, Anburaj J, Mohamed Nazirudeen S.S, Lakshman N, Narayanan R, Influence of Intermetallic Precipitates on Pitting Corrosion of High Mo Superaustenitic Stainless Steel, Transactions of the Indian Institute of Metals. 68 (2015) 267–279.


Balakrishnan M, R. Narayanan, Synthesis of anodic Titania nanotubes in Na2SO4/NaF electrolyte: A comparison between anodization time and specimens with biomaterial based approaches, Thin Solid Films. 540 (2013) 23–30.