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UNC Clean Tech Speaker

Hemali Rathnayake

Hemali Rathnayake
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
University of North Carolina at Greensboro


My research focus divides into two research fronts: Novel materials synthesis and Nanoelectronics. The bulk of my current research efforts is focusing on making novel carbon-based nanomaterials for green energy applications. My group has been developing organic semiconductors functionalized nanostructures to harvest solar energy for the generation of electricity. The stability and brightness of these fluorescent materials make them promising as active layers for organic solar cells. These nanomaterials are low-cost plastic semiconducting materials derived from a silicon-based core structure and able to produce in large-scale. Also, my group explores the potential utilization of carbon-based polymeric materials for thermoelectric applications, particularly in waste heat recovery from human body heat. Developing novel organic-based thermoelectric materials with tailored structures and studying their thermoelectric properties will explore untapped opportunities for producing easy-to-manufacture, light-weight, flexible, inexpensive, and nontoxic energy recovery and solid-state cooling.

Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Polymer Science & Engineering

University of Massachusetts – Amherst, 2007-2009

Ph. D. in Chemistry

Department of Chemistry, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, 2002-2007

B.Sc. in Chemistry

University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka 1996 -2000