Energy and Advanced Material Chemistry Research Programme
Renewable energy for the future of the world
The main objective of this project is to carry out research on renewable energy. Research is mainly focused on the chemistry and physics of new materials for the conversion of solar energy into chemical and electrical energies. Extending and adapting current photovoltaic technology, mainly dye-sensitized, Qdot and polymer solar cells to generate electricity directly from solar radiation; Constructing artificial chemical devices mimicking photosynthesis to collect, direct, and apply solar radiation, for example to split water, convert atmospheric carbon dioxide and thus produce various forms of environmentally clean fuels are some of our research objectives.
Chemical, Electrochemical and Photochemical methods for the purification of air and water are the main research topics of the project. Additionally, the project is also involved in the investigation of low cost water and air purification methods for abatement of industrial pollutants by using sunlight. Under the research topics of conversion of solar energy into either electrical or chemical energy mentioned above, the fundamental requirements are; sunlight must be absorbed efficiently by light harvesting materials; photoexcited electrons and holes must be separated in space to prevent recombination; photoexcited charge must be able to energetically and kinetically perform a chemical transformation. Hence, we investigate all these factors in our research. Additionally, this group is also involved in CKDu research.
Why does this matter ?
Burning of fossil fuels contribute to the destruction of our planet, massively. We see renewable energy as a way to reduce this. Sri Lanka is a country lucky enough to receive year round sunlight. We hope that in the near future we will be able to use this unlimited, everlasting source of energy appropriately.