Material Processing and Device Fabrication Research Programme

Utilization of locally available materials for energy conversion, storage and other electronic devices

Utilizing locally available materials for energy conversion, storage and other electronic devices

Research Focus

This project is involved in basic study and experimentation in Material Processing and Device Fabrication with an emphasis on graphite, graphite-based devices, carbon supercapacitors and investigations related to solar cells and other electronic devices based on new materials primarily generated from local minerals. Work related to graphite including the exfoliation of graphite, its derivation into graphene plates and preparation of graphene thin films and their use in electronic devices is also conducted through this project. Furthermore, the project conducts research in the area of extremely thin absorber solar cells and the development of hole conducting materials used in these solar cell devices.The project is also involved with the conversion of waste materials, such as coconut shells, to highly porous and electronically conducting activated charcoal for versatile applications in electronic devices such as supercapacitors and counter electrodes of solar cells, in order to develop fast charge stations for the latest technology electrical motor vehicles. Use of expanded graphite derived from Sri Lankan vein graphite is also tested in relation to water and air purification and cleaning of oil spills in water.

Our group collaborates with the University of Uva Wellassa in a project to fabricate highly efficient and low cost dye sensitised solar cells. The research group is developing perovskites in collaboration with the University of Jaffna. We also collaborate with the University of Peradeniya in a project to exfoliate and purify Sri Lankan graphite and to improve all types of dye sensitized solar cells.

Why does this matter ?

Our research is mainly focussed on energy conversion, storage and other electronic devices. The theme is highly important and nationally relevant. Our research is geared towards the practical and effective use of locally available materials with the aim of adding value to local minerals and plant dyes. We hope to improve our national economy by developing cutting edge local industries capable of manufacturing solar cells and other electronic devices through the research conducted by our team.