National Institute of Fundamental Studies


Investigations of the efficiency enhancement in dye sensitized solar cells

Design and development of  low cost,  high efficiency and stable Dye Sensitized Solar Cells for various applications by surface and structural modifications of  semiconducting materials, employment of  dye cocktails, ionic liquids and electronically conducting polymers.

Applications of Dye Sensitized Solar Cells in Bio-Sensors.

Fabrication of bio-sensing platforms that lead to significant reduction in the cost of detection method and quantity of assays is of paramount importance for developing countries. This is a collaborative project with the Cell Biology group at the IFS, headed by Dr. D.N. Magana-Arachchi.

Synthesis and characterization of polymer electrolytes for polymeric Dye Sensitized Solar cells.

Fabrication and characterization of polymeric dye sensitized solar cells. Novel Solid and gel polymeric electrolytes with high anionic conductivity will be  synthesized and characterized and used for fabrication of  Dye Sensitized Solar Cells.

Synthesis and characterization of nano-composite solid and gel polymer electrolytes for possible use in Lithium rechargeable batteries , Fuel cells and Electrochromic  displays.

Nanocomposite polymer electrolytes based on polyethelene oxide (PEO), polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and other host polymers and nano-fillers such as alumina, silica and titania(including nano silica synthesized from local rice husk) will be synthesized and characterized. Laboratory scale rechargeable Lithium batteries, Fuel cells & Electrochromic displays will be tested incorporating these electrolytes. 

Studies and applications of nano-carbon prepared from Sri Lankan Natural Graphite. ¬†   

Production of  nano-graphite and graphite composites from Sri Lankan Natural Graphite to be used in various applications such as  in Lubricants and in Li- Batteries).

Research Group

Group Leader

Prof. M.A.K.L. Dissanayake

curriculum vitae »

Research Assistant

Mr. C.A. Thotawatthage

curriculum vitae »

Prob. Lecturer from Sabaragamuwa University

Ms. H.M.N. Sarangika

curriculum vitae »

Visiting Associate Reserach Professor

Prof. G.K.R. Senadheera

curriculum vitae »


Dr. V.A. Seneviratne

Department of Physics, University of Peradeniya


Prof. B.E. Mellander

Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden


Prof. I.M. Dharmadasa

Sheffield Hallam University, UK


Prof. Piyasiri Ekanayake

Faculty of Science, University of Brunei Darussalam


Dr. T.M.W.J. Bandara

Department of Physical Science, Rajarata University


Prof. Arof Karim

Center for Solid State Science, University of Malaya, Malaysia

Objective of the Projects

During 2012, the research activities of the Condensed Matter Physics and Solid State Chemistry Projects at IFS were largely focused on (1) efficiency enhancement of dye sensitized solar cells based on liquid, solid and gel type electrolytes, (2) synthesis and characterization of solid and gel polymer electrolytes for possible applications in Electrochromic displays and (3) design and testing of a polymer nanofiber, antibacterial water filter.

Polymer Nanofibres for Water Filtration

Supplying safe and clean drinking water to millions of people living in the developing world has become an acute problem which has drawn the attention of governments and international agencies. In Sri Lanka also, as in many other developing countries, many people, especially those living in under developed areas of the country, are faced with the problem of accessing safe and clean drinking water. Often, people in these areas drink water collected from streams, canals, lakes, reservoirs and ground wells, with a high risk of getting waterborne diseases which could have deadly effects in some cases. The objective of the NRC funded research project at the IFS is to find one or more polymer or gel polymer nanofibre electrolyte, which could be used in dye sensitized solar cells to achieve higher efficiencies.

Research Facilities

Cyclic Voltammetry setup


I-V setup for solar cell characterization

DC polarization setup for characterizing electrolytes

Mott Schottkey measuring setup

FTIR spectrometer

Programmable furnaces

HEKA Galvanostat/Potantiostat

Shimadzu 2450 U-Vis Spectrophotometer

Home made IPCE setup for solar cell characterization

Spin coating unit for thin film fabrications



Research Colloboration

Collaborators :
  • Dr. V.A. Seneviratne - Department of Physics, University of Peradeniya
  • Prof. B.-E. Mellander - Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Prof. I.M. Dharmadasa - Sheffield Hallam University, UK
  • Prof. Piyasiri Ekanayake -Faculty of Science, University of Brunei Darussalam
  • Dr. T.M.W.J. Bandara - Department of Physical Science, Rajarata University
  • Prof. Arof Karim - Center for Solid State Science, University of Malaya, Malaysia

Achievements of the Project

  1. Dye - Sensitized polymeric solar cells with relatively high efficiencies in the range of 3.5% to 5.0% have been fabricated and characterized.
  2. Impressive efficiency enhancements exceeding 3% in SnO2 based dye solar cells due to double or multiple chelating mechanism have been achieved.
  3. Significant efficiency enhancement has been achieved in TiO2 based dye sensitized solar cells by the use of surface plasmon resonance of gold nano particles.
Research Publications (selected):

Inkjet printed and “doctor blade” TiO2 photodetectors for DNA biosensors
Iwona Bernacka-Wojcik, Rohan Senadeera, Pawel Jerzy Wojcik, Leonardo Bione Silva, Goncalo Doria, Pedro Baptista, Hugo Aguas, Elvira Fortunato, Rodrigo Martins.
Biosensors and Bioelectronics 25 (2010) 1229–1234

Volatile solvent-free solid-state polymer-sensitized TiO2 solar cells with poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) as a hole-transporting media
Rohan Senadeera , Norihiro Fukuri , Yasuteru Saito , Takayuki Kitamura, Yuji Wada  and  Shozo Yanagida
Chemical Communications, (Royal Society of Chemistry, UK) (2005), 17. (2259 - 2261).

Improvement of the Performance of Solid-State Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Fabricated Using Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) and an Amphiphilic Sensitizing Dye.
Norihiro Fukuri, Yasuteru Saito, Wataru Kubo, Rohan Senadeera, Takayuki Kitamura, Yuji Wada, Shozo Yanagida
Journal of The Electrochemical Society, (2004)151 ,10, 1745

Solid State dye sensitized solar cells using in situ polymerized PEDOTs as hole conductor
Yasuteru Saito, Norihiro Fukuri, Rohan Senadeera, Takayuki Kitamura, Yuji Wada, Shozo Yanagida
Electrochemistry Communications 6 (2004) 71

Fabrication of highly efficient polythiophene sensitized metal oxide photovoltaic  cells
G.K.R. Senadeera, K. Nakamura, T. Kitamura, Y. Wada and S. Yanagida
Applied Physics Letters (American Institute of Physics)  83, (2003),  5470.

Highly stable dye-sensitized solid-state solar cell with the semiconductor 4CuBr.3S(C4H9)2 as the hole collector.
K. Tennakone, G.K.R. Senadeera, D.B.R.A. De Silva and I.R.M. Kottegoda
Applied Physics Letters (American Institute of Physics) 77, 15, (2000) 2367.

Dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical cells based on porous SnO2//ZnO composite and TiO2 films with a polymer electrolyte,
K. Tennakone, G.K.R. Senadeera, V.P.S. Perera, I.R.M. Kottegoda, and L.A.A.De Silva,
Chemistry of Materials, American Chemical Society, (1999), 11,  2474.

Quasi Solid-State Nano Composite Polymer Electrolytes based on PVdF-PEO blend and their Applications in Dye Sensitized Solar Cells.
W.S.S. Gunathilake, G.K.R. Senadeera , P. Ekanayake, V. Seneviratne, M.A.K.L. Dissanayake and A.D.L.C. Perera ,  Solid State Ionics- Fundamental Researches and Technological Applications  (2010)- 1167.

Sri Lanka patent No. 11982

Dye sensitized solid-state solar cell with Copper (I) Bromide-alkyl sulphide complex (CuBr.R2S) as the positive charge collecting p-type semiconductor material.
K. Tennakone, G.K.R. Senadeera and D.B.R.A. De Silva

International patent (Japan)
Polymer sensitized solar cells with some thiophene derivatives.
Patent  applied by Nippon Kayaku - NKS 2624  No. 2003-36805
NIPPON KAYAKU CO.,LTD.  Functional Chemical Res. Lab.  Tokyo, Japan
S. Yanagida, G.K.R. Senadeera, T. Kitamura etal

Portuguese patent Application No. 104634, Portugal
Patent in Method for perpetrating electrochromic inks, Patent applied by Y-Dreams –Portugal 2009, Madan Parque - Sul, Quinta da Torre, 2825-149 CAPARICA. Portugal  By Claudia B. da Costa, G.K.Rohan Senadeera, Elvira Maria Correia Fortunato and Ines Domingues da Silva Henriques.

- Information provided by the Group Leader -