Swarnapali (Pali) De Silva Indrasekara, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

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Field of Interest:
Nanotechnology/Analytical Chemistry/Materials Chemistry

Research Focus:
We are interested in designing new optically active nanomaterials and using them to develop optical spectroscopy-based analytical tools. At the nanometer scale, noble metals such as gold, silver, platinum, and copper exhibit unique, synthetically tunable optical properties. One such property of noble metal nanomaterials is the large optical field enhancement leading to strong absorption and scattering of light.

We use the synergy between the enhanced optical properties of noble metal nanomaterials and the intrinsic electronic, optical, and vibrational responses of molecules to develop new functional nanomaterials and analytical methodologies. Techniques combining our light-based analytical approaches with the new functional nanomaterials will allow us (i) to elucidate dynamic interactions between various interfaces of nanoscale materials and biological-chemical systems, (ii) to develop a mechanistic understanding of molecular-level processes significant in medicine and energy applications, and also (iii) to develop field-transferable diagnostics and translational nanotheranostics.

The outcomes of our work impact a wide range of fields, including nanomedicine, medical diagnostics, food and agriculture and also energy industry.