Prof. Aashani Tillekaratne


Department of Chemistry
University of Colombo
Colombo 00300
Sri Lanka

Office: Department of Chemistry- Room No. 204
Work Phone: +94 11-250 3367
Work Fax: +94 11-250 3367

Academic & Professional Qualifications

  • PhD 2010

    PhD - Physical Chemistry

    University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

  • BSc 2003

    BSc (Hons.) – Special Degree in Chemistry, First Class

    University of Colombo

  • Postdoctoral researcher 2010-2012

    Postdoctoral Scholar Employee

    University of California Riverside (UCR), USA

  • Staff Development 2014

    Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education and SEDA, UK

    Staff Development Centre, University of Colombo

Research Interests

My research is mainly focused on the development of biosensors using functionalized, bioconjugated, fluorescent silica nanoparticles. Surface characterization of the synthesized nanomaterials and the study of their adsorption behavior are other areas of interest. In addition, the following research avenues are explored in different research projects.

  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Quantum mechanical and molecular dynamics computational calculations

Another different area I’m currently exploring is chemistry education research and practice.

Ongoing Research Projects

  1. Functionalized nanoparticles for the quantitative detection of bacteria
  2. Development of multifunctional core-shell nanoparticles
  3. Functional materials for algae harvesting
  4. Development of SERS probes for the detection of melamine in milk products
  5. A computational approach for designing vaccine candidates for dengue viruses
  6. Designing a conceptual framework for authentic teaching to facilitate effective learning in secondary schools of Sri Lanka

Research Collaborators

  1. Chamari Hettiarachchi, Department of Chemistry, University of Colombo
  2. Hasini Perera, Department of Chemistry, University of Colombo
  3. Ranil Dassanayake, Department of Chemistry, University of Colombo
  4. Dilushan Jayasundara, Department of Physics, University of Colombo
  5. Siyath Gunawardena, Department of Physics, University of Colombo
  6. Aravinda Munasinghe, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, USA
  7. Thilini Rupasinghe, Faculty of Computing & Technology, University of Kelaniya
  8. Laalitha Liyanage, Faculty of Computing & Technology, University of Kelaniya
  9. Thilini Gunasekera, Department of Polymer Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura

Research Assistants - Vacancy

A vacancy for a PhD position is available at the Department of Chemistry, University of Colombo. The project involves the development of nanomaterials for quantitative detection of microorganisms with the prime focus of developing a biosensor. This project is funded by the National Research Council (NRC).

The candidate is preferred to have a Special Degree in Chemistry or equivalent from a recognized university/institution.

Email your applications to ( with an updated CV and preferably with copies of the academic transcript by the 15th of November 2022.