Assistant Professor of Chemistry Hemamala Karunadasa works with colleagues in materials science, geology, applied physics, and more to drive the discovery of new materials with applications in clean energy. Using the tools of synthetic chemistry, her group designs hybrid materials that couple the structural tunability of organic molecules with the diverse electronic and optical properties of extended inorganic solids. This research targets materials such as sorbents for capturing environmental pollutants, electrodes for rechargeable batteries, phosphors for solid-state lighting, and absorbers for solar cells. They also design discrete molecular centers as catalysts for activating small molecules relevant to clean energy cycles.
Hemamala Karunadasa studied chemistry and materials science at Princeton University (A.B. with high honors 2003; Certificate in Materials Science and Engineering 2003), where her undergraduate thesis project with Professor Robert J. Cava examined geometric magnetic frustration in metal oxides. She moved from solid-state chemistry to solution-state chemistry for her doctoral studies in inorganic chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D. 2009) with Professor Jeffrey R. Long. Her thesis focused on heavy atom building units for magnetic molecules and molecular catalysts for generating hydrogen from water. She continued to study molecular electrocatalysts for water splitting during postdoctoral research with Berkeley Professors Christopher J. Chang and Jeffrey R. Long at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. She further explored molecular catalysts for hydrocarbon oxidation as a postdoc at the California Institute of Technology with Professor Harry B. Gray. She joined the Stanford Chemistry Department faculty in September 2012. Her research explores solution-state routes to new solid-state materials. She was recently awarded the NSF CAREER award and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, among other honors.
Professor Karunadasa’s lab at Stanford takes a molecular approach to extended solids. Lab members synthesize organic, inorganic and hybrid materials using solution- and solid-state techniques, including glovebox and Schlenk-line methods, and determine the structures of these materials using powder- and single-crystal x-ray diffraction. Lab tools also include a host of spectroscopic and electrochemical probes, imaging methods, and film deposition techniques. Group members further characterize their materials under extreme environments and in operating devices to tune new materials for diverse applications in renewable energy.
Please visit the lab website for more details and recent news.
Slavney, A. H., Hu, T., Lindenberg, A. M., & Karunadasa, H. I. (2016). A Bismuth-Halide Double Perovskite with Long Carrier Recombination Lifetime for Photovoltaic Applications. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 138(7), 2138–2141.
Smith, I. C., Hoke, E. T., Solis-Ibarra, D., McGehee, M. D., & Karunadasa, H. I. (2014). A Layered Hybrid Perovskite Solar-Cell Absorber with Enhanced Moisture Stability. ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE-INTERNATIONAL EDITION, 53(42), 11232–11235.
Smith, I. C., Smith, M. D., Jaffe, A., Lin, Y., & Karunadasa, H. I. (2017). Between the sheets: Post-synthetic transformations in hybrid perovskites. Chemistry of Materials, 29.
Smith, I. C., Smith, M. D., Jaffe, A., Lin, Y., & Karunadasa, H. I. (2017). Between the Sheets: Postsynthetic Transformations in Hybrid Perovskites. CHEMISTRY OF MATERIALS, 29(5), 1868–84.
Slavney, A. H., Smaha, R. W., Smith, I. C., Jaffe, A., Umeyama, D., & Karunadasa, H. I. (2016). Chemical approaches to addressing the instability and toxicity of lead-halide perovskite absorbers. Inorganic Chemistry.
Slayney, A. H., Smaha, R. W., Smith, I. C., Jaffe, A., Umeyama, D., & Karunadasa, H. I. (2017). Chemical Approaches to Addressing the Instability and Toxicity of Lead-Halide Perovskite Absorbers. INORGANIC CHEMISTRY, 56(1), 46–55.
Smith, M. D., Pedesseau, L., Kepenekian, M., Smith, I. C., Katan, C., Even, J., & Karunadasa, H. I. (2017). Decreasing the electronic confinement in layered perovskites through intercalation. CHEMICAL SCIENCE, 8(3), 1960–68.
Slavney, A. H., Leppart, L., Bartesaghi, D., Gold-Parker, A., Toney, M. F., Savenije, T. J., … Karunadasa, H. I. (2017). Defect-Induced Band-Edge Reconstruction of a Bismuth-Halide Double Perovskite for Visible-Light Absorption. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 139.
Jaffe, A., Lin, Y., Beavers, C. M., Voss, J., Mao, W. L., & Karunadasa, H. I. (2016). High-pressure single-crystal structures of 3D lead-halide hybrid perovskites and pressure effects on their electronic and optical properties. ACS Cent. Sci, 2.
Dohner, E. R., Jaffe, A., Bradshaw, L. R., & Karunadasa, H. I. (2014). Intrinsic White-Light Emission from Layered Hybrid Perovskites. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 136(38), 13154–13157.