Nuwan Attanayake

Nuwan Attanayake

Postdoctoral Researcher-Chemistry

Google Scholar

Nuwan Attnayake is a postdoctoral associate with NREL's Chemistry and Nanoscience Center in Elisa Miller’s group. His work is focused on two-dimensional (2D) materials for solar fuel generation. Particular research interests in the field include the electrochemical nitrogen reduction reaction and the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) on 2D layered materials. He is engaged in photo-electrochemical studies of 2D materials (transition metal dichalcogenides or TMDCs) on semiconductor materials such as gallium arsenide to improve the lifetime of the semiconductor under reaction conditions and, moreover, to improve the photocatalysis on these heterostructures. He is also interested in growth of 2D TMDCs with chemical vapor deposition to be employed in as catalysts and opto-electronic devices.

Nuwan received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. His doctorate work at Temple University with Professor Daniel Strongin focused on tuning and understanding 2D layered materials towards the HER and the carbon dioxide reaction. It was done within the Center for Computational Design of Functional Layered Materials—a U.S. Department of Energy-funded Energy Frontier Research Center—where theory and experimental work were used in tandem to disseminate his research.

He has also received academic awards including one for outstanding chemistry research at Temple University, another as a promising student to help accelerate completion of his doctorate, and a summer research award for doctoral students traditionally underrepresented in their field of study. 


Research Interests

Electrochemical Nitrogen reduction reaction

Photo-electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction

Synthesis of functional 2D layered materials (CVD)


Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Temple University

B.S., Chemistry, University of Peradeniya

Professional Experience

Editorial Referee: 

  • Journal of American Chemical Society
  • ACS Nano Letters
  • Applied Surface Science
  • Batteries & Supercaps
  • Chemical Science

Associations and Memberships

Member, American Chemical Society (2015-present)

Member, Materials Research Society (2017-present)

Awards and Honors

Doctoral Dissertation Completion Grant (2019)

Daniel Swern Award (2019)

First Summer Research Initiative (2015)