Women Scientists in IISc – Dr. Rajamalli

Photo Credits – Mr. Haridasan

Dr. Rajamalli is an Assistant Professor at the Materials Research Centre. She joined IISc in 2019. Her area of research is Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs). She did her PhD at IIT Madras and postdoc at National Tsing Hua University and University of St. Andrews.

  • When did you first realise that you wanted to be a scientist?

During college, I read a book on Marie Curie’s biography, and it inspired me to enter into research. However, I was unaware of the route. Fortunately, I had inspiring and motivating friends, seniors and teachers who showed me the path to enter into research.

  • What attracted you to apply to and join IISc?

1. IISc is one of India’s best places where equal importance is given to science and engineering.

2. IISc has a pool of experienced and young minds with good research infrastructure. Therefore, it is an ideal place to do research.

  • What will your research at IISc focus on?

My research focuses on discovering cost-effective OLED materials to replace the expensive iridium or platinum-based emitters. Mainly, my research is aimed at looking for a very stable deep blue emitter for long-lasting blue OLEDs. In the future, my research will focus on producing flexible OLED bandages for medical and cosmetic applications.

  • Why did you choose this area of research?

Colorful lights (deep blue, blue, sky blue, cyanine, pale green, green, yellow, orange, red and white, etc.) from simple organic compounds attracted me to work on OLEDs. Besides, OLEDs have more advantages and wider applications than the other display and lighting technologies.


  • What are the big unresolved questions in your field?

The blue OLED always shows very short operational lifetime and the reason is not yet clear. Although OLED products are commercialised, operational lifetime needs to be increased, and cost needs to be decreased to make OLED-based display and lighting affordable for everyone.

  • What is the most important advice you got that you think has helped you in your career?

Work hard regardless of circumstances, and hard work never fails. My mother always says, ‘do your duty with your full effort and do it on time.’ She also says, ‘focus on eternal joy, not on the small pleasures.’ My father always says, ‘be calm and brave.’

  • If you had any women mentors or role models in science, who were they and what do you think you’ve learned most from them?

Unfortunately, I did not have a woman teacher/mentor from school to college and research. My research role model is Marie Curie, and her biography inspired me to do research. I learned to keep doing hard work regardless of hardship and lack of recognition.

  • What is the most fulfilling thing about a life in science?

You can do exciting and adventurous travel in science as long as you want because science has no boundaries.

Click here for some of the Other Women in Science