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Department of Physics

Bret Flanders

Bret FlandersProfessor
310 Cardwell Hall
(785) 532-1614
Group Webpage

Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1999
B.S. University of California, San Diego, 1993

Research Area

Soft Matter Nanotechnology and Biological Physics

The Flanders Group works in the areas of soft matter nanotechnology and biological physics. Our goals are to fabricate useful nano-electronic materials and to understand how living cells attach to these materials. We seek to control cellular adhesion in order to induce targeted cell types to attach to nanoelectrodes, as required to understand bioassembly, to develop new physiological techniques, and to improve bionic devices.

This effort is based on the directed electrochemical nanowire assembly (DENA) technique, which we have been developing for the past 5 years. DENA allows us to grow both crystalline metallic and amorphous polymeric nanowires at specific locations and along user-chosen growth paths on micro-electrode arrays. Nature employs dendritic solidification to grow precisely structured crystals e.g. snowflakes). DENA harnesses this process to fabricate near single crystalline metallic (Co, Ni, Pd, Pt, Au, Ag, In, or Pb) nanowires. After culturing cells onto electrode arrays, we use DENA to grow wires up to selected cells. Non-invasive contact between the wire-tips and the cells is accomplished by inducing the cells to attach themselves to the wires rather than forcing the electrode into contact with the cells. Current projects focus on measuring the distribution of cell-electrode residence times as a function electrode-voltage. Preliminary results indicate that the characteristic residence time increases with applied voltage. This is a significant finding.

Voltage induced cell-electrode contact.wmv

Metallic wire-growth.wmv

Polymeric wire-growth.mpg

Research Support

  • Department of Energy
  • Keck Foundation
  • National Science Foundation

Graduate Advisees

  • Krishna Panta
  • Shital Rijal

Recent Selected Publications

Eric R. Jones, Wayne C. Huang, Gobind Basnet, Bret N. Flanders, and Herman Batelaan, "Laser-induced electron emission from Au nanowires: A probe for orthogonal polarizations," Appl. Phys. Lett. 112, 263104 (2018). [link]

Shuaa Alotaibi, Joshua Samba, Sabin Pokharel, Yucheng Lan, Kelechi Uradu, Ayodeji Afolabi, Ilyas Unlu, Gobind Basnet, Kadir Aslan), Bret N. Flanders, Abdellah Lisfi, and  Birol Ozturk, "Individually grown cobalt nanowires as magnetic force microscopy probes," Appl. Phys. Lett. 112, 092401 (2018). [link]

Joshua D Morris, Scott B Thourson, Krishna R Panta, Bret N Flanders, Christine K Payne, "Conducting polymer nanowires for control of local protein concentration in solution,"  J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 50 174003 (2017). [link]

Gobind Basnet, Krishna R Panta, Prem S Thapa, and Bret N Flanders, "Controlled electrochemical growth of ultra-long gold nanoribbons," Appl. Phys. Lett. 110, 073106 (2017). [link]

Bruce M Law, Sean P McBride, Jiang Yong Wang, Haeng Sub Wi, Govind Paneru, Santigo Betelu, Baku Ushijima, Youichi Takata, Bret Flanders, Fernando Bresme, Hiroki Matsubara, Takanori Takiue, and Makoto Aratono, "Line tension and its influence on droplets and particles at surfaces," Progress in Surface Science 92, 1, 1-39 (2017). [link]