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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

  • National Science Foundation

Recent Selected Publications

P. S. Thapa, J. N. Barisci, D. J. Yu, J. P. Wicksted, J. A. Hadwiger, R. Y. Baughman, and B. N. Flanders*, "Directional growth of conducting polypyrrole and polythiophene wires," Appl. Phys. Lett. 94, 033104 (2009).   

B. Ozturk, I. Talukdar, and B. N. Flanders, "Directed growth of diameter-tunable nanowires,"Nanotechnology, 18 365302 (2007). This article was also featured in nanotechweb.org. 

B. Ozturk, T. Mishima, D. R. Grischkowsky, and B. N. Flanders, "Single-step growth and low resistance interconnecting of gold nanowires," Nanotechnology, 18, 175707 (2007).  This article has been downloaded over 250 times during April-June quarter of 2007.  Only 10% of IOP articles were accessed over 250 times during this quarter. 

I. Talukdar, B. Ozturk, T. D. Mishima, and B. N. Flanders, "Directed growth of single-crystal indium wires," Appl. Phys. Lett., 88, 221907 (2006). 

B. Ozturk, C. Blackledge, D. R. Grischkowsky, and B. N. Flanders, "Reproducible interconnects assembled from gold nanorods," Appl. Phys. Lett., 88, 073108 (2006). 

B. Ozturk, I. Talukdar, and B. N. Flanders, "The directed-assembly of CdS interconnects between targeted points in a circuit," Appl. Phys. Lett., 86, 183105 (2005).