Emergent Nanomaterials Lab

The Laboratory for

Emergent Nanomaterials

at The University of Colorado Boulder

Cosmolecule Wide.jpg

We are an interdisciplinary group of scientists and engineers who think big and build small.


faculty_carson_bruns.jpg

Carson Bruns, Director

Carson received his PhD in chemistry from Northwestern University in 2013, was a Miller Research Fellow at UC Berkeley (2014-2017), and joined the faculty of the ATLAS Institute and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at CU Boulder in 2017. 

Personal Website

Google Scholar

DSC_5675.JPG

Jesse Butterfield, PhD Student

Jesse received his BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington in 2013 with a focus on nanoscience and molecular engineering. He spent two years as an engineer for Boeing Commercial Airplanes before joining the Department of Mechanical Engineering at CU Boulder to pursue his PhD.

Karan_Dikshit_small.jpg

Karan Dikshit, MS Student

Karan completed his undergraduate education in polymer engineering in 2014 at the University of Pune, India. He served in different roles in academia and industry before joining the Materials Science and Engineering program at CU Boulder in 2018.

Phillip_Vo_small.jpg

Phillip Vo, BS Student

Phillip is a Junior in the Chemical and Biological Engineering department with a minor in Biochemistry. He is a first-generation student originating from Denver, Colorado and is currently working at the BOLD Center as the student graphic designer. Phillip is also an active member of the oSTEM chapter at CU Boulder. His academic interests include oncology, metabolic engineering, and biotechnology.

 

your_name_here.jpg

Your Name Here

We are looking for creative scientists and engineers to join our team!

Contact Us

Research

Cosmolecule Wide.jpg

Tech Tattoos

 We are re-thinking the tattoo pigment as a way to permanently embed technologies in the skin. We are formulating tattoo inks that conduct electricity and change color in response to different stimuli. We hope to use these "tech tattoos" to power biomedical devices and wearable technologies, monitor and diagnose health issues, and augment human sensing and self-expression.

We are re-thinking the tattoo pigment as a way to permanently embed technologies in the skin. We are formulating tattoo inks that conduct electricity and change color in response to different stimuli. We hope to use these "tech tattoos" to power biomedical devices and wearable technologies, monitor and diagnose health issues, and augment human sensing and self-expression.

The Mechanical Bond

 The mechanical bond is an entanglement in space between component parts that are not otherwise bonded. One example of a system with a mechanical bond is a bead on a string. We thread extremely tiny beads onto extremely tiny strings to create nanomaterials and micromaterials with unusual and potentially functional properties. 

The mechanical bond is an entanglement in space between component parts that are not otherwise bonded. One example of a system with a mechanical bond is a bead on a string. We thread extremely tiny beads onto extremely tiny strings to create nanomaterials and micromaterials with unusual and potentially functional properties. 

Publications

Cosmolecule Wide.jpg

Prior to CU

 
  1. Loser, S.; Lou, S. J.; Savoie, B. M.; Bruns, C. J.; Timalsina, A.; Leonardi, M. J.; Harschneck, T.; Turrisi, R.; Zhou, N.; Stern, C. L.; Sarjeant, A. A.; Facchetti, A.; Chang, R. P. H.; Stupp, S. I.; Ratner, M. A.; Chen, L. X.; Marks, T. J. Systematic Evaluation of Structure-Property Relationships in Heteroacene-Diketopyrrolopyrrole Molecular Donors for Organic Solar Cells. J. Mater. Chem. A 2017, 5, 9217–9232.
  2. Slack, C. C.; Finbloom, J. A.; Jeong, K.; Bruns, C. J.; Wemmer, D. B.; Pines, A.; Francis, M. B. Rotaxane Probes for Protease Detection by 129Xe HyperCEST NMR. Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 1076–1079.
  3. Bruns, C. J.; Liu, H.; Francis, M. B. Near-Quantitative Aqueous Synthesis of Rotaxanes via Bioconjugation to Oligopeptides and Proteins. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 15307­–15310.
  4. Finbloom, J. A.; Slack, C. C.; Bruns, C. J.; Jeong, K.; Wemmer, D. E.; Pines, A.; Francis, M. B. Rotaxane-Mediated Suppression and Activation of Cucurbit[6]uril for Molecular Detection by 129Xe HyperCEST NMR. Chem. Commun. 2016, 52, 3119–3122.
  5. Aytun, T.; Santos, P. J.; Bruns, C. J.; Huang, D.; Koltonow, A. R.; Olvera de la Cruz, M.; Stupp, S. I. Self-Assembling Tripodal Small-Molecule Donors for Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells. J. Phys. Chem. C 2016, 120, 3602–3611.
  6. Hou, X.*; Ke, C.*; Bruns, C.; McGonigal, P. R.; Pettman, R. B.; Stoddart, J. F. Tunable Solid-State Fluorescent Materials for Supramolecular Encryption. Nature Commun. 2015, 6, 6884.
  7. Bruns, C. J.*; Fujita, D.*; Hoshino, M.; Sato, S.; Stoddart, J. F.; Fujita, M. Emergent Ion-Gated Binding of Cationic Host-Guest Complexes Within Cationic M12L24 Molecular Flasks. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 12027–12034
  8. Bruns, C. J.; Stoddart, J. F. Rotaxane-Based Molecular Muscles. Acc. Chem. Res. 2014, 47, 2186–2199.
  9. Bruns, C. J.; Frasconi, M.; Iehl, J.; Hartlieb, K. J.; Schneebeli, S. T.; Cheng, C.; Stupp, S. I.; Stoddart, J. F. Redox Switchable Daisy Chain Rotaxanes Driven by Radical-Radical Interactions. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 4714–4723. Featured in JACS Spotlights
  10. Bruns, C. J.; Li, J.; Frasconi, M.; Schneebeli, S. T.; Iehl, J.; Jacquot de Rouville, H.-P.; Stupp, S. I.; Voth, G. A.; Stoddart, J. F. An Electrochemically and Thermally Switchable Donor-Acceptor [c2]Daisy Chain Rotaxane. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 1953–1958.
  11. Fahrenbach, A. C.; Bruns, C. J.; Li, H.; Trabolsi, A.; Coskun, A.; Stoddart, J. F. Ground-State Kinetics of Bistable Redox-Active Donor-Acceptor Mechanically Interlocked Molecules. Acc. Chem. Res. 2014, 47, 482–493.
  12. Bruns, C. J.; Stoddart, J. F. Mechanically Interlaced and Interlocked Donor-Acceptor Foldamers. Adv. Polym. Sci. 2013, 261, 271–294.
  13. Bruns, C. J.*; Herman, D. J.*; Minuzzo, J. B.; Lehrman, J. A.; Stupp, S. I. Rationalizing Molecular Design in the Electrodeposition of Anisotropic Lamellar Nanostructures. Chem. Mater. 2013, 25, 4330–4339.
  14. Ruiz-Carretero, A.; Aytun, T.; Bruns, C. J.; Newcomb, C. J.; Tsai, W.-W.; Stupp, S. I. Stepwise Self-Assembly to Improve Solar Cell Morphology. J. Mat. Chem. A 2013, 1, 11674–11681.
  15. Guerrero, A.; Loser, S. C.; Garcia-Belmonte, G.; Bruns, C. J.; Smith, J.; Miyauchi, H.; Stupp, S. I.; Marks, T. J.; Bisquert, J. Solution-Processed Small Molecule: Fullerene Bulk-Heterojunction Solar Cells: Impedance Spectroscopy Deduced Bulk and Interfacial Limits to Fill-Factor. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2013, 15, 16456–16462.
  16. Juriček, M.*; Barnes, J. C.*; Dale, E. J.; Liu, W.-G.; Strutt, N. L.;  Bruns, C. J.; Vermeulen, N. A.; Ghooray, K.; Sarjeant, A. A.; Stern, C. L.; Botros, Y. Y.; Goddard, W. A. III; Stoddart, J. F. Ex2Box: Interdependent Modes of Binding in a Two-Nanometer-Long Synthetic Receptor. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 12736–12746.
  17. Bruns, C. J.; Stoddart, J. F. Molecular Machines Muscle Up. Nature Nanotechnol. 2013, 8, 9–10.
  18. Zhu, Z.; Bruns, C. J.; Li, H.; Lei, J.; Ke, C.; Liu, Z.; Shafaie, S.; Colquhoun, H. M.; Stoddart, J. F. Synthesis and Solution-State Dynamics of Donor-Acceptor Oligorotaxane Foldamers. Chem. Sci. 2013, 4, 1470–1483.
  19. Barnes, J. C.*; Juriček, M.*; Strutt, N. L.; Frasconi, M.; Sampath, S.; Giesener, M. A.; McGrier, P. L.; Bruns, C. J.; Stern, C. L.; Sarjeant, A. A.; Stoddart, J. F. ExBox: A Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Scavenger. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 183–192.
  20. Bruns, C. J.; Stoddart, J. F. The Mechanical Bond: A Work of Art. Top. Curr. Chem. 2012, 323, 19–72.
  21. Gothard, C. M.*; Bruns, C. J.*; Gothard, N. A.; Grzybowski, B. A.; Stoddart, J. F. Modular Synthesis of Bipyridinium Oligomers and Corresponding Donor-Acceptor Oligorotaxanes with Crown Ethers. Org. Lett. 2012, 14, 5066–5069.
  22. Jacquot de Rouville, H.-P.; Iehl, J.; Bruns, C. J.; McGrier, P. L.; Frasconi, M.; Sarjeant, A. A.; Stoddart, J. F. A Neutral Naphthalene Diimide [2]Rotaxane. Org. Lett. 2012, 14, 5188–5191.
  23. Basuray, A. N.; Jacquot de Rouville, H.-P.; Hartlieb, K. J.; Kikuchi, T.; Strutt, N. L.; Bruns, C. J.; Ambrogio, M. W.; Avestro, A.-J.; Schneebeli, S. T.; Fahrenbach, A. C.; Stoddart, J. F. The Chameleonic Nature of Diazopyrenium Recognition Processes. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 11872–11879.
  24. Fahrenbach, A. C.; Hartlieb, K. J.; Sue, C.-H.; Bruns, C. J.; Barin, G.; Basu, S.; Olson, M. A.; Botros, Y. Y.; Bagabas, A.; Khdary, N.; Stoddart, J. F. Rapid Thermally Assisted Donor-Acceptor Catenation. Chem. Commun. 2012, 48, 9141–9143.
  25. Fahrenbach, A. C.; Bruns, C. J.; Cao, D.; Stoddart, J. F. Ground-State Thermodynamics of Redox-Active Donor-Acceptor Mechanically Interlocked Molecules. Acc. Chem. Res. 2012, 45, 1581–1592.
  26. Loser, S.; Bruns, C. J.; Miyauchi, H.; Ponce Ortiz, R.; Facchetti, A.; Stupp, S. I.; Marks, T. J. A Naphthodithiophene-Diketopyrrolopyrrole Donor Molecule for Efficient Solution-Processed Solar Cells. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 8142–8145.
  27. Bruns, C. J.; Basu, S.; Stoddart, J. F. Improved Synthesis of 1,5-Dinaphtho[38]Crown-10. Tetrahedron Lett. 2010, 51, 983–986.
  28. Forgan, R. S.; Friedman, D. C.; Stern, C. L.; Bruns, C. J. Stoddart, J. F. Directed Self-Assembly of a Ring-in-Ring Complex. Chem. Commun. 2010, 5861–5863. Front Cover
  29. Boonya-Udtayan, S.; Yotapan, N.; Woo, C.; Bruns, C. J.; Ruchirawat, S.; Thasana, N. Synthesis and Biological Activities of Azalamellarins. Chem. Asian J. 2010, 5, 2113–2123.

Books

 
The Nature of the Mechanical Bond Cover Final copy copy.jpg

REVIEWS

"This book will serve very well to inform any chemist or chemistry student curious as to the workings of molecular topology and the molecular machines that depend upon it, and should be read by anyone seeking to enter these fields. The writing is elegant and at times playful-thoroughly enjoyable to read. This book will certainly occupy pride of place in my research group' library."  Jonathan Nitschke

“… a spectacular book! Many chemists will want to have it on their desks and regard it as the holy writ.” Josef Michl

“The story is told by THE inventor-pioneer-master in the field and is accompanied by amazing illustrations… [it] will become an absolute reference and a best seller in chemistry!” Alberto Credi

“… the great opus on the mechanical bond. A most impressive undertaking!” Jean-Marie Lehn

“I love the first chapter, and its romp through the mechanical bond.” Roald Hoffman

“… what a wonderful read… I thoroughly enjoyed the scientifically atypical perspective. A real pleasure.” Bruce Gibb

“… comprehensive coverage [and] exceptional top-quality graphics… this [is a] definitive book.” Paul Beer

"The Nature of the Mechanical Bond will open new horizons for generations of readers and will stimulate the creativity of many architects of matter who wish to design more and more fascinating molecular systems." Claude Millot

In molecules, the mechanical bond is not shared between atoms—it is a bond that arises when molecular entities become entangled in space. Just as supermolecules are held together by supramolecular interactions, mechanomolecules, such as catenanes and rotaxanes, are maintained by mechanical bonds. This emergent bond endows mechanomolecules with a whole suite of novel properties relating to both form and function. They hold unlimited promise for countless applications, ranging from their presence in molecular devices and electronics to their involvement in remarkably advanced functional materials. The Nature of the Mechanical Bond is a comprehensive review of much of the contemporary literature on the mechanical bond, accessible to newcomers and veterans alike. Topics covered include:
– Supramolecular, covalent, and statistical approaches to the formation of entanglements that underpin mechanical bonds in molecules and macromolecules
– Kinetically and thermodynamically controlled strategies for synthesizing mechanomolecules
– Chemical topology, molecular architectures, polymers, crystals, and materials with mechanical bonds
– The stereochemistry of the mechanical bond (mechanostereochemistry), including the novel types of dynamic and static isomerism and chirality that emerge in mechanomolecules
– Artificial molecular switches and machines based on the large-amplitude translational and rotational motions expressed by suitably designed catenanes and rotaxanes.

This contemporary and highly interdisciplinary field is summarized in a visually appealing, image-driven format, with more than 800 illustrations covering both fundamental and applied research. The Nature of the Mechanical Bond is a must-read for everyone, from students to experienced researchers, with an interest in chemistry’s latest and most non-canonical bond.