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Sean Branagan

Sean Branagan

Email: Sean.Branagan.1@nd.edu

Phone: 574-631-1835

Office: 325 Stinson-Remick Hall


B.S., Cornell University (2006)

M.S., University of Notre Dame (2010)

Ph.D. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Notre Dame (2012)


Placement: Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Notre Dame

Summary of Activities/Interests

Advisor: Dr. Paul Bohn

Title of Dissertation: Dual Mode Au Nanocapillary Array Membranes: Plasmonic Sensor and Nanofludic Flow Controller

Micro-total analysis systems have the potential to become ubiquitous in everyday life, greatly accelerating our access to chemical information in much the same way that integrated electronic circuits have improved our ability to communicate.  However, a significant divide exists between the design of one-off, single-use structures for academic purposes vs. scalable, integrative components analogous to those found within electronic circuits.  My research has shown that nanostructured metallic films can help bridge that gap, by performing two or more of the various on-chip manipulation tasks: sample transport, separation, detection, reactivity, or concentration, to name a few.  For example, a planar network of metallic electrodes may be used to direct fluid flow via electroosmosis.  One or more of those electrodes may also contain a plasmonic lattice, and thereby serve to transduce chemical information in a convenient format.  Alternatively, Au electrodes may be fabricated within a nanofluidic membrane, further increasing transport- and reaction efficiencies by taking advantage of the general improvement in surface-to-volume ratio.  Electrochemical reactions can then be carried out inside the nanofluidic volume, greatly improving both the conversion efficiency and the ease with which the product is delivered downstream.  Ultimately the opportunities for combinatorial microfluidic processing are strong, especially when facilitated by the intelligent integration of metallic components for decentralized chemical analysis.