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Brian Bush
Alumnus - Ph.D. Student

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley (2009)
B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware (2003)


brian.bush (at)

Current Position:

National Institutes of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8620
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8620

Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) have attracted significant attention in the study of interfacial phenomena for MEMS devices as they can be used to tailor diverse surface properties such as wettability, adhesion, lubrication, corrosion, and biocompatibility. Although much is known about the growth and structure of SAMs, relatively little is known about their electrical behavior and the interplay between structure and electrical properties. We seek to use Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy and other characterization techniques to probe the electrical properties of SAM surfaces under the influence of varying deposition criteria, post-deposition treatments, and friction and wear. This work is aimed at expanding our knowledge of how SAMs adsorb onto surfaces and how to better construct SAM films with the desired final properties.

A second portion of my project involves the design and characterization of synthetic gecko-inspired dry adhesives. This is of interest because geckos have the ability to climb vertical surfaces under many conditions in which traditional adhesives would be ineffective. We have investigated the use of fibrillar polymeric materials , typically fabricated from polyimide, as synthetic adhesives. Our hope is to design a material that will mimic the remarkable adhesive capability of the natural gecko. This has potential applications in the fields of robotics, medicine, space exploration, and many others.