"We study how new form factors of matter created through self-assembly and materials chemistry lead to new optical, electrical, biological, and mechanical functions."

Paul V. Braun

Ivan Racheff Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Office 312E Materials Science and Engineering Building

Telephone 217-244-7293 Fax 217-333-2736

Mail Address Department of Materials Science and Engineering
1304 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801

pbraun@illinois.edu    Braun research group page

  • Profile
  • Research
  • Publications
  • Awards


Professor Braun received his BS degree, with distinction, from Cornell University, and his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from UIUC in 1998. Following a one year post-doctoral appointment at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, he joined the faculty at UIUC in 1999 as an assistant professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and a part-time faculty member of the Beckman Institute. He is the recipient of a Beckman Young Investigator Award (2001); 3M Nontenured Faculty Award (2001); Robert Lansing Hardy Award from TMS (2002), and Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2010). From the UIUC College of Engineering, he has received the Willett Faculty Scholar Award (2002), Xerox Award for Faculty Research (2004), and Stanley H. Pierce Faculty Award (2010). He was named a University Scholar by the University of Illinois (2006).


Professor Braun’s research program covers a range of materials science disciplines, with a general focus on the formation and study of nano and microstructured materials through self and directed assembly. Materials developed by his group containing structure on these length scales have been found to exhibit interesting and important electrical, optical, mechanical, electrochemical and biological properties. His group uses and develops new materials chemistry approaches to the synthesis of these materials, which enables realization of novel form factors of matter which exhibit advanced functionalities.


For a complete list of Prof. Braun's articles: http://braungroup.beckman.uiuc.edu/publications.html

J. L. Keddie, P. V. Braun, and E. P. Giannelis, "Interrelationship between Densification, Crystallization, and Chemical Evolution in Sol-Gel Titania Thin Films," Journal of the American Ceramic Society 77 (1994): 1592.

P. V. Braun, P. Osenar, and S. I. Stupp, "Semiconducting Superlattices Templated by Molecular Assemblies," Nature 380 (1996): 325.

S. I. Stupp, P. V. Braun, "Molecular Manipulation of Materials: Biomaterials, Ceramics, and Semiconductors," Science 277 (1997): 1242.

P. V. Braun, P. Osenar, V. Tohver, S. B. Kennedy and S. I. Stupp, "Nanostructure Templating in Inorganic Solids with Lyotropic Liquid Crystals," Journal of the American Chemical Society 121 (1999): 7302-09.

P. V. Braun and P. Wiltzius, "Electrochemically Grown Photonic Crystals," Nature 402 (1999): 603-604.

J. Aizenberg, P. V. Braun and P. Wiltzius, "High Resolution Colloidal Deposition Through Electrostatic and Capillary Forces," Phys. Rev. Lett. 84 (2000): 2997-3000.

T. M. Dellinger, P. V. Braun, "BiOCl nanoparticles synthesized in lyotropic liquid crystal nanoreactors," Scripta Materialia 44 (2001): 1893-97.

W. Lee, S. A. Pruzinsky, and P. V. Braun, "Multi-photon polymerization of waveguide structures within photonic crystals," Adv. Mater. 14 (2002): 271-74.

Braun, P.V., and P. Wiltzius, "Macroporous materials—electrochemically grown photonic crystals," (invited) Adv. Colloid and Interface Sci. 7 (2002): 116-23.

Wilson, O.M., X. Hu, D.G. Cahill, and P.V. Braun, "Colloidal metal particles as probes of nanoscale thermal transport in fluids," Phys. Rev. B 66 (2002): 224301.

S. Jeon and P. V. Braun, "Hydrothermal synthesis of Er-doped luminescent TiO 2 nanoparticles," Chemistry of Materials 15 (2003): 1256-63.

Y.-J. Lee and P. V. Braun, "Tunable inverse opal hydrogel pH sensors," Adv. Mater. 15 (2003): 563-66.

H. Liang, T. E. Angelini, J.Ho, P. V. Braun and G. C. L. Wong, "Molecular imprinting of biomineralized CdS nanostructures, Crystallographic control using self-assembled DNA-membrane templates," J. Amer. Chem. Soc.125 (2003): 11786-87.

M. A. Meitl, T. M. Dellinger, and P. V. Braun, "Bismuth-ceramic nanocomposites with unusual thermal stability via high-energy ball milling," Adv. Functional Mater. 13 (2003): 795-799.

Y.-J. Lee, S. A. Pruzinsky and P. V. Braun, "Glucose-sensitive inverse opal hydrogels, analysis of optical diffraction response," Langmuir 20 (2004): 3096-3106.

P. V. Braun, "Spontaneous ligand organization," Nature Materials 3 (2004): 281-82.

W. Lee, A. Chan, M. A. Bevan, J. A. Lewis and P. V. Braun, "Nanoparticle-mediated epitaxial assembly of colloidal crystals on patterned substrates," Langmuir 20 (2004): 5262-5270.

T. M. Dellinger and P. V. Braun, "Lyotropic liquid crystals as nanoreactors for nanoparticle synthesis," Chem. Mater. 16 (2004): 2201-07.

R. G. Shimmin, A. B. Schoch and P. V. Braun, "Polymer size and concentration effects on the size of gold nanoparticles capped by polymeric thiols," Langmuir 20 (2004) 5613-20.

C. E. Heitzman, H. Tu, P. V. Braun, "Two-dimensional diffusion of prodan on self-assembled monolayers studied by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching," J. Phys. Chem. B. 108 (2004): 13764-770.

H. Tu, C. E. Heitzman, P. V. Braun, "Patterned poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) brushes on silica surfaces by microcontact printing followed by surface-initiated polymerization," Langmuir 20 (2004): 8313-20.

S. Jeon, J.-U. Park, R. Cirelli, S. Yang, C. E. Heitzman, P. V. Braun, P. J. A. Kenis, J. A. Rogers, "Fabricating complex three-dimensional nanostructures with high-resolution conformable phase masks," Proc. of the National Academy of Sciences 101 (2004) 12428-433.

M. A. Bevan, J. A. Lewis, P. V. Braun, P. Wiltzius, "Structural evolution of colloidal crystals with increasing ionic strength," Langmuir 20 (2004): 7045-53.

H. Liang, T. E. Angelini, P. V. Braun, and G. C. L. Wong, "Roles of anionic and cationic template components in biomineralization of CdS nanorods using self-assembled DNA—membrane complexes," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 126 (2004): 14157-165.

Z. Ge, D. G. Cahill, and P. V. Braun, "AuPd Metal Nanoparticles as Probes of Nanoscale Thermal Transport in Aqueous Solution," J. Phys. Chem. B 108 (2004): 18870-875.

Y.-J. Lee, S. A. Pruzinsky, and P. V. Braun, "Diffraction response of colloidal crystals, effect of numerical aperture," Optics Letters (2005).

Z. Ge, Y. Kang, T. A. Taton, P. V. Braun, and D. G. Cahill, "Thermal transport in Au-core polymer-shell nanoparticles," Nano Letters (2005).

F. Garcia-Santamaria, J. F. Galisteo-Lopez, P. V. Braun, and C. Lopez: Optical diffraction and high-energy features in three-dimensional photonic crystals, Phys. Rev. B, 71 (19), 195112 (2005).

P. V. Braun, P. Osenar, M. Twardowski, G. N. Tew, and S. I. Stupp: Macroscopic Nano-Templating of Semiconductor Films with Hydrogen Bonded Lyotropic Liquid Crystals, Advanced Functional Materials , 15, 1745-1750, (2005).

A. Wolosiuk, O. Armagan, P. V. Braun: Double Direct Templating of Periodically Nanostructured ZnS Hollow Microspheres, J. Am. Chem. Soc ., 127, 16356-16357 (2005).

S. A. Pruzinsky and P. V. Braun: Fabrication and Characterization of Two-Photon Polymerized Features in Colloidal Crystals, Advanced Functional Materials, 15, 1995-2004 (2005).

P. V. Braun: MRS Workshop Explores the Diversity of 3D Multifunctional Ceramic Composites, MRS Bulletin, 30, 986-987 (2005).

D. A. Eckhoff, J. D. B. Sutin, R. M. Clegg, E. Gratton, E. V. Rogozhina, and P. V. Braun: Optical characterization of ultrasmall Si nanoparticles prepared through electrochemical dispersion of bulk Si. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 109, 19786-19797 (2005).

M. Piech, M. C. George, N. S. Bell and P. V. Braun: Patterned colloid assembly by grafted photochromic polymer layers, Langmuir, 22, 1379-1382 (2006).

G. M. Gratson, F. García-Santamaría, V. Lousse, M. Xu, S. Fan, J. A. Lewis, and P. V. Braun: Direct-Write Assembly of 3D Photonic Crystals: Conversion of Polymer Scaffolds to Silicon Hollow-Woodpile Structures, Advanced Materials, 18, 461-465 (2006).

T. A. Berfield, J. K. Patel, R. G. Shimmin, P. V. Braun, J. Lambros, and N. R. Sottos: Fluorescent Image Correlation for Nanoscale Deformation Measurements, Small, 2, 631-635 (2006).

E. V. Rogozhina, D. A. Eckhoff, E. Gratton, and P. V. Braun: Carboxyl functionalization of ultrasmall luminescent silicon nanoparticles through thermal hydrosilylation, J. Mater. Chem., 16, 1421-1430 (2006).

S. H. Cho, M. H. Andersson, S. R. White, N. R. Sottos, and P. V. Braun: Polydimethylsiloxane-based Self-Healing Materials, Advanced Materials, 18, 997-1000 (2006).

X. Wang, H. Tu, P. V. Braun and P. W. Bohn : Length Scale Heterogeneity in Lateral Gradients of Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) Polymer Brushes Prepared by Surface-Initiated Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization Coupled with In-Plane Electrochemical Potential Gradients, Langmuir, 22, 817-823 (2006).

R. G. Shimmin, A. J. DiMauro, and P. V. Braun: Slow vertical deposition of colloidal crystals: A Langmuir-Blodget process? Langmuir, 22,6507-6513 (2006).

Z. Ge, D. G. Cahill, and P. V. Braun: Thermal conductance of hydrophilic and hydrophobic interfaces, Physical Review Letters, 96, 186101-1-186101-4 (2006).

(invited) P. V. Braun, S. A. Pruzinsky, and F. Garcia-Santamaria: Introducing defects in 3D photonic crystals: State of the art, Advanced Materials, 18, 2665–2678 (2006).

Y.-J. Lee, C. E. Heitzman, W. R. Frei, H. T. Johnson, and P. V. Braun: Transformation of Hydrogel-Based Inverse Opal Photonic Sensors from FCC to L1 1 During Swelling, J. Phys. Chem B, 110, 19300-19306 (2006).

S. A. Putnam, D. G. Cahill, P. V. Braun, Z. Ge, and R. G. Shimmin: Thermal conductivity of nanoparticle suspensions, J. Appl. Phys.,99, 084308 (2006).

T. A. Berfield, J.K. Patel, R.G. Shimmin, P.V. Braun, J. Lambros, and N.R. Sottos: Micro- and Nanoscale Deformation Measurement of Surface and Internal Planes via Digital Image Correlation, Experimental Mechanics, 47, 51-62 (2007).

H. Tu, L. Hong, S. M. Anthony, P. V. Braun and S. Granick: Brush-sheathed particles diffusing at brush-coated surfaces in the thermally-responsive PNIPAAm system, Langmuir, 23, 2322-2325 (2007).

R. G. Shimmin, R. Vajtai, R. W. Siegel, and P. V. Braun: Room-temperature assembly of germanium photonic crystals through colloidal crystal templating, Chemistry of Materials, 19, 2102-2107 (2007).

C. Rau, V. Crecea, K.M. Peterson, P.R. Jemian, C.-P. Richter, U. Neuhäusler, G. Schneider, X. Yu, P. V. Braun, T. C. Chiang, I. K. Robinson: Imaging of micro- and nano-structures with hard X-rays, Micro and Nano Letters, 2, 1–5 (2007).

F. García-Santamaría and P. V. Braun: Are artificial opals non-close-packed fcc structures? Applied Physics Letters,90, 241905 (1-3) (2007).

F. García-Santamaría, M. Xu, V. Lousse, S. Fan, P. V. Braun and J. A. Lewis: A germanium inverse woodpile structure with a large photonic band gap, Advanced Materials,19, 1567-1570 (2007).

X. Yu, Y.-J. Lee, R. Furstenberg, J. O. White, and P. V. Braun: Filling Fraction Dependent Properties of Inverse Opal Metallic Photonic Crystals, Advanced Materials, 19, 1689-1692 (2007).

Wonmok Lee, and Paul V. Braun: Epitaxially grown colloidal crystals of silica microspheres on patterned substrate of triangular arrays, Materials Science and Engineering C, 27, 961–967 (2007).

C. Rau, W. Liu, V. Crecea, K.M. Peterson, P.R. Jemian, C.-P. Richter, U. Neuhäusler, G. Schneider, X. Yu, P. V. Braun, I. K. Robinson: Synchrotron-based imaging and tomography with hard X-rays, Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res., Sect. B, 261, 850-854 (2007).

F. García-Santamaría, E. C. Nelson, and P. V. Braun: Optical surface resonance may render photonic crystals ineffective, Physical Review B, 76, 075132(1-6), (2007).

M.C. George, E.C. Nelson, J.A. Rogers, P.V. Braun: Direct Fabrication of 3D Periodic Inorganic Microstructures using Conformal Phase Masks, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 121, 150-154 (2009).

S.H. Cho, S.R. White, and P.V. Braun: Self-Healing Polymer Coatings, Advanced Materials, 21, 645-649 (2009).

A. Brzezinski, Y.-C. Chen, P. Wiltzius and P.V. Braun: Complex three-dimensional conformal surfaces formed by atomic layer deposition: Computation and experimental verification, Journal of Materials Chemistry, 19, 9126-9130 (2009).

D.A. Davis, A. Hamilton, Y. Yang, L.D. Cremar, D.V. Gough, S.L. Potisek, M.T. Ong, P. V. Braun, T.J. Martínez, S.R. White, J.S. Moore, and N.R. Sottos. Force-Induced Activation of Covalent Bonds in Mechanoresponsive Polymeric Materials, Nature, 459, 68-72 (2009).

  • Racheff Assistant Professor (1999)
  • Beckman Young Investigator Award (2001)
  • 3M Nontenured Faculty Award (2001)
  • Robert Lansing Hardy Award, TMS (2002)
  • Willett Faculty Scholar Award (2002)
  • Xerox Award for Faculty Research (2004)
  • University Scholar (2006)
  • Accenture Multi-year Faculty Achievement Award, College of Engineering, UIUC (2007)
  • Accenture Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising (2007)
  • Plenary Lecturer, Composites at Lake Louise, Banff, Alberta, Canada (2009)
  • Xerox Award for Faculty Research, College of Engineering, UIUC (2009)
  • Named on List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students (2009)
  • Stanley H. Pierce Faculty Award, College of Engineering, UIUC (2010)
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2010)