Welcome to the home page of the Paul Braun Research Group at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Our group members perform research in the fields of materials chemistry, polymers, biomaterials, organic and inorganic self-assembly, electronic materials and photonics.

Paul V Braun – Google Scholar

Braun Group November 2023
Braun Lab Tour

In the News

Imani Jones & Daniel Cudzich Receive Honorable Mention NSF GRFP

Braun Lab Members Imani Jones (Ph.D. Candidate) and Daniel Cudzich (Undergraduate Researcher) were recently recognized with Honorable Mention for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.  Congratulations on this national academic achievement!

Professor Paul Braun recipient of the 2023-2024 College Award for Excellence in Translational Research

The Grainger College Award for Excellence in Translational Research honors faculty or staff researchers for special achievement in translational research. Examples of translational research include but are not limited to: entrepreneurial activities related to research outcomes, technology transfer of research through licensing of intellectual property, and research leading directly to products/outcomes with notable societal impact.

Thermally engineering templates for highly ordered self-assembled materials

Self-assembled solidifying eutectic materials directed by a template with miniature features demonstrate unique microstructures and patterns as a result of diffusion and thermal gradients caused by the template. Despite the template trying to force the material to solidify into a regular pattern, when the template carries a lot of heat it also can interfere with the solidification process and cause disorder in the long-range pattern. Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Michigan Ann Arbor have developed a template material that carries almost no heat and therefore stops heat transfer between the template material itself and the solidifying eutectic material. This was accomplished by forming the template from a material with very low thermal conductivity, ultimately resulting in highly organized self-assembled microstructures.

“The key novelty of this research is that we carefully controlled the flow of heat. By controlling the flow of heat, the pattern becomes far better and more regular than before because we’re controlling more of the parameters. Previously, the template controlled the flow of atoms, but the heat flows were uncontrolled,” says Paul Braun, a professor of materials science and engineering and director of the Materials Research Laboratory, who led this research along with postdoctoral researcher Sung Bum Kang.

The results of this research were recently published in the journal Advanced Materials.

Read the full story by Amber Rose: https://mrl.illinois.edu/news/64349

Research Article: https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.202308720

Editors Choice – 2023

Braun Lab publication, “Serially integrated high-voltage and high power miniature batteries,” included in the Editors Choice 2023 for Cell Reports Physical Science. See the full list of selected publications: Editors Choice — 2023

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Braun Group Recent Publications
Y-Y, Lin, C. Juarez-Yescas, K-W. Lan, P.V. Braun, J.A. Krogstad, and N.H. Perry, Isolation of Grain vs. Intergranular Transport in Li1+xTixTa1-x SiO5 Suggests Concerted Ion Migration in a High-Voltage Stable Electrolyte from High-Throughput Descriptors, ACS Applied Energy Materials, 6, 22, 11468-11480 (2023). DOI: 10.1021/acsaem.3c01647
S. Jang, E.I. Hernandez Alvarez, C. Chen, B.B. Jing, C. Shen, P.V. Braun, A. Schleife, C.M. Schroeder, and C.M. Evans, Control of Lithium Salt Partitioning, Coordination, and Solvation in Vitrimer Electrolytes, Chem. Mater., 35, 19, 8039–8049 (2023). DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.3c01353
O.S. Cifci, M.A. Yoder, L. Xu, H. Chen, C.J. Beck, J. He, B.A. Koscher, Z. Nett, J.K. Swabeck, A.P. Alivisatos, R.G. Nuzzo and P.V. Braun, Luminescent Cavity Design for High Ambient Contrast Ratio, High Efficiency Displays, Nature Photonics, 17, 872–877 (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41566-023-01281-2
Z. Liu, J.G. Sederholm, K-W Lan, E.J. Cho, M.J. Dipto, Y. Gurumukhi, K.F. Rabbi, M.C. Hatzell, N.H. Perry, N. Miljkovic, P.V. Braun, P. Wang and Y. Li, Life cycle assessment of hydrometallurgical recycling for cathode active materialsLife cycle assessment of hydrometallurgical recycling for cathode active materials, Journal of Power Sources, 580, 233345 (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2023.233345
C.A. Richards, C.R. Ocier, D. Xie, H. Gao, T. Robertson, L.L. Goddard, R.E. Christiansen, D. G. Cahill and P.V. Braun, Hybrid achromatic microlenses with high numerical apertures and focusing efficiencies across the visible, Nature Communications, 14, 1, 3119 (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-38858-y
D. Xie, W. Li, C.A. Richards, H. Gao, C. Chen, N. Miljkovic, S. Fan, S.N. Joshi, and P.V. Braun, Thermally Responsive Hydrogels for Passive Temperature Regulation under Direct Sunlight, Advanced Photonics Research, 4, 4, 2200253 (2023). DOI: 10.1002/adpr.202200253
A. Littlefield, D. Xie, C.A. Richards, C.R. Ocier, H. Gao, J.F. Messinger, L. Ju, J.Gao, L. Edwards, P.V. Braun and L.L. Goddard, Enabling High Precision Gradient Index Control in Subsurface Multiphoton Lithography, ACS Photonics (2023). DOI: 10.1021/acsphotonics.2c01950
J. Huang, N. Ramlawi, G. Sheridan, R. Ewoldt, P. Braun, and C. Evans, Dynamic Covalent Bond Exchange Enhances Penetrant Diffusion in Dense Vitrimers, Macromolecules, 56, 3, 1253-1262 (2023). DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.2c02547