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Patrick Johnson

Department of Chemical Engineering

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-6524

Email: pjohns27@uwyo.edu

Johnson Materials Research Group

Patrick Johnson's Materials Research group at the University of Wyoming conducts research in several areas of concentration: Graphene Materials, CVD Diamond, SERS Biosensors, Polymers and Composites, and Spider Silk.

 

 

TEM image of a graphene sheet

Graphene, graphene oxide, and other graphene-like materials have been the subject of intense research recently. Graphene became famous overnight when the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to Novoselov and Geim in 2008. Graphene, the new wonder material, has the highest thermal and electrical conductivity, highest tensile strength, largest Young’s modulus, and a plethora of other remarkable properties that make it deserving of so much attention. Our research group focuses on the synthesis of the material in the bulk phase (powdered form) from various carbon sources as well as finding applications for this form of the material.

 


 

Utilizing chemical vapor deposition, diamond films have been produced under different reaction conditions. The diamond films are to be used for doping and icing properties. Chemical vapor deposition has also been used to synthesize carbon nanotubes. Catalyst type and composition is used to determine quality of the nanotubes and ratio of nanotubes to other types of carbons produced.
optical image of diamond nanoparticles grown on a silicon substrate

 


 

A variety of flexible or rigid, porous or smooth polymers synthesized using various techniques and synthesized polymer foams ranging in strength and quality of thermal insulation

Polymers possess an assortment of commercial and industrial applications ranging from the foam found in cushioned furniture to the coatings that protect sensitive electronics on military aircraft. The main focus of the Johnson Materials Research Group is modifying polymer systems to achieve enhanced material properties for specialty applications. Recently, polyurethane adhesives, coatings, and foams have been synthesized by the Johnson Materials Research Group from the natural precursor, coal. 

 

 


 

Surface-enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) is a surface-sensitive technique that enhances Raman scattering by molecules adsorbed on rough metal surfaces. Compared to the conventional technologies, SERS-based bioassays demonstrate high sensitivity, robustness, efficiency and point-of-care testing capability compared to conventional technologies such as ELISA and PCR. In the SERS-based immunoassay, biosensors labeled with different Raman dyes are developed for the detection of multiple antigens. 

schematic of SERS biosensors (upper) image of nanoparticles (lower)

 


 

NIH 3t3 Fibroblasts on protein fiber mats

Spider silk is a natural material made up strictly of proteins. Spider silk’s durability, elasticity and biocompatibility make it suitable for a wide range of medical applications such as sutures and wound dressings. Spider silk is composed of proteins formed in silk glands of spiders where it is stored as a concentrated liquid solution. As silk is extruded from the spinneret by the spider, the protein solution is dehydrated and aligned forming a fiber. However, producing large quantities of spider silk naturally for biomedical applications is impractical. One solution is to produce recombinant spider silk like proteins in bacterial expression systems (Escherichia. Coli). The objective of this project is to develop and characterize recombinant spider silk fiber mats.


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Patrick Johnson

Department of Chemical Engineering

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-6524

Email: pjohns27@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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