Merlin L. Bruening - 2000 Young Investigator Award

   Since joining the faculty at Michigan State University in 1997, Merlin Bruening's research has focused on developing ultrathin films for separations, sensing, and anti-corrosion applications.  Bruening received his B.S. and M.S. degrees at Brigham Young University in 1989 and 1990, respectively.  Under the direction of Reed Izatt, he investigated the use of silica gel-bound crown ethers for separations applications.  Merlin did his Ph.D. work with Avi Shanzer at the Weizmann Institute of Science. While there, he studied electronic effects of ligand binding to semiconductor surfaces.  During his NIH postdoctoral fellowship (1995-1997), Bruening worked with Dick Crooks in developing hyperbranched polymer films.  Recent achievements in the Bruening group include the development of ultrathin, nylon-like films on electrodes and synthesis of hyperbranched poly(acrylic acid) films on porous alumina membranes.