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bulletBrandon H. McNaughton

Brandon H. McNaughton
(Applied Physics Graduate Student)
My academic career began by attending one semester at College of the Desert, which is located in Palm Desert, California. I then transferred to Bakersfield College (BC) for three semesters. While attending BC, I worked on two separate mathematical projects with Rebecca Head, which were presented at the 2000 and 2001 Southern California Section of the Math Association of America (MAA) conferences.

In the fall semester of 2001, I transferred to California State University Bakersfield (CSUB) where, in 2002, I received my B.S. in Physics. At CSUB, I worked with Jorge Talamantes on a computer simulation of a two-dimensional electron-electron interacting system, in an effort to determine if the system had a metal insulator transition. I also participated in research at The University of Toledo in the summer between my junior and senior year, where I worked with Alejandra Lukaszew on building a magneto-optic Kerr effect station to investigate ferromagnetic thin films. My work at The University of Toledo was funded through the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program provided by the National Science Foundation.

In addition, I also collaborated with Michael Rios on the topology of fractional calculus. We presented preliminary results of our studies at a Southern California MAA conference in 2002. Additionally, I have acquired 38 semester units in business classes from Vanguard University of Southern California.

Upon completion of my B.S. in physics (2002), I promptly crossed the continental divide and proceeded to Ann Arbor to participate in the Applied Physics Program at the University of Michigan. Outside of academia, my interests are travel, guitar/songwriting, fractional calculus, and various sporting activities. Also, I maintain a web site focusing on everyday applications of nanotechnology -

Current Research:
I have been a part of the Kopelman Laboratory since January of 2003. When I first joined the group, I worked on the fabrication of a sensing magnetic micro-drill that could be controlled remotely. Remotely exploring biological tissues using magnetically driven micro-machines could one day allow for medical diagnostics and treatment. We developed a magnetically driven drill capable of sensing pH gradients. The drill was coated on one side with a fluorescent indicator dye that blinks when the drill rotates; extracting the blinking signal reduces background interference by over a factor of 100.

Since the microdrill, I have worked closely with Brownian and Magnetic MOONs (MOdulated Optical Nanoprobes). To obtain a more in depth introduction to MOONs go to We have recently focused on using MOONs as nanoviscometers, immunoassays, and for detecting binding events.

Rotational Viscometers: 
For slow magnet rotation rates, MagMOONs follow the external driving magnet with a small phase lag. As the rotation rate increases, the phase lag increases. Maximum magnetic torque and MagMOON terminal velocity occurs when the external magnet is perpendicular to the MagMOON’s magnetic moment. At higher driving frequencies, the MagMOON is lapped by the external magnetic field resulting in a rocking motion at the frequency of the driving field superimposed on a slower overall rotation rate. This behavior is sensitive to a variety of physical parameters.

J.N. Anker, C.J. Behrend, R. Kopelman, and B.H. McNaughton, "Modulated physical and chemical sensors," Patent Pending (2005).


Scientific Publications:
B.H. McNaughton, V.A. Stoica, J.N. Anker, R. Clarke, and R. Kopelman, “Fabrication of uniform half-shell magnetic nanoparticles and microspheres with applications as magnetically modulated optical nanoprobes Posted on (2005).


B.H. McNaughton, J.N. Anker, R. Kopelman, “Magnetic microdrill as a modulated fluorescent pH sensor Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 293, 696-701 (2005).


C.J. Behrend, J.N. Anker,  B.H. McNaughton, R. Kopelman, “Microrheology with modulated optical nanoprobes (MOONs)Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 293, 663-670 (2005).

R.R. Agayan, T. Horvath, B.H. McNaughton, J.N. Anker, R. Kopelman, “Optical manipulation of metal-silica hybrid nanoparticles Procedings of SPIE. 5514, 502-513 (2004).


C.J. Behrend, J.N. Anker, B.H. McNaughton, T.G. Roberts, M. Brasuel, M.A. Philbert, R. Kopelman, “Metal-capped brownain and magnetically modulated optical nanoprobes (MOONs): micromechanics in chemical and biological microenvironmentsJournal of Physical Chemistry B 108, 10408-10414 (2004).


J.N. Anker, C.J. Behrend, B.H. McNaughton, T.G. Roberts, M. Brasuel, M.A. Philbert, “Characterization and applications of modulated optical nanoprobes (MOONs)” Mat. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 790, 4.4.1-12, (2004).      


R.A. Lukaszew, B. McNaughton, V. Stoica, and R. Clarke, "Surface reconstruction and induced uniaxial magnetic fields on Ni films," Mat. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc., (2002).

Newspaper Articles:
A Century Beyond Einstein: Physics theme semester commemorates three ground-breaking papers by the legendary scientist (Sep 20, 2005 By Brandon H. McNaughton, Daily Science Reporter)

Nobel Laureate speaks on ultra-cold matter (Apr 12, 2005 By Brandon H. McNaughton, For the Daily)


Marshall Scholar winner tackles dark matter mystery (Jan 11, 2005 By Brandon McNaughton, For the Daily)

Saturday Science (Dec 14, 2004 By Brandon H. McNaughton, For the Daily)




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