Carson Bruns
Assistant Professor • Laboratory for Emergent Nanomaterials • CREATIVE MOLECULAR NANOTECH • MECHANICAL ENGINEERING


Fall 2020 Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:35-5:00 pm

Carson Bruns, assistant professor (ATLAS Institute, Mechanical Engineering), seeks to make creative use of molecular nanotechnology to engineer materials for applications ranging from biohacking to energy transduction. His research involves the fabrication of tiny molecular and particulate building blocks that build themselves into more sophisticated structures by a process of self-assembly. After receiving undergraduate degrees in chemistry and religion from Luther College and a doctorate in organic chemistry from Northwestern University, Carson spent three years as a Miller Postdoctoral Fellow at University of California, Berkeley before joining the faculty at CU Boulder in 2017.


  • Bruns, C. J. Exploring and Exploiting the Symmetry-Breaking Effect of Cyclodextrins in Mechanomolecules. Symmetry 201911, 1249. 

  • Bruns, C. J. The Rise of Smart TattoosTEDxMileHigh Blog2019.

  • CJ Bruns, JF Stoddart, The Nature of the Mechanical Bond: From Molecules to Machines. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2016. 761 pp. ISBN: 9781119044000.

  • CJ Bruns, H Liu, MB Francis. Near-Quantitative Aqueous Synthesis of Rotaxanes via Bioconjugation to Oligopeptides and Proteins. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016138, 15307­–15310.

  • CJ Bruns, JF Stoddart. Rotaxane-Based Molecular Muscles. Acc. Chem. Res. 201447, 2186–2199.

  • CJ Bruns, D Fujita, M Hoshino, S Sato, JF Stoddart, M Fujita. Emergent Ion-Gated Binding of Cationic Host-Guest Complexes Within Cationic M12L24Molecular Flasks. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014136, 12027–12034.
  • CJ Bruns, DJ Herman, JB Minuzzo, JA Lehrman, SI Stupp. Rationalizing Molecular Design in the Electrodeposition of Anisotropic Lamellar Nanostructures. Chem. Mater. 201325, 4330–4339.