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Brian D'Urso

Ph.D., Physics, Harvard University, 2003

Brian D’Urso received his Ph.D. in Physics in 2003 from Harvard University, where his work contributed to a new measurement of the electron g-factor, which currently provides the most accurate measurement of the fine structure constant. He then went to Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a Wigner Fellow and remained as a member of the ORNL Research then Senior Research Staff until 2008, where he led a team in developing nanostructured materials and novel fabrication techniques. In 2009, he joined the University of Pittsburgh as an Assistant Professor of Physics while remaining a joint faculty member at ORNL. Currently, he is working as a assistant professor in Montana State University.


The research in the D'Urso group spans several major research areas:
Quantum nanomechanics: Our research on quantum nanomechanics has focused on the development of nanometer-scale mechanical systems where quantum mechanics can have significant effects. Recently, we have been focused on the mechanical motion of a diamond nanocrystal in an optical trap, where nitrogen vacancy (NV) centers in the nanodiamond can be used to measure and control the quantum motion of the trapped nanocrystal.
Graphene and other two-dimensional materials and their applications: As part our nanomechanics research, we started growing our own graphene by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The growth of graphene has expanded into a project of its own, and we now provide graphene to several collaborating groups around the world.
Superhydrophobic nanostructured materials and measurements in fluid dynamics: My research in superhydrophobic materials began while I was at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and has continued at Pitt in continued collaboration with researchers at ORNL. This effort also expanded to include the development of photon correlation spectroscopy for precise absolute measurements of the shear rate in fluid flow with Walter Goldburg at Pitt.
Open scientific instruments and physics education research: Motivated by success in instructional physics labs, my group has been making custom scientific instruments using Arduino microcontroller boards and Python. We use these instruments both in our research and and in instructional laboratories for undergraduates.


Title Position Email
Steven Hemmerle Undergraduate Student
Jen-Feng Hsu Graduate Student
Charles Lewandowski Graduate Student
Mia Rossi Undergraduate Student
Bradley Slezak Graduate Student
Most Cited Publications

"New measurement of the electron magnetic moment using a one-electron quantum cyclotron," B Odom, D Hanneke, B d’Urso, G Gabrielse, Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 030801 (2007)
"Study on the Surface Energy of Graphene by Contact Angle Measurements," A Kozbial, Z Li, C Conaway, R McGinley, S Dhingra, V Vahdat, F Zhao, B D'Urso, H Liu, L Li, Langmuir 30, 8598 (2014)
"Modal reflectivity in finite-depth two-dimensional photonic-crystal microcavities," B D'Urso, O Painter, J O'Brien, T Tombrello, A Yariv, A Scherer, JOSA B 15, 1155 (1998)
"Composite, nanostructured, super-hydrophobic material," B D’Urso, J Simpson, Patent #: 7258731
"Feedback cooling of a one-electron oscillator," B D’Urso, B Odom, G Gabrielse, Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 043001 (2003)

Recent Publications

"Comparison of magneto-gravitational and optical trapping for levitated optomechanics," Lewandowski, Charles W., Wm Randall Babbitt, and Brian D'Urso. In Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XVI, vol. 11083, p. 110831C. International Society for Optics and Photonics, 2019.
"A microsphere molecule: The interaction of two charged microspheres in a magneto-gravitational trap,"  BR Slezak and B D'Urso.  Applied Physics Letters 114.24 (2019)
"Optomechanics with a Particle in a Magneto-Gravitational Trap,"  Brian D'Urso.  Bulletin of the American Physical Society (2019)
"Reconfigurable edge-state engineering in graphene using LaAIO3/SrTiO3 nanostructures,"  J Li, Q Guo, L Chen, S Hao, Y Hu, JF Hsu, H Lee, JW Lee, CB Eom, B D'Urso, P Irvin, and J Levy.  Applied Physics Letters 114.12 (2019)
"Precision optomechanics with a particle in a megneto-gravitational trap," WM Klahold, CW Lewandowski, P Nachman, BR Slezak, and B D'Urso.  Optical, Opto-Atomic, and Entanglement Enhanced Precision Metrology (2019)