Welcome to the Buhlmann Group

Our group is interested in the use of molecular recognition for chemical sensing. On one hand, we develop chemical sensors for clinical and environmental applications. Our research focuses on new receptors that bind analytes of interest with high selectivity, novel strategies to obtain very low detection limits, and perfluoropolymers that permit long-term monitoring and eventually the implantation into the human body. On the other hand, we chemically modify metal and carbon nanotube tips, and use them in scanning tunneling microscopy for chemically selective imaging with molecular resolution.

Recent Publications

Zhen, X.; Buhlmann, P.; Koester, S.; Zhang, Y.; Nelson, J. “Chemical Sensors with Non-Covalent Surface Modification of Graphene”, US Patent 11,079,371 B2; patent issued August 3, 2021.

Potentiometric Sensors with Polymeric Sensing and Reference Membranes Fully Integrated into a Sample-Wicking Polyester Textile, Herrero, E.J., Bühlmann, P., Analysis and Sensing, 2021. full text.

Easy-to-Make Capillary-Based Reference Electrodes with Controlled, Pressure-Driven Electrolyte Flow, Anderson, E., Troudt, B., Bühlmann, P., ACS Sensors  2021, 6, 2211–2217. full text. 

Calibration-Free Potentiometric Sensing With Solid-Contact Ion-Selective Electrodes, Rousseau, C., Bühlmann, P., Trends in Anal. Chem., 2021, 140, 116277. full text

Rethinking Graduate Recruitment Weekends in the Digital Age, Gavin, J. T.; Nguyen, A. G.; Plasek, E. E.; Stathopoulos, S. M.; Bühlmann, P.; Tonks, I. A.; Roberts, C. C., J. Chem. Ed. 202097, 2544–2555. full text

Ultra-Clean Graphene Transfer using a Sacrificial Fluoropolymer Layer and Self-Assembled Monolayers, Su, Q.; Zhen, X. V.; Nelson, J.; Bühlmann, P.; Sherwood, G.; Koester, S., ACS Appl. Mat. Interfac. 20203, 11998–12007. full text.

Fluorous-Phase Ion-Selective pH Electrodes: Electrode Body and Ionophore Optimization for Measurements in the Physiological pH Range, Chen, X.; Mousavi, M.; Bühlmann, P. ACS Omega2020, 23(5), 13621–13629.

Reference Electrodes Based on Ionic Liquid Doped Reference Membranes with Biocompatible Silicone Matrixes, Chen, X; Stein, A.; Bühlmann, P. ACS Sensors, 20205(6),1717-1725.

Solid-Contact Ion-Selective and Reference Electrodes Covalently Attached to Functionalized Poly(ethylene terephthalate), Anderson, E,; Chopade, S.; Spindler, Brian; Stein, A.; Lodge, T.; Hillmyer, M.; Bühlmann, P,. Anal. Chem., 2020, 92(11), 7621–7629.

Critical Comparison of Reference Electrodes with Salt Bridges Contained in Nanoporous Glass with 5, 20, 50, and 100 nm Diameter Pores, Anderson, E. L., Troudt, B., Bühlmann, P. Analytical Sciences, 2020, 36(2), 187.

Ionic Liquid-based Reference Electrodes for Miniaturized Ion Sensors: What Can Go Wrong?, Mousavi, M. P. S.; Abd El-Rahman, M. K.; Tan, E. K.; Sigurslid, H. H.; Arkan, N.; Lane, J. S., Bühlmann, P., Whitesides, G. Sens. Actuators B, 2019, 301, 127112.

Indirect Potentiometric Determination of Polyquaternium Polymer Concentrations by Equilibrium Binding to 1-Dodecyl Sulfate, Anderson, E. L.; Samaniego, P. D.; Bühlmann, P. Anal. Sci. 201935, 679–684.

More than a Liquid Junction: Effect of Stirring, Flow Rate, and Inward and Outward Electrolyte Diffusion on Reference Electrodes with Salt Bridges Contained in Nanoporous Glass, Anderson, E. L.; Lodge, T. P.; Tata, G.; Veglia, G.; Buhlmann, P. Anal. Chem. 2019, 91, 7698–7704.

Potentiometric Selectivities of Ionophore-Doped Ion-Selective Membranes: Concurrent Presence of Primary Ion or Interfering Ion Complexes of Multiple Stoichiometries. Yilmaz, I.; Chen, L. D.; Chen, X. V.; Anderson, E. L.; da Costa, R. C.; Gladysz, J. A.; Bühlmann, P. Anal. Chem. 2019, 91(3), 2409-2417.

Remediation of Perfluorooctylsulfonate Contamination by in Situ Sequestration: Direct Monitoring of PFOS Binding to Polyquaternium Polymers, Anderson, E. L., Mousavi, M. P. S., Aly, Y. H., Chen, X. V., Simcik, M. F., Buhlmann, P. ACS Omega, 2019, (1), 1068-1076.

In-Situ Sensing of the Neurotransmitter Acetylcholine in a Dynamic Range of 1 nM to 1 mM, Abd El-Rahman, M.; Mousavi, M. S.; Mahmoud, A.; Abdelsalam, R.; Buhlmann, P. ACS Sens., 2018, 3(12), 2581-2589.

 Stress and mental health in graduate school: How student empowerment creates lasting change, Mousavi, M. P. S.; Sohrabpour, Z.; Anderson, E. L.; Stemig-Vindedahl, A.; Golden, D.; Christenson, G.; Lust, K.; Bühlmann, P. J. Chem. Ed., 201895(11), 1939-1946.

Redox Buffer Capacity of Ion-Selective Electrode Solid Contacts Doped with Organometallic Complexes, Zhen X., Rousseau, C., Buhlmann, P. Anal. Chem2018, 90 (18), 11000-11007.

Non-Covalent Monolayer Modification of Graphene Using Pyrene and Cyclodextrin Receptors for Chemical Sensing, Zhen X. V., Swanson E. G., Nelson J. T., Zhang Y., Su Q., Koester S. J., Buhlmann P. ACS Appl. Nano Mater. 2018, 1, 2718-2726. 

 Cleaning of pH Selective Electrodes with Ionophore-Doped Fluorous Membranes in NaOH Solution at 90 ºC, Lugert-Thom, E. C.; Gladysz, J. A.; Rabai, J.; Bühlmann, P. Electroanalysis 201830, 611-618.

 Functionalized Mesoporous Polymers with Enhanced Performance as Reference Electrode Frits, Anderson, E. L.; Saba, S. A.; Loomis, D. J.; Buhlmann, P.; Hillmyer, M. A., ACS Appl. Nano Mat. 2018, 1, 139–144.



Congratulations to former group member Dr. Paul Boswell, who is now company owner of Spintronics, a puzzle game where players discover electronics in a tangible way, using the first physical representation of electronic circuits. Check out his video here!

Congratulations to Eliza for winning the Paul and Gerda Gassman Award at the 3rd-year Graduate Research Symposium!

Congratulations to Blair and Eliza for winning poster awards for the SEAC poster session at PittCon 2021!

Welcome, Ali who joined the group and will be co-advised by Professor Marc Hillmyer! (Apr 2021)

Vilma and Xin passed their Oral Prelim Exams, earning their Masters Degrees and becoming PhD candidates. Good job!

Former group member Kangping Xiao just published a book entitled Analytical Scientists in Pharmaceutical Product Development: Task Management and Practical Knowledge. Nice job Kangping!

Welcome, Madeline and Emily, who joined the group in Nov 2020!

Eliza was featured in Chemistry and Engineering News Weekly as an ACS Scholar Alumna. Well done! Read more here.

Congratulations to Blair for winning a poster award for the SEAC poster session at PittCon 2020!

Celeste and Blair attend the first-ever Society of Electroanalytical Chemistry student group meeting at Pitt Con. They presented posters at PittCon2020, and Phil and Blair gave a talk. Good job!

Eliza and Kwangrok passed their Oral Prelim Exams earning their Masters Degrees and becoming PhD candidates.

Congrats to Evan and Blair! Their article "Critical Comparison of Reference Electrodes with Salt Bridges Contained in Nanoporous Glass with 5, 20, 50, and 100 nm Diameter Pores" has been selected as a cover article. Feb. 2020

Welcome  Vilma and Xin who just joined the Buhlmann Group! Nov. 2019

Xin successfully defended his thesis on July 29th. Congratulations Xin! He will be working at Dupont in Boston. 

Phil was named a 2019 ACS Fellow. Read about him here

Welcome to our visiting summer researchers: Madeline, Katie, Xin and John. 

Evan successfully defended his thesis on June 27th. Congratulations Evan!

Celeste has received the Think Swiss fellowship. Congratulations! Celeste will go to the University of Geneva in the fall to work with Dr. Eric Bakker.

Celeste and Eliza received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program fellowship. Congratulations!  

Celeste and Blair passed their Oral Prelim Exams earning their Masters Degrees and becoming PhD candidates.

Welcome  Kwangrok, Casey and Eliza who just joined the Buhlmann Group! Nov. 2018

Yao defended his thesis on October 2 and will begin working at KLA Tencor in California this month.

Phil was chosen to receive the 2018 Janet Tarino Volunteer Award from MN ACS for his extensive volunteer work. Read about it here

Xue defended her thesis on May 22 and will start working at Boston Scientific on June 4, 2018

Congratulations to Jinbo on receiving the 2018 Graduate School's "Best Dissertation Award" in Physical Sciences & Engineering and the 2017 Award for Doctoral Thesis Excellence in Chemistry! May, 2018

Congratulations to Evan on receiving a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for the 2018-19 academic year! April. 2018

We received a fall 2017 safe lab award from the Joint Safety Team. Well done everyone! Mar. 2018

Welcome Blair and Celeste who just joined the Buhlmann group! Nov. 2017

Congratulations to Evan on winning the MUACC Poster Award! Oct. 2017

Congratulations to Evan! His article "Self-Supporting, Hydrophobic, Ionic Liquid-Based Reference Electrodes Prepared by Polymerization-Induced Microphase Separation" has been selected as an ACS Editors' Choice highlight. Sep. 2017

Congratulations to Xin on receiving the Beaker and Bunsen awards for his research prensention at the 16th annual Graduate Student Research Symposium! June 2017


Buhlmann Lab (socially distanced) Picnic! (Spring 2021)

Buhlmann Lab (socially distanced) Picnic! (Spring 2021)  

Successful group meeting on zoom!

Successful group meeting on zoom!

Buhlmann group paint night Feb. 2020

Buhlmann group paint night Feb. 2020

Happy Holidays from the Buhlmann Group!

Happy Holidays from the Buhlmann Group!

Group lake day. August, 2019

Group lake day. August, 2019

Xin's Thesis Defense

Buhlmann Group after Xin's thesis defense, July 2019

Evan Anderson Defense

Buhlmann Group after Evan's thesis defense, June 2019.

Buhlmann Group Axe Throwing

Group axe throwing event. January 2019

The Buhlmann Group defeats the escape room!

The Buhlmann Group conquered the escape room, July 2018. 

group photo 3

Group photo before Xue and Yao's graduation ceremony, May 2018.

group photo 2

Group meeting calendar

Fall 2020

Every Wednesday, 11 am-noon on Zoom

(email Eliza for link [email protected])

(Presenting sequence: Brian, Blair, Celeste, Eliza, Kwangrok, Casey, Xin, Vilma)