Skip to main content

ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Date Range
2011 2019


Complex samples, such as those from biological sources, contain valuable information indicative of the state of human health. These samples, though incredibly valuable, are difficult to analyze. Separation science is often used as the first step when studying these samples. Electrophoretic exclusion is a novel separations technique that differentiates species in bulk solution. Due to its ability to isolate species in bulk solution, it is uniquely suited to array-based separations for complex sample analysis. This work provides proof of principle experimental results and resolving capabilities of the novel technique. Electrophoretic exclusion is demonstrated at a single interface on both benchtop …

Contributors
Kenyon, Stacy Marie, Hayes, Mark A., Ros, Alexandra, et al.
Created Date
2012

Over the last decade copper electrodeposition has become the dominant process by which microelectronic interconnects are made. Replacing ultra-high vacuum evaporative film growth, the technology known as the Cu damascene process has been widely implemented in the microelectronics industry since the early 2000s. The transition from vacuum film growth to electrodeposition was enabled by solution chemistries that provide "bottom-up" or superfilling capability of vias and trenches. While the process has been and is used widely, the actual mechanisms responsible for superfilling remain relatively unknown. This dissertation presents and discusses the background and results of experimental investigations that have been done …

Contributors
Heaton, Thomas Stanley, Friesen, Cody, Buttry, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2011

Developing a system capable of using solar energy to drive the conversion of an abundant and available precursor to fuel would profoundly impact humanity's energy use and thereby the condition of the global ecosystem. Such is the goal of artificial photosynthesis: to convert water to hydrogen using solar radiation as the sole energy input and ideally do so with the use of low cost, abundant materials. Constructing photoelectrochemical cells incorporating photoanodes structurally reminiscent of those used in dye sensitized photovoltaic solar cells presents one approach to establishing an artificial photosynthetic system. The work presented herein describes the production, integration, and …

Contributors
Sherman, Benjamin, Moore, Thomas, Moore, Ana, et al.
Created Date
2013

Studying charge transport through single molecules is of great importance for unravelling charge transport mechanisms, investigating fundamentals of chemistry, and developing functional building blocks in molecular electronics. First, a study of the thermoelectric effect in single DNA molecules is reported. By varying the molecular length and sequence, the charge transport in DNA was tuned to either a hopping- or tunneling-dominated regimes. In the hopping regime, the thermoelectric effect is small and insensitive to the molecular length. Meanwhile, in the tunneling regime, the thermoelectric effect is large and sensitive to the length. These findings indicate that by varying its sequence and …

Contributors
Li, Yueqi, Tao, Nongjian, Buttry, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2017

Locomotion of microorganisms is commonly observed in nature. Although microorganism locomotion is commonly attributed to mechanical deformation of solid appendages, in 1956 Nobel Laureate Peter Mitchell proposed that an asymmetric ion flux on a bacterium's surface could generate electric fields that drive locomotion via self-electrophoresis. Recent advances in nanofabrication have enabled the engineering of synthetic analogues, bimetallic colloidal particles, that swim due to asymmetric ion flux originally proposed by Mitchell. Bimetallic colloidal particles swim through aqueous solutions by converting chemical fuel to fluid motion through asymmetric electrochemical reactions. This dissertation presents novel bimetallic motor fabrication strategies, motor functionality, and a …

Contributors
Wheat, Philip Matthew, Posner, Jonathan D, Phelan, Patrick, et al.
Created Date
2011

In this dissertation, micro-galvanic corrosion effects and passivation behavior of single-phase binary alloys have been studied in order to formulate new insights towards the development of “stainless-like” lightweight alloys. As a lightweight material of interest, Mg-xAl alloys were studied using aqueous free corrosion, atmospheric corrosion, dissolution rate kinetics, and ionic liquid dissolution. Polarization and “accelerated” free corrosion studies in aqueous chloride were used to characterize the corrosion behavior and morphology of alloys. Atmospheric corrosion experiments revealed surface roughness and pH evolution behavior in aqueous environment. Dissolution in absence of water using choline-chloride:urea ionic liquid allowed for a simpler dissolution mechanism …

Contributors
Aiello, Ashlee, Sieradzki, Karl, Buttry, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2018

The late first row transition metals, being inexpensive and environmentally benign, have become very attractive for sustainable catalyst development. However, to overcome the detrimental one electron redox processes exhibited by these metals, the employment of redox non-innocent chelates turned out to be very useful. The Trovitch group has designed a series of pentadentate bis(imino)pyridine ligands (pyridine diimine, PDI) that are capable of binding the metal center beyond their 3-N,N,N core and also possess coordination flexibility. My research is focused on developing PDI-supported manganese catalysts for organic transformations and renewable fuel production. The thesis presents synthesis and characterization of a family …

Contributors
Mukhopadhyay, Tufan Kumar, Trovitch, Ryan J, Buttry, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2016

Over the last few decades, homogeneous molybdenum catalysis has been a center of interest to inorganic, organic, and organometallic chemists. Interestingly, most of the important advancements in molybdenum chemistry such as non-classical dihydrogen coordination, dinitrogen reduction, olefin metathesis, and water reduction utilize diverse oxidation states of the metal. However, employment of redox non-innocent ligands to tune the stability and reactivity of such catalysts have been overlooked. With this in mind, the Trovitch group has developed a series of novel bis(imino)pyridine (or pyridine diimine, PDI) and diimine (DI) ligands that have coordinating phosphine or amine arms to exert coordination flexibility to …

Contributors
Pal, Raja, Trovitch, Ryan J, Buttry, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2016

Colloidal quantum dots (QDs) or semiconductor nanocrystals are often used to describe 2 to 20 nm solution processed nanoparticles of various semiconductor materials that display quantum confinement effects. Compared to traditional fluorescent organic dyes, QDs provide many advantages. For biological applications it is necessary to develop reliable methods to functionalize QDs with hydrophilic biomolecules so that they may maintain their stability and functionality in physiological conditions. DNA, a molecule that encodes genetic information, is arguably the smartest molecule that nature has ever produced and one of the most explored bio-macromolecules. DNA directed self-assembly can potentially organize QDs that are functionalized …

Contributors
Samanta, Anirban, Yan, Hao, Liu, Yan, et al.
Created Date
2014

Mechanisms for oxygen reduction are proposed for three distinct cases covering two ionic liquids of fundamentally different archetypes and almost thirty orders of magnitude of proton activity. Proton activity is treated both extrinsically by varying the concentration and intrinsically by selecting proton donors with a wide range of aqueous pKa values. The mechanism of oxygen reduction in ionic liquids is introduced by way of the protic ionic liquid (pIL) triethylammonium triflate (TEATf) which shares some similarities with aqueous acid solutions. Oxygen reduction in TEATf begins as the one electron rate limited step to form superoxide, O2*-, which is then rapidly …

Contributors
Zeller, Robert August, Friesen, Cody, Sieradzki, Karl, et al.
Created Date
2011

The electrochemical behavior of nanoscale solids has become an important topic to applications, such as catalysis, sensing, and nano–electronic devices. The electrochemical behavior of elemental metal and alloy particles was studied in this work both theoretically and experimentally. A systematic thermodynamic derivation for the size–dependent Pourbaix Diagram for elemental metal particles is presented. The stability of Pt particles was studied by in situ electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy (ECSTM). It is shown that small Pt particles dissolve at a lower potential than the corresponding bulk material. For the alloy particles, two size ranges of AuAg particles, ∼4 nm and ∼45 nm …

Contributors
Li, Xiaoqian, Sieradzki, Karl, Crozier, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2012

Titanium oxide (TiO2), an abundant material with high photocatalytic activity and chemical stability is an important candidate for photocatalytic applications. The photocatalytic activity of the TiO2 varies with its phase. In the current project, phase and morphology changes in TiO2 nanotubes were studied using ex-situ and in-situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM). X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy studies were also performed to understand the phase and morphology of the nanotubes. As prepared TiO2 nanotubes supported on Ti metal substrate were amorphous, during the heat treatment in the ex-situ furnace nanotubes transform to anatase at 450 oC and transformed to rutile …

Contributors
Santra, Sanjitarani, Crozier, Peter A, Carpenter, Ray, et al.
Created Date
2014

The electrode-electrolyte interface in electrochemical environments involves the understanding of complex processes relevant for all electrochemical applications. Some of these processes include electronic structure, charge storage, charge transfer, solvent dynamics and structure and surface adsorption. In order to engineer electrochemical systems, no matter the function, requires fundamental intuition of all the processes at the interface. The following work presents different systems in which the electrode-electrolyte interface is highly important. The first is a charge storage electrode utilizing percolation theory to develop an electrode architecture producing high capacities. This is followed by Zn deposition in an ionic liquid in which the …

Contributors
Engstrom, Erika Lyn, Friesen, Cody, Buttry, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2011

Electrophoretic exclusion is a counter-flow gradient focusing method that simultaneously separates and concentrates electrokinetic material at a channel entrance utilizing electric and fluid velocity fields. However, its effectiveness is heavily dependent on the non-uniform field gradients about the entrance. This work assesses the capability of electrophoretic exclusion to capture and enrich small molecules and examines the channel entrance region both quantitatively and qualitatively to better understand the separation dynamics for future design. A flow injection technique is used to experimentally evaluate electrophoretic exclusion of small molecules. Methyl violet, a cationic dye, and visible spectroscopy are used to monitor flow and …

Contributors
Keebaugh, Michael, Hayes, Mark, Ros, Alexandra, et al.
Created Date
2015

Disease prevention and personalized treatment will be impacted by the continued integration of protein biomarkers into medical practice. While there are already numerous biomarkers used clinically, the detection of protein biomarkers among complex matrices remains a challenging problem. One very important strategy for improvements in clinical application of biomarkers is separation/preconcentration, impacting the reliability, efficiency and early detection. Electrophoretic exclusion can be used to separate, purify, and concentrate biomarkers. This counterflow gradient technique exploits hydrodynamic flow and electrophoretic forces to exclude, enrich, and separate analytes. The development of this technique has evolved onto an array-based microfluidic platform which offers a …

Contributors
Zhu, Fanyi, Hayes, Mark, Ros, Alexandra, et al.
Created Date
2019

This work demonstrated a novel microfluidic device based on direct current (DC) insulator based dielectrophoresis (iDEP) for trapping individual mammalian cells in a microfluidic device. The novel device is also applicable for selective trapping of weakly metastatic mammalian breast cancer cells (MCF-7) from mixtures with mammalian Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC) and highly metastatic mammalian breast cancer cells, MDA-MB-231. The advantage of this approach is the ease of integration of iDEP structures in microfliudic channels using soft lithography, the use of DC electric fields, the addressability of the single cell traps for downstream analysis and the straightforward multiplexing for single …

Contributors
Bhattacharya, Sanchari, Ros, Alexandra, Ros, Alexandra, et al.
Created Date
2013

DNA and DNA nanoassemblies such as DNA origamis have large potential in biosensing, drug delivery, nanoelectronic circuits, and biological computing requiring suitable methods for migration and precise positioning. Insulator-based dielectrophoresis (iDEP) provides an efficient and matrix-free approach for manipulation of micro-and nanometer-sized objects. In order to exploit iDEP for naturally formed DNA and DNA nanoassemblies, a detailed understanding of the underlying polarization and dielectrophoretic migration is essential. The shape and the counterion distribution are considered two essential factors in the polarization mechanism. Here, the dielectrophoretic behavior of 6-helix bundle (6HxB) and triangle DNA origamis with identical sequences but substantial topological …

Contributors
Gan, Lin, Ros, Alexandra, Buttry, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2015

The inexorable upsurge in world’s energy demand has steered the search for newer renewable energy sources and photovoltaics seemed to be one of the best alternatives for energy production. Among the various photovoltaic technologies that emerged, organic/polymer photovoltaics based on solution processed bulk-heterojunctions (BHJ) of semiconducting polymers has gained serious attention owing to the use of inexpensive light-weight materials, exhibiting high mechanical flexibility and compatibility with low temperature roll-to-roll manufacturing techniques on flexible substrates. The most widely studied material to date is the blend of regioregular P3HT and PC61BM used as donor and acceptor materials. The object of this study …

Contributors
Das, Sayantan, Alford, Terry L, Petuskey, William, et al.
Created Date
2015

X-ray crystallography is the most widely used method to determine the structure of proteins, providing an understanding of their functions in all aspects of life to advance applications in fields such as drug development and renewable energy. New techniques, namely serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX), have unlocked the ability to unravel the structures of complex proteins with vital biological functions. A key step and major bottleneck of structure determination is protein crystallization, which is very arduous due to the complexity of proteins and their natural environments. Furthermore, crystal characteristics govern data quality, thus need to be optimized to attain the most …

Contributors
Abdallah, Bahige Gary, Ros, Alexandra, Buttry, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2016

This work describes the investigation of novel cathode and anode materials. Specifically, several mixed polyanion compounds were evaluated as cathodes for Li and Na-ion batteries. Clathrate compounds composed of silicon or germanium arranged in cage-like structures were studied as anodes for Li-ion batteries. Nanostructured Cu4(OH)6SO4 (brochantite) platelets were synthesized using polymer-assisted titration and microwave-assisted hydrothermal methods. These nanostructures exhibited a capacity of 474 mAh/g corresponding to the full utilization of the copper redox in an conversion reaction. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) studies were preformed to understand the mechanism and structural changes. A microwave hydrothermal synthesis was …

Contributors
Zhao, Ran, Chan, Candace K, Buttry, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2017

Dealloying, the selective dissolution of an elemental component from an alloy, is an important corrosion mechanism and a technological significant means to fabricate nanoporous structures for a variety of applications. In noble metal alloys, dealloying proceeds above a composition dependent critical potential, and bi-continuous structure evolves "simultaneously" as a result of the interplay between percolation dissolution and surface diffusion. In contrast, dealloying in alloys that show considerable solid-state mass transport at ambient temperature is largely unexplored despite its relevance to nanoparticle catalysts and Li-ion anodes. In my dissertation, I discuss the behaviors of two alloy systems in order to elucidate …

Contributors
Chen, Qing, Sieradzki, Karl, Friesen, Cody, et al.
Created Date
2013

Nanoporous electrically conducting materials can be prepared with high specific pore volumes and surface areas which make them well-suited for a wide variety of technologies including separation, catalysis and owing to their conductivity, energy related applications like solar cells, batteries and capacitors. General synthetic methods for nanoporous conducting materials that exhibit fine property control as well as facility and efficiency in their implementation continue to be highly sought after. Here, general methods for the synthesis of nanoporous conducting materials and their characterization are presented. Antimony-doped tin oxide (ATO), a transparent conducting oxide (TCO), and nanoporous conducting carbon can be prepared …

Contributors
Volosin, Alex, Seo, Dong-Kyun, Buttry, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2012

Increased global demand for energy has led to prolific use of fossil fuels, which produce and release greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide. This increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide affects the global weather system and has been cited as a cause for global warming. For humans to continue to meet demands for energy while reducing greenhouse emission, a sustainable, carbon-neutral energy source must be developed. The sun provides energy for the majority of life on earth, as well as the energy stored in the chemical bonds of fossil fuels. This dissertation investigates systems inspired by the biological mechanism of solar …

Contributors
Schmitz, Robert A., Gust, John D, Jones, Anne K, et al.
Created Date
2014

Proteins and peptides fold into dynamic structures that access a broad functional landscape, however, designing artificial polypeptide systems continues to be a great chal-lenge. Conversely, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) engineering is now routinely used to build a wide variety of two dimensional and three dimensional (3D) nanostructures from simple hybridization based rules, and their functional diversity can be significantly ex-panded through site specific incorporation of the appropriate guest molecules. This dis-sertation describes a gentle methodology for using short (8 nucleotide) peptide nucleic acid (PNA) linkers to assemble polypeptides within a 3D DNA nanocage, as a proof of concept for constructing artificial …

Contributors
Flory, Justin, Fromme, Petra, Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2014

This investigation is divided into two portions linked together by the momentous reaches of electrochemistry science, principles influencing everyday phenomena as well as innovative research in the field of energy transformation. The first portion explores the strategies for flue gas carbon dioxide capture and release using electrochemical means. The main focus is in the role thiolates play as reversible strong nucleophiles with the ability to capture CO2 and form thiocarbonates. Carbon dioxide in this form is transported and separated from thiocarbonate through electrochemical oxidation to complete the release portion of this catch-and-release approach. Two testing design systems play a fundamental …

Contributors
Castro De la Torre, Helme Atic, Friesen, Cody, Buttry, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2016

Photocatalytic water splitting has been proposed as a promising way of generating carbon-neutral fuels from sunlight and water. In one approach, water decomposition is enabled by the use of functionalized nano-particulate photocatalyst composites. The atomic structures of the photocatalysts dictate their electronic and photonic structures, which are controlled by synthesis methods and may alter under reaction conditions. Characterizing these structures, especially the ones associated with photocatalysts’ surfaces, is essential because they determine the efficiencies of various reaction steps involved in photocatalytic water splitting. Due to its superior spatial resolution, (scanning) transmission electron microscopy (STEM/TEM), which includes various imaging and spectroscopic …

Contributors
Liu, Qianlang, Crozier, Peter A, Chan, Candace, et al.
Created Date
2018

This work investigates in-situ stress evolution of interfacial and bulk processes in electrochemical systems, and is divided into two projects. The first project examines the electrocapillarity of clean and CO-covered electrodes. It also investigates surface stress evolution during electro-oxidation of CO at Pt{111}, Ru/Pt{111} and Ru{0001} electrodes. The second project explores the evolution of bulk stress that occurs during intercalation (extraction) of lithium (Li) and formation of a solid electrolyte interphase during electrochemical reduction (oxidation) of Li at graphitic electrodes. Electrocapillarity measurements have shown that hydrogen and hydroxide adsorption are compressive on Pt{111}, Ru/Pt{111}, and Ru{0001}. The adsorption-induced surface stresses …

Contributors
Mickelson, Lawrence L, Friesen, Cody, Sieradzki, Karl, et al.
Created Date
2011

The work presented in this thesis covers the synthesis and characterization of an ionomer that is applicable to zinc-air batteries. Polysulfone polymer is first chloromethylated and then quaternized to create an ion-conducting polymer. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra indicates that the degree of chloromethylation was 114%. The chemical and physical properties that were investigated include: the ionic conductivity, ion exchange capacity, water retention capacity, diameter and thickness swelling ratios, porosity, glass transition temperature, ionic conductivity enhanced by free salt addition, and the concentration and diffusivity of oxygen within the ionomer. It was found that the fully hydrated hydroxide form of …

Contributors
Padilla, Manuel, Friesen, Cody A, Buttry, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2012

Hydrogenases, the enzymes that reversibly convert protons and electrons to hydrogen, are used in all three domains of life. [NiFe]-hydrogenases are considered best suited for biotechnological applications because of their reversible inactivation with oxygen. Phylogenetically, there are four groups of [NiFe]-hydrogenases. The best characterized group, "uptake" hydrogenases, are membrane-bound and catalyze hydrogen oxidation in vivo. In contrast, the group 3 [NiFe]-hydrogenases are heteromultimeric, bifunctional enzymes that fulfill various cellular roles. In this dissertation, protein film electrochemistry (PFE) is used to characterize the catalytic properties of two group 3 [NiFe]-hydrogenases: HoxEFUYH from Synechocystsis sp. PCC 6803 and SHI from Pyrococcus furiosus. …

Contributors
Mcintosh, Chelsea Lee, Jones, Anne K, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, et al.
Created Date
2012