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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.


Contributor
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Date Range
2011 2019


A wireless hybrid device for detecting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has been developed. The device combines a highly selective and sensitive tuning-fork based detector with a pre-concentrator and a separation column. The selectivity and sensitivity of the tuning-fork based detector is optimized for discrimination and quantification of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX) via a homemade molecular imprinted polymer, and a specific detection and control circuit. The device is a wireless, portable, battery-powered, and cell-phone operated device. The device has been calibrated and validated in the laboratory and using selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SFIT-MS). The capability and robustness …

Contributors
Chen, Cheng, Tao, Nongjian, Chae, Junseok, et al.
Created Date
2011

Advances in miniaturized sensors and wireless technologies have enabled mobile health systems for efficient healthcare. A mobile health system assists the physician to monitor the patient's progress remotely and provide quick feedbacks and suggestions in case of emergencies, which reduces the cost of healthcare without the expense of hospitalization. This work involves development of an innovative mobile health system with adaptive biofeedback mechanism and demonstrates the importance of biofeedback in accurate measurements of physiological parameters to facilitate the diagnosis in mobile health systems. Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) assessment, a key aspect in the treatment of diet related health problems is …

Contributors
Krishnan, Ranganath, Tao, Nongjian, Forzani, Erica, et al.
Created Date
2012

Demand for biosensor research applications is growing steadily. According to a new report by Frost & Sullivan, the biosensor market is expected to reach $14.42 billion by 2016. Clinical diagnostic applications continue to be the largest market for biosensors, and this demand is likely to continue through 2016 and beyond. Biosensor technology for use in clinical diagnostics, however, requires translational research that moves bench science and theoretical knowledge toward marketable products. Despite the high volume of academic research to date, only a handful of biomedical devices have become viable commercial applications. Academic research must increase its focus on practical uses …

Contributors
Choi, Seokheun, Chae, Junseok, Tao, Nongjian, et al.
Created Date
2011

CpG methylation is an essential requirement for the normal development of mammals, but aberrant changes in the methylation can lead to tumor progression and cancer. An in-depth understanding of this phenomenon can provide insights into the mechanism of gene repression. We present a study comparing methylated DNA and normal DNA wrt its persistence length and contour length. Although, previous experiments and studies show no difference between the physical properties of the two, the data collected and interpreted here gives a different picture to the methylation phenomena and its effect on gene silencing. The study was extended to the artificially reconstituted …

Contributors
Kaur, Parminder, Lindsay, Stuart, Ros, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2012

In this thesis, a breadboard Integrated Microarray Printing and Detection System (IMPDS) was proposed to address key limitations of traditional microarrays. IMPDS integrated two core components of a high-resolution surface plasmon resonance imaging (SPRi) system and a piezoelectric dispensing system that can print ultra-low volume droplets. To avoid evaporation of droplets in the microarray, a 100 μm thick oil layer (dodecane) was used to cover the chip surface. The interaction between BSA (Bovine serum albumin) and Anti-BSA was used to evaluate the capability of IMPDS. The alignment variability of printing, stability of droplets array and quantification of protein-protein interactions based …

Contributors
Xiao, Feng, Tao, Nongjian, Borges, Chad, et al.
Created Date
2017

Nanofluidic devices in which one single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) spans a barrier between two fluid reservoirs were constructed, enabling direct electrical measurement of the transport of ions and molecules. Ion current through these devices is about 2 orders of magnitude larger than that predicted from the bulk resistivity of the electrolyte. Electroosmosis drives excess current, carried by cations, and is found to be the origin of giant ionic current through SWCNT as shown by building an ionic field-effect transistor with a gate electrode embedded in the fluid barrier. Wetting of inside of the semi-conducting SWCNT by water showed the change …

Contributors
Pang, Pei, Lindsay, Stuart, Ros, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2011

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

Most drugs work by binding to receptors on the cell surface. These receptors can then carry the message into the cell and have a wide array of results. However, studying how fast the binding is can be difficult. Current methods involve extracting the receptor and labeling them, but both these steps have issues. Previous works found that binding on the cell surface is accompanied with a small change in cell size, generally an increase. They have also developed an algorithm that can track these small changes without a label using a simple bright field microscope. Here, this relationship is further …

Contributors
Hunt, Ashley, Tao, Nongjian, Ros, Alexandra, et al.
Created Date
2018

Understanding charge transport in single molecules covalently bonded to electrodes is a fundamental goal in the field of molecular electronics. In the past decade, it has become possible to measure charge transport on the single-molecule level using the STM break junction method. Measurements on the single-molecule level shed light on charge transport phenomena which would otherwise be obfuscated by ensemble measurements of groups of molecules. This thesis will discuss three projects carried out using STM break junction. In the first project, the transition between two different charge transport mechanisms is reported in a set of molecular wires. The shortest wires …

Contributors
Hines, Thomas, Tao, Nongjian, Li, Jian, et al.
Created Date
2013

In today's world there is a great need for sensing methods as tools to provide critical information to solve today's problems in security applications. Real time detection of trace chemicals, such as explosives, in a complex environment containing various interferents using a portable device that can be reliably deployed in a field has been a difficult challenge. A hybrid nanosensor based on the electrochemical reduction of trinitrotoluene (TNT) and the interaction of the reduction products with conducting polymer nanojunctions in an ionic liquid was fabricated. The sensor simultaneously measures the electrochemical current from the reduction of TNT and the conductance …

Contributors
Diaz Aguilar, Alvaro, Tao, Nongjian, Tsui, Raymond, et al.
Created Date
2012

Single molecules in a tunnel junction can now be interrogated reliably using chemically-functionalized electrodes. Monitoring stochastic bonding fluctuations between a ligand bound to one electrode and its target bound to a second electrode ("tethered molecule-pair" configuration) gives insight into the nature of the intermolecular bonding at a single molecule-pair level, and defines the requirements for reproducible tunneling data. Importantly, at large tunnel gaps, there exists a regime for many molecules in which the tunneling is influenced more by the chemical identity of the molecules than by variability in the molecule-metal contact. Functionalizing a pair of electrodes with recognition reagents (the …

Contributors
Chang, Shuai, Lindsay, Stuart, Ros, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2012

Dual-wavelength laser sources have various existing and potential applications in wavelength division multiplexing, differential techniques in spectroscopy for chemical sensing, multiple-wavelength interferometry, terahertz-wave generation, microelectromechanical systems, and microfluidic lab-on-chip systems. In the drive for ever smaller and increasingly mobile electronic devices, dual-wavelength coherent light output from a single semiconductor laser diode would enable further advances and deployment of these technologies. The output of conventional laser diodes is however limited to a single wavelength band with a few subsequent lasing modes depending on the device design. This thesis investigates a novel semiconductor laser device design with a single cavity waveguide capable …

Contributors
Green, Benjamin C., Zhang, Yong-Hang, Ning, Cun-Zheng, et al.
Created Date
2011

Understanding the interplay between the electrical and mechanical properties of single molecules is of fundamental importance for molecular electronics. The sensitivity of charge transport to mechanical fluctuations is a key problem in developing long lasting molecular devices. Furthermore, harnessing this response to mechanical perturbation, molecular devices which can be mechanically gated can be developed. This thesis demonstrates three examples of the unique electromechanical properties of single molecules. First, the electromechanical properties of 1,4-benzenedithiol molecular junctions are investigate. Counterintuitively, the conductance of this molecule is found to increase by more than an order of magnitude when stretched. This conductance increase is …

Contributors
Bruot, Christopher, Tao, Nongjian, Lindsay, Stuart, et al.
Created Date
2014

This work demonstrates the integration of a wearable particulate detector and a wireless chemical sensor into a single portable system. The detection philosophy of the chemical sensor is based on highly selective and sensitive microfabricated quartz tuning fork arrays and the particle detector detects the particulate level in real-time using a nephelometric (light scattering) approach. The device integration is realized by carefully evaluating the needs of flow rate, power and data collection. Validation test has been carried out in both laboratory and in field trials such as parking structures and highway exits with high and low traffic emissions. The integrated …

Contributors
Gao, Tianle, Tao, Nongjian, Chae, Junseok, et al.
Created Date
2012

Measuring molecular interaction with membrane proteins is critical for understanding cellular functions, validating biomarkers and screening drugs. Despite the importance, developing such a capability has been a difficult challenge, especially for small molecules binding to membrane proteins in their native cellular environment. The current mainstream practice is to isolate membrane proteins from the cell membranes, which is difficult and often lead to the loss of their native structures and functions. In this thesis, novel detection methods for in situ quantification of molecular interactions with membrane proteins are described. First, a label-free surface plasmon resonance imaging (SPRi) platform is developed for …

Contributors
Zhang, Fenni, Tao, Nongjian, Chae, Junseok, et al.
Created Date
2018

Quantifying molecular interactions is pivotal for understanding biological processes at molecular scale and for screening drugs. Although various detection technologies have been developed, it is still challenging to quantify the binding kinetics of small molecules because the sensitivities of the mainstream technologies scale down with the size of the molecule. To address this problem, two different optical detection methods, charge sensitive optical detection (CSOD) and virion/nano-oscillators, are developed to measure the binding-induced charge change instead of the mass change, which enables quantification of the binding kinetics for both large and small molecules. In particular, the nano-oscillator approach provides a unique …

Contributors
Ma, Guangzhong, Tao, Nongjian, Wang, Shaopeng, et al.
Created Date
2019

Charge transport in molecular systems, including DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid), is involved in many basic chemical and biological processes. Studying their charge transport properties can help developing DNA based electronic devices with many tunable functionalities. This thesis investigates the electric properties of double-stranded DNA, DNA G-quadruplex and dsDNA with modified base. First, double-stranded DNA with alternating GC sequence and stacked GC sequence were measured with respect to length. The resistance of DNA sequences increases linearly with length, indicating a hopping transport mechanism. However, for DNA sequences with stacked GC, a periodic oscillation is superimposed on the linear length dependence, indicating a …

Contributors
Xiang, Limin, Tao, Nongjian, Lindsay, Stuart, et al.
Created Date
2016

Hydrogenases catalyze the interconversion of protons, electrons, and hydrogen according to the reaction: 2H+ + 2e- <-> H2 while using only earth abundant metals, namely nickel and iron for catalysis. The enzymatic turnover of Clostridium acetobutylicum [FeFe]-hydrogenase has been investigated through the use of electrochemical and scanning probe techniques. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) imaging revealed sub-monolayer surface coverage. Cyclic voltammetry yielded a catalytic, cathodic hydrogen production signal similar to that observed for a platinum electrode. From the direct observation of single enzymes and the macroscopic electrochemical measurements obtained from the same electrode, the apparent turnover frequency (TOF) per single enzyme …

Contributors
Madden, Christopher, Moore, Thomas A, Jones, Anne, et al.
Created Date
2012

Detection of molecular interactions is critical for understanding many biological processes, for detecting disease biomarkers, and for screening drug candidates. Fluorescence-based approach can be problematic, especially when applied to the detection of small molecules. Various label-free techniques, such as surface plasmon resonance technique are sensitive to mass, making it extremely challenging to detect small molecules. In this thesis, novel detection methods for molecular interactions are described. First, a simple detection paradigm based on reflectance interferometry is developed. This method is simple, low cost and can be easily applied for protein array detection. Second, a label-free charge sensitive optical detection (CSOD) …

Contributors
Guan, Yan, Tao, Nongjian, LaBaer, Joshua, et al.
Created Date
2015

Air pollution is one of the biggest challenges people face today. It is closely related to people's health condition. The agencies set up standards to regulate the air pollution. However, many of the pollutants under the regulation level may still result in adverse health effect. On the other hand, it is not clear the exact mechanism of air pollutants and its health effect. So it is difficult for the health centers to advise people how to prevent the air pollutant related diseases. It is of vital importance for both the agencies and the health centers to have a better understanding …

Contributors
Wang, Rui, Tao, Nongjian, Forzani, Erica, et al.
Created Date
2012

Monitoring vital physiological signals, such as heart rate, blood pressure and breathing pattern, are basic requirements in the diagnosis and management of various diseases. Traditionally, these signals are measured only in hospital and clinical settings. An important recent trend is the development of portable devices for tracking these physiological signals non-invasively by using optical methods. These portable devices, when combined with cell phones, tablets or other mobile devices, provide a new opportunity for everyone to monitor one’s vital signs out of clinic. This thesis work develops camera-based systems and algorithms to monitor several physiological waveforms and parameters, without having to …

Contributors
Shao, Dangdang, Tao, Nongjian, Li, Baoxin, et al.
Created Date
2016

Studying charge transport through single molecules tethered between two metal electrodes is of fundamental importance in molecular electronics. Over the years, a variety of methods have been developed in attempts of performing such measurements. However, the limitation of these techniques is still one of the factors that prohibit one from gaining a thorough understanding of single molecule junctions. Firstly, the time resolution of experiments is typically limited to milli to microseconds, while molecular dynamics simulations are carried out on the time scale of pico to nanoseconds. A huge gap therefore persists between the theory and the experiments. This thesis demonstrates …

Contributors
Guo, Shaoyin, Tao, Nongjian, Bennett, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2012

Air pollution has been linked to various health problems but how different air pollutants and exposure levels contribute to those diseases remain largely unknown. Researchers have mainly relied on data from government air monitoring stations to study the health effects of air pollution exposure. The limited information provided by sparse stations has low spatial and temporal resolution, which is not able to represent the actual exposure of individuals. A tool that can accurately monitor personal exposure provides valuable data for epidemiologists to understand the relationship between air pollution and certain diseases. It also allows individuals to be aware of any …

Contributors
Lin, Chenwen, Tao, Nongjian, Borges, Chad R, et al.
Created Date
2019

Environmental pollution has been one of the most challenging problems in modern society and more and more health issues are now linked to environmental pollution and especially, air pollution. Certain sensitive group like patients with asthma are highly influenced by the environmental air quality and knowledge of the daily air pollution exposure is of great importance for the management and prevention of asthma attack. Hence small form factor, real time, accurate, sensitive and easy to use portable devices for environmental monitoring are of great value. Three novel image-based methods for quantitative real time environmental monitoring were introduced and the sensing …

Contributors
Du, Zijian, Tao, Nongjian, Goryll, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2019

Proteins play a central role to human body and biological activities. As powerful tools for protein detections, many surface plasmon resonance based techniques have been developed to enhance the sensitivity. However, sensitivity is not the only final goal. As a biosensor, four things really matter: sensitivity, specificity, resolution (temporal/spatial) and throughput. This dissertation presents several works on developing novel plasmonic based techniques for protein detections on the last two aspects to extend the application field. A fast electrochemically controlled plasmonic detection technique is first developed with the capability of monitoring electrochemical signal with nanosecond response time. The study reveals that …

Contributors
Wang, Yan, Tao, Nongjian, Chae, Junseok, et al.
Created Date
2018

Mechanical properties of cells are important in maintaining physiological functions of biological systems. Quantitative measurement and analysis of mechanical properties can help understand cellular mechanics and its functional relevance and discover physical biomarkers for diseases monitoring and therapeutics. This dissertation presents a work to develop optical methods for studying cell mechanics which encompasses four applications. Surface plasmon resonance microscopy based optical method has been applied to image intracellular motions and cell mechanical motion. This label-free technique enables ultrafast imaging with extremely high sensitivity in detecting cell deformation. The technique was first applied to study intracellular transportation. Organelle transportation process and …

Contributors
Yang, Yunze, Tao, Nongjian, Wang, Shaopeng, et al.
Created Date
2016

Wide spread adoption of photovoltaic technology is limited by cost. Developing photovoltaics based on low-cost materials and processing techniques is one strategy for reducing the cost of electricity generated by photovoltaics. With this in mind, novel porphyrin and porphyrin-fullerene electropolymers have been developed here at Arizona State University. Porphyrins are attractive for inclusion in the light absorbing layer of photovoltaics due to their high absorption coefficients (on the order of 105 cm-1) and porphyrin-fullerene dyads are attractive for use in photovoltaics due to their ability to produce ultrafast photoinduced charge separation (on the order of 10-15 s). The focus of …

Contributors
Bridgewater, James Ward, Gust, Devens, Tao, Nongjian, et al.
Created Date
2014

An imaging measurement technique is developed using surface plasmon resonance. Plasmonic-based electrochemical current imaging (P-ECi) method has been developed to image the local electrochemical current optically, it allows us to measure the current density quickly and non-invasively [1, 2]. In this thesis, we solve the problems when we extand the P-ECi technique to the field of thin film system. The P-ECi signal in thin film structure was found to be directly proportional to the electrochemical current. The upper-limit of thin film thickness to use the proportional relationship between P-ECi signal and EC current was discussed by experiment and simulation. Furthermore, …

Contributors
Chao, Yen-Chun, Tao, Nongjian, Wang, Shaopeng, et al.
Created Date
2013

Obtaining local electrochemical (EC) information is extremely important for understanding basic surface reactions, and for many applications. Scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) can obtain local EC information by scanning a microelectrode across the surface. Although powerful, SECM is slow, the scanning microelectrode may perturb reaction and the measured signal decreases with the size of microelectrode. This thesis demonstrates a new imaging technique based on a principle that is completely different from the conventional EC detection technologies. The technique, referred to as plasmonic-based electrochemical imaging (PECI), images local EC current (both faradaic and non-faradaic) without using a scanning microelectrode. Because PECI response …

Contributors
Shan, Xiaonan, Tao, Nongjian, Chae, Junseok, et al.
Created Date
2011

Human breath is a concoction of thousands of compounds having in it a breath-print of physiological processes in the body. Though breath provides a non-invasive and easy to handle biological fluid, its analysis for clinical diagnosis is not very common. Partly the reason for this absence is unavailability of cost effective and convenient tools for such analysis. Scientific literature is full of novel sensor ideas but it is challenging to develop a working device, which are few. These challenges include trace level detection, presence of hundreds of interfering compounds, excessive humidity, different sampling regulations and personal variability. To meet these …

Contributors
Prabhakar, Amlendu, Tao, Nongjian, Forzani, Erica, et al.
Created Date
2013

Monitoring of air pollutants is critical for many applications and studies. In order to access air pollutants with high spatial and temporal resolutions, it is necessary to develop an affordable, small size and weight, low power, high sensitivity and selectivity, and wireless enable device that can provide real time monitoring of air pollutants. Three different kind of such devices are presented, they are targeting environmental pollutants such as volatile organic components (VOCs), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone. These devices employ innovative detection methods, such as quartz crystal tuning fork coated with molecularly imprinted polymer and chemical reaction induced color change …

Contributors
Chen, Cheng, Tao, Nongjian, Kiaei, Sayfe, et al.
Created Date
2014

Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a worldwide epidemic threatening human survival. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests (ASTs) are important for confirming susceptibility to empirical antibiotics and detecting resistance in bacterial isolates. Current ASTs are based on bacterial culturing, which take 2-14 days to complete depending on the microbial growth rate. Considering the high mortality and morbidity rates for most acute infections, such long time frames are clinically impractical and pose a huge risk to a patient's life. A faster AST will reduce morbidity and mortality rates, as well as help healthcare providers, administer narrow spectrum antibiotics at the earliest possible treatment stage. In …

Contributors
Syal, Karan, Tao, Nongjian, Haydel, Shelley, et al.
Created Date
2017

This thesis describes several approaches to next generation DNA sequencing via tunneling current method based on a Scanning Tunneling Microscope system. In chapters 5 and 6, preliminary results have shown that DNA bases could be identified by their characteristic tunneling signals. Measurements taken in aqueous buffered solution showed that single base resolution could be achieved with economic setups. In chapter 7, it is illustrated that some ongoing measurements are indicating the sequence readout by making linear scan on a piece of short DNA oligomer. However, to overcome the difficulties of controlling DNA especially ssDNA movement, it is much better to …

Contributors
Huang, Shuo, Lindsay, Stuart, Sankey, Otto, et al.
Created Date
2011

In this project, a novel method is presented for measuring the resistivity of nanoscale metallic conductors (nanowires) using a variable-spacing 2-point method with a modified ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscope. An auxiliary field emission imaging method that allows for scanning insulating surfaces using a large gap distance (20nm) is also presented. Using these methods, the resistivity of self-assembled endotaxial FeSi2 nanowires (NWs) on Si(110) was measured. The resistivity was found to vary inversely with NW width, being rhoNW = 200 uOhm cm at 12 nm and 300 uOhm cm at 2 nm. The increase at small w is attributed to …

Contributors
Tobler, Samuel, Bennett, Peter, Mccartney, Martha, et al.
Created Date
2011

Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) has emerged as a popular technique for elucidating subtle signals from biological events in a label-free, high throughput environment. The efficacy of conventional SPR sensors, whose signals are mass-sensitive, diminishes rapidly with the size of the observed target molecules. The following work advances the current SPR sensor paradigm for the purpose of small molecule detection. The detection limits of two orthogonal components of SPR measurement are targeted: speed and sensitivity. In the context of this report, speed refers to the dynamic range of measured kinetic rate constants, while sensitivity refers to the target molecule mass limitation …

Contributors
Macgriff, Christopher Assiff, Tao, Nongjian, Wang, Shaopeng, et al.
Created Date
2013

Windows based mobile application for m-health and environmental monitoring sensor devices were developed and tested. With the number of smartphone users exponentially increasing, the applications developed for m-health and environmental monitoring devices are easy to reach the general public, if the applications are simple, user-friendly and personalized. The sensing device uses Bluetooth to communicate with the smartphone, providing mobility to the user. Since the device is small and hand-held, the user can put his smartphone in his pocket, connected to the device in his hand and can move anywhere with it. The data processing performed in the applications is verified …

Contributors
Ganesan, Srisivapriya, Tao, Nongjian, Zhang, Yanchao, et al.
Created Date
2012