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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.


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2011 2020


The mitigation and conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to more useful carbon chemicals is a research topic that is at the forefront of current engineering and sustainability applications. Direct photocatalytic reduction of CO2 with water (H2O) vapor to C1-C4 hydrocarbons has significant potential in setting substantial groundwork for meeting the increasing energy demands with minimal environmental impact. Previous studies indicate that titanium dioxide (TiO2) containing materials serve as the best photocatalyst for CO2 and H2O conversion to higher-value products. An understanding of the CO2-H2O reaction mechanism over TiO2 materials allows one to increase the yield of certain products such as …

Contributors
Rollins, Selisa, Andino, Jean M, Dai, Lenore L, et al.
Created Date
2012

Over the past years, an interest has arisen in resolving two major issues: increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and depleting energy resources. A convenient solution would be a process that could simultaneously use CO2 while producing energy. The photocatalytic reduction of CO2 to fuels over the photocatalyst titanium dioxide (TiO2) is such a process. However, this process is presently inefficient and unsuitable for industrial applications. A step toward making this process more effective is to alter TiO2 based photocatalysts to improve their activity. The interactions of CO2 with oxygen-deficient and unmodified (210) surfaces of brookite TiO2 were studied using first-principle …

Contributors
Rodriguez, Monique M., Andino, Jean M, Nielsen, David R, et al.
Created Date
2012

Control engineering offers a systematic and efficient approach to optimizing the effectiveness of individually tailored treatment and prevention policies, also known as adaptive or ``just-in-time'' behavioral interventions. These types of interventions represent promising strategies for addressing many significant public health concerns. This dissertation explores the development of decision algorithms for adaptive sequential behavioral interventions using dynamical systems modeling, control engineering principles and formal optimization methods. A novel gestational weight gain (GWG) intervention involving multiple intervention components and featuring a pre-defined, clinically relevant set of sequence rules serves as an excellent example of a sequential behavioral intervention; it is examined in …

Contributors
Dong, Yuwen, Rivera, Daniel E, Dai, Lenore, et al.
Created Date
2014

The accurate and fast determination of carbon dioxide (CO2) levels is critical for many health and environmental applications. For example, the analysis of CO2 levels in exhaled breath allows for the evaluation of systemic metabolism, perfusion, and ventilation, and provides the doctors and patients with a non-invasive and simple method to predict the presence and severity of asthma, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Similarly, the monitoring of CO2 levels in the atmosphere allows for assessment of indoor air quality (IAQ) as the indoor CO2 levels have been proved to be associated with increased prevalence of certain mucous membrane and …

Contributors
Zhao, Di, Forzani, Erica S, Lin, Jerry Ys, et al.
Created Date
2014

The accurate and fast determination of organic air pollutants for many applications and studies is critical. Exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has become an important public health concern, which may induce a lot of health effects such as respiratory irritation, headaches and dizziness. In order to monitor the personal VOCs exposure level at point-of-care, a wearable real time monitor for VOCs detection is necessary. For it to be useful in real world application, it requires low cost, small size and weight, low power consumption, high sensitivity and selectivity. To meet these requirements, a novel mobile device for personal VOCs …

Contributors
Deng, Yue, Forzani, Erica S, Lind, Mary L, et al.
Created Date
2017

This work describes the development of a device for measuring CO2 in breath, which has applications in monitoring a variety of health issues, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), asthma, and cardiovascular disease. The device takes advantage of colorimetric sensing technology in order to maintain a low cost and high user-friendliness. The sensor consists of a pH dye, reactive element, and base coated on a highly porous Teflon membrane. The transmittance of the sensor is measured in the device via a simple LED/photodiode system, along with the flow rate, ambient relative humidity, and barometric pressure. The flow is measured …

Contributors
Bridgeman, Devon, Forzani, Erica S, Nikkhah, Mehdi, et al.
Created Date
2017

The lack of healthy behaviors - such as physical activity and balanced diet - in modern society is responsible for a large number of diseases and high mortality rates in the world. Adaptive behavioral interventions have been suggested as a way to promote sustained behavioral changes to address these issues. These adaptive interventions can be modeled as closed-loop control systems, and thus applying control systems engineering and system identification principles to behavioral settings might provide a novel way of improving the quality of such interventions. Good understanding of the dynamic processes involved in behavioral experiments is a fundamental step in …

Contributors
Seixas, Gustavo Mesel Lobo, Rivera, Daniel E, Peet, Matthew M, et al.
Created Date
2016

Encapsulant is a key packaging component of photovoltaic (PV) modules, which protects the solar cell from physical, environmental and electrical damages. Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) is one of the major encapsulant materials used in the PV industry. This work focuses on indoor accelerated ultraviolet (UV) stress testing and characterization to investigate the EVA discoloration and delamination in PV modules by using various non-destructive characterization techniques, including current-voltage (IV) measurements, UV fluorescence (UVf) and colorimetry measurements. Mini-modules with glass/EVA/cell/EVA/backsheet construction were fabricated in the laboratory with two types of EVA, UV-cut EVA (UVC) and UV-pass EVA (UVP). The accelerated UV testing was …

Contributors
Dolia, Kshitiz, Tamizhmani, Govindasamy, Green, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2018

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that are detected ubiquitously in the aquatic environment, biota, and humans. Human exposure and adverse health of PFAS through consuming impacted drinking water is getting regulatory attention. Adsorption using granular activated carbon (GAC) and ion exchange resin (IX) has proved to be efficient in removing PFAS from water. There is a need to study the effectiveness of commercially available sorbents in PFAS removal at the pilot-scale with real PFAS contaminated water, which would aid in efficient full-scale plant design. Additionally, there is also a need to have validated bench-scale …

Contributors
Venkatesh, Krishishvar, Westerhoff, Paul, Sinha, Shahnawaz, et al.
Created Date
2020

Microplastics are emerging to be major problem when it comes to water pollution and they pose a great threat to marine life. These materials have the potential to affect a wide range of human population since humans are the major consumers of marine organisms. Microplastics are less than 5 mm in diameter, and can escape from traditional wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) processes and end up in our water sources. Due to their small size, they have a large surface area and can react with chlorine, which it encounters in the final stages of WWTP. After the microplastics accumulate in various …

Contributors
Kelkar, Varun, Green, Matthew D, Tongay, Sefaattin, et al.
Created Date
2017

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia leading to cognitive dysfunction and memory loss as well as emotional and behavioral disorders. It is the 6th leading cause of death in United States, and the only one among top 10 death causes that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed. An estimated 5.4 million Americans live with AD, and this number is expected to triple by year 2050 as the baby boomers age. The cost of care for AD in the US is about $200 billion each year. Unfortunately, in addition to the lack of an effective treatment or …

Contributors
Tian, Huilai, Sierks, Michael R, Dai, Lenore, et al.
Created Date
2014

This dissertation focuses on the biosynthetic production of aromatic fine chemicals in engineered Escherichia coli from renewable resources. The discussed metabolic pathways take advantage of key metabolites in the shikimic acid pathway, which is responsible for the production of the aromatic amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan. For the first time, the renewable production of benzaldehyde and benzyl alcohol has been achieved in recombinant E. coli with a maximum titer of 114 mg/L of benzyl alcohol. Further strain development to knockout endogenous alcohol dehydrogenase has reduced the in vivo degradation of benzaldehyde by 9-fold, representing an improved host for the …

Contributors
Pugh, Shawn, Nielsen, David, Dai, Lenore, et al.
Created Date
2016

This work demonstrates a capable reverse pulse deposition methodology to influence gap fill behavior inside microvia along with a uniform deposit in the fine line patterned regions for substrate packaging applications. Interconnect circuitry in IC substrate packages comprises of stacked microvia that varies in depth from 20µm to 100µm with an aspect ratio of 0.5 to 1.5 and fine line patterns defined by photolithography. Photolithography defined pattern regions incorporate a wide variety of feature sizes including large circular pad structures with diameter of 20µm - 200µm, fine traces with varying widths of 3µm - 30µm and additional planar regions to …

Contributors
Ganesan, Kousik, Tasooji, Amaneh, Manepalli, Rahul, et al.
Created Date
2018

Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere have reached unprecedented levels due to increasing anthropogenic emissions and increasing energy demand. CO2 capture and utilization can aid in stabilizing atmospheric CO2 levels and producing carbon-neutral fuels. Utilizing hollow fiber membranes (HFMs) for microalgal cultivation accomplishes that via bubbleless gas-transfer, preventing CO2 loss to the atmosphere. Various lengths and geometries of HFMs were used to deliver CO2 to a sodium carbonate solution. A model was developed to calculate CO2 flux, mass-transfer coefficient (KL), and volumetric mass-transfer coefficient (KLa) based on carbonate equilibrium and the alkalinity of the solution. The model was also …

Contributors
Shesh, Tarun, Rittmann, Bruce E, Green, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2018

Due to depletion of oil resources, increasing fuel prices and environmental issues associated with burning of fossil fuels, extensive research has been performed in biofuel production and dramatic progress has been made. But still problems exist in economically production of biofuels. One major problem is recovery of biofuels from fermentation broth with the relatively low product titer achieved. A lot of in situ product recovery techniques including liquid-liquid extraction, membrane extraction, pervaporation, gas stripping and adsorption have been developed and adsorption is shown to be the most promising one compared to other methods. Yet adsorption is not perfect due to …

Contributors
Wang, Yuchen, Nielsen, David Ross, Andino, Jean, et al.
Created Date
2012

The utilization of solar energy requires an efficient means of its storage as fuel. In bio-inspired artificial photosynthesis, light energy can be used to drive water oxidation, but catalysts that produce molecular oxygen from water are required. This dissertation demonstrates a novel complex utilizing earth-abundant Ni in combination with glycine as an efficient catalyst with a modest overpotential of 0.475 ± 0.005 V for a current density of 1 mA/cm<super>2</super> at pH 11. The production of molecular oxygen at a high potential was verified by measurement of the change in oxygen concentration, yielding a Faradaic efficiency of 60 ± 5%. …

Contributors
Wang, Dong, Allen, James P, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, et al.
Created Date
2014

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are central to atmospheric chemistry and have significant impacts on the environment. The reaction of oxygenated VOCs with OH radicals was first studied to understand the fate of oxygenated VOCs. The rate constants of the gas-phase reaction of OH radicals with trans-2-hexenal, trans-2-octenal, and trans-2 nonenal were determined using the relative rate technique. Then the interactions between VOCs and ionic liquid surfaces were studied. The goal was to find a material to selectively detect alcohol compounds. Computational chemistry calculations were performed to investigate the interactions of ionic liquids with different classes of VOCs. The thermodynamic data …

Contributors
Gao, Tingting, Andino, Jean M, Forzani, Erica, et al.
Created Date
2012

A new photocatalytic material was synthesized to investigate its performance for the photoreduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the presence of water vapor (H2O) to valuable products such as carbon monoxide (CO) and methane (CH4). The performance was studied using a gas chromatograph (GC) with a flame ionization detector (FID) and a thermal conductivity detector (TCD). The new photocatalytic material was an ionic liquid functionalized reduced graphite oxide (IL-RGO (high conductive surface))-TiO2 (photocatalyst) nanocomposite. Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Raman spectroscopy, and UV-vis absorption spectroscopy techniques were employed to characterize the new catalyst. In the series of experiments performed, …

Contributors
Castaneda Flores, Alejandro, Andino, Jean M, Forzani, Erica, et al.
Created Date
2014

In the past, the photovoltaic (PV) modules were typically constructed with glass superstrate containing cerium oxide and EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) encapsulant containing UV absorbing additives. However, in the current industry, the PV modules are generally constructed without cerium oxide in the glass and UV absorbing additives in EVA to increase quantum efficiency of crystalline silicon solar cells in the UV regions. This new approach is expected to boost the initial power output of the modules and reduce the long-term encapsulant browning issues. However, this new approach could lead to other durability and reliability issues such as delamination of encapsulant …

Contributors
Arularasu, Pooja, Tamizhmani, Govindasamy, Mu, Bin, et al.
Created Date
2019

The production of nanomaterials has been increasing and so are their applications in various products, while the environmental impacts and human impacts of these nanomaterials are still in the process of being explored. In this thesis, a process for producing nano-titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) is studied and a case-study has been conducted on comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the application of these nano-TiO2 particles in the sunscreen lotion as a UV-blocker with the conventional organic chemical sunscreen lotion using GaBi software. Nano-TiO2 particles were identified in the sunscreen lotion using Transmission Electron Microscope suggesting the use of these particles in …

Contributors
Thakur, Ankita, Dooley, Kevin, Dai, Lenore, et al.
Created Date
2014

Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) is the most commonly used encapsulant in photovoltaic modules. However, EVA degrades over time and causes performance losses in PV system. Therefore, EVA degradation is a matter of concern from a durability point of view. This work compares EVA encapsulant degradation in glass/backsheet and glass/glass field-aged PV modules. EVA was extracted from three field-aged modules (two glass/backsheet and one glass/glass modules) from three different manufacturers from various regions (cell edges, cell centers, and non-cell region) from each module based on their visual and UV Fluorescence images. Characterization techniques such as I-V measurements, Colorimetry, Different Scanning Calorimetry, …

Contributors
Patel, Aesha Parimalbhai, Tamizhmani, Govindasamy, Green, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2018

Membrane based technology is one of the principal methods currently in widespread use to address the global water shortage. Pervaporation desalination is a membrane technology for water purification currently under investigation as a method for processing reverse osmosis concentrates or for stand-alone applications. Concentration polarization is a potential problem in any membrane separation. In desalination concentration polarization can lead to reduced water flux, increased propensity for membrane scaling, and decreased quality of the product water. Quantifying concentration polarization is important because reducing concentration polarization requires increased capital and operating costs in the form of feed spacers and high feed flow …

Contributors
Mann, Stewart Conrad, Lind, Mary Laura, Walker, Shane, et al.
Created Date
2019

The use of petroleum for liquid-transportation fuels has strained the environment and caused the global crude oil reserves to diminish. Therefore, there exists a need to replace petroleum as the primary fuel derivative. Butanol is a four-carbon alcohol that can be used to effectively replace gasoline without changing the current automotive infrastructure. Additionally, butanol offers the same environmentally friendly effects as ethanol, but possess a 23% higher energy density. Clostridium acetobutylicum is an anaerobic bacterium that can ferment renewable biomass-derived sugars into butanol. However, this fermentation becomes limited by relatively low butanol concentrations (1.3% w/v), making this process uneconomical. To …

Contributors
Wiehn, Michael, Nielsen, David, Lin, Jerry, et al.
Created Date
2013

Nanoparticles are ubiquitous in various fields due to their unique properties not seen in similar bulk materials. Among them, core-shell composite nanoparticles are an important class of materials which are attractive for their applications in catalysis, sensing, electromagnetic shielding, drug delivery, and environmental remediation. This dissertation focuses on the study of core-shell type of nanoparticles where a polymer serves as the core and inorganic nanoparticles are the shell. This is an interesting class of supramolecular building blocks and can "exhibit unusual, possibly unique, properties which cannot be obtained simply by co-mixing polymer and inorganic particles". The one-step Pickering emulsion polymerization …

Contributors
Sanyal, Sriya, Dai, Lenore L., Jiang, Hanqing, et al.
Created Date
2012

In the United States, 95% of the industrially produced hydrogen is from natural gas reforming. Membrane-based techniques offer great potential for energy efficient hydrogen separations. Pd77Ag23 is the bench-mark metallic membrane material for hydrogen separation at high temperatures. However, the high cost of palladium limits widespread application. Amorphous metals with lower cost elements are one alternative to replace palladium-based membranes. The overall aim of this thesis is to investigate the potential of binary and ternary amorphous metallic membranes for hydrogen separation. First, as a benchmark, the influence of surface state of Pd77Ag23 crystalline metallic membranes on the hydrogen permeability was …

Contributors
LAI, TIANMIAO, Lind, Mary Laura, Lin, Jerry, et al.
Created Date
2015

Thermodynamic development and balance of plant study is completed for a 30 MW solar thermochemical water splitting process that generates hydrogen gas and electric power. The generalized thermodynamic model includes 23 components and 45 states. Quasi-steady state simulations are completed for design point system sizing, annual performance analysis and sensitivity analysis. Detailed consideration is given to water splitting reaction kinetics with governing equations generalized for use with any redox-active metal oxide material. Specific results for Ceria illustrate particle reduction in two solar receivers for target oxygen partial pressure of 10 Pa and particle temperature of 1773 K at a design …

Contributors
Budama, Vishnu Kumar, Johnson, Nathan, Stechel, Ellen, et al.
Created Date
2018

The large-scale anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere leads to many unintended consequences, from rising sea levels to ocean acidification. While a clean energy infrastructure is growing, mid-term strategies that are compatible with the current infrastructure should be developed. Carbon capture and storage in fossil-fuel power plants is one way to avoid our current gigaton-scale emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. However, for this to be possible, separation techniques are necessary to remove the nitrogen from air before combustion or from the flue gas after combustion. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a relatively new class of porous material …

Contributors
McIntyre, Sean, Mu, Bin, Green, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2019

An urgent need for developing new chemical separations that address the capture of dilute impurities from fluid streams are needed. These separations include the capture of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, impurities from drinking water, and toxins from blood streams. A challenge is presented when capturing these impurities because the energy cost for processing the bulk fluid stream to capture trace contaminants is too great using traditional thermal separations. The development of sorbents that may capture these contaminants passively has been emphasized in academic research for some time, producing many designer materials including metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and polymeric resins. Scaffolds …

Contributors
Armstrong, Mitchell, Mu, Bin, Green, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2018

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the leading neurodegenerative disease, affecting roughly 8% of people 65 years of age or older. There exists an imperative need to develop a non-invasive test for the earlier detection of AD. The use of biomarkers is a promising option that examines the toxic mechanisms and metabolic pathways that cause Alzheimer's disease, eventually leading to an early diagnostic method. This thesis presents the use of oligomeric beta-amyloid as a biomarker to detect Alzheimer's disease via a specialized enzyme-linked protein assay. Specifically, this paper details the optimization and development of a novel phage capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) …

Contributors
Brownlee, Taylor, Sierks, Michael, Williams, Stephanie, et al.
Created Date
2013

Water recovery from impaired sources, such as reclaimed wastewater, brackish groundwater, and ocean water, is imperative as freshwater resources are under great pressure. Complete reuse of urine wastewater is also necessary to sustain life on space exploration missions of greater than one year’s duration. Currently, the Water Recovery System (WRS) used on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shuttles recovers only 70% of generated wastewater.1 Current osmotic processes show high capability to increase water recovery from wastewater. However, commercial reverse osmosis (RO) membranes rapidly degrade when exposed to pretreated urine-containing wastewater. Also, non-ionic small molecules substances (i.e., urea) are …

Contributors
Khosravi, Afsaneh Khosravi, Lind, Mary Laura, Dai, Lenore, et al.
Created Date
2016

Environmentally responsive microgels have drawn significant attention due to their intrinsic ability to change volume in response to various external stimuli such as pH, temperature, osmotic pressure, or electric and magnetic fields. The extent of particle swelling is controlled by the nature of the polymer-solvent interaction. This thesis focuses on design and synthesis of environmentally responsive microgels and their composites, and encompasses methods of utilizing microgel systems in applications as vehicles for the adsorption, retention, and targeted delivery of chemical species. Furthermore, self-assembled microgel particles at ionic liquid (IL)-water interfaces demonstrate responsive colloidal lattice morphology. The thesis first reports on …

Contributors
Chen, Haobo, Dai, Lenore L, Dai, Lenore L, et al.
Created Date
2015

Identification of early damage in polymer composite materials is of significant importance so that preventative measures can be taken before the materials reach catastrophic failure. Scientists have been developing damage detection technologies over many years and recently, mechanophore-based polymers, in which mechanical energy is translated to activate a chemical transformation, have received increasing attention. More specifically, the damage can be made detectable by mechanochromic polymers, which provide a visible color change upon the scission of covalent bonds under stress. This dissertation focuses on the study of a novel self-sensing framework for identifying early and in-situ damage by employing unique stress-sensing …

Contributors
Zou, Jin, Dai, Lenore L, Chattopadhyay, Aditi, et al.
Created Date
2014

In this thesis, the methods of aluminum electroplating in an ionic liquid for silicon solar cell front side metallization were studied. It focused on replacing the current silver screen printing with an alternative metallization technology using a low-cost Earth-abundant metal for mass production, due to the high cost and limited availability of silver. A conventional aluminum electroplating method was employed for silicon solar cells fabrication on both p-type and n-type substrates. The highest efficiency of 17.9% was achieved in the n-type solar cell with a rear junction, which is comparable to that of the same structure cell with screen printed …

Contributors
Wang, Laidong, Tao, Meng, Vasileska, Dragica, et al.
Created Date
2018

Electronic devices based on various stimuli responsive polymers are anticipated to have great potential for applications in innovative electronics due to their inherent intelligence and flexibility. However, the electronic properties of these soft materials are poor and the applications have been limited due to their weak compatibility with functional materials. Therefore, the integration of stimuli responsive polymers with other functional materials like Silicon is strongly demanded. Here, we present successful strategies to integrate environmentally sensitive hydrogels with Silicon, a typical high-performance electronic material, and demonstrate the intelligent and stretchable capability of this system. The goal of this project is to …

Contributors
Pan, Yuping, Dai, Lenore, Jiang, Hanqing, et al.
Created Date
2012

The horizontal desalination units belonging to the humidification-dehumidification family purify water using air as a carrier gas. The temperature required for separation can vary from ambient to 99 °C so waste heat, fuel combustion, or solar collectors can drive the process. A unit in which air flows horizontally affords several advantages over similar vertical “Dewvaporation” towers (as an example), including ease of construction and potentially increased efficiency. The objective was to build and test horizontal units and identify areas of potential efficiency improvements. The desalination units consisted of: 1.) A series of aligned, corrugated, polypropylene sheets covered on the outside …

Contributors
Jackson, Skyler Sloan, Beckman, James R, Krause, Stephen J, et al.
Created Date
2015

To further the efforts producing energy from more renewable sources, microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) can utilize anode respiring bacteria (ARB) to couple the oxidation of an organic substrate to the delivery of electrons to the anode. Although ARB such as Geobacter and Shewanella have been well-studied in terms of their microbiology and electrochemistry, much is still unknown about the mechanism of electron transfer to the anode. To this end, this thesis seeks to elucidate the complexities of electron transfer existing in Geobacter sulfurreducens biofilms by employing Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) as the tool of choice. Experiments measuring EIS resistances as …

Contributors
Ajulo, Oluyomi, Torres, Cesar, Nielsen, David, et al.
Created Date
2013

The production of monomer compounds for synthesizing plastics has to date been largely restricted to the petroleum-based chemical industry and sugar-based microbial fermentation, limiting its sustainability and economic feasibility. Cyanobacteria have, however, become attractive microbial factories to produce renewable fuels and chemicals directly from sunlight and CO2. To explore the feasibility of photosynthetic production of (S)- and (R)-3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB), building-block monomers for synthesizing the biodegradable plastics polyhydroxyalkanoates and precursors to fine chemicals, synthetic metabolic pathways have been constructed, characterized and optimized in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 (hereafter Synechocystis 6803). Both types of 3HB molecules were produced and readily …

Contributors
Wang, Bo, Meldrum, Deirdre R, Zhang, Weiwen, et al.
Created Date
2014

The engineering of microbial cell factories capable of synthesizing industrially relevant chemical building blocks is an attractive alternative to conventional petrochemical-based production methods. This work focuses on the novel and enhanced biosynthesis of phenol, catechol, and muconic acid (MA). Although the complete biosynthesis from glucose has been previously demonstrated for all three compounds, established production routes suffer from notable inherent limitations. Here, multiple pathways to the same three products were engineered, each incorporating unique enzyme chemistries and/or stemming from different endogenous precursors. In the case of phenol, two novel pathways were constructed and comparatively evaluated, with titers reaching as high …

Contributors
Thompson, Brian, Nielsen, David R, Nannenga, Brent, et al.
Created Date
2017

In this study, two novel sorbents (zeolite 4A and sodium polyacrylate) are tested to investigate if utilizing ultrasonic acoustic energy could decrease the amount of time and overall energy required to regenerate these materials for use in cooling applications. To do this, an experiment was designed employing a cartridge heater and a piezoelectric element to be simultaneously providing heat and acoustic power to a custom designed desorption bed while measuring the bed mass and sorbent temperature at various locations. The results prove to be promising showing that early in the desorption process ultrasound may expedite the desorption process in zeolite …

Contributors
Bertrand, Weston Kyle, Phelan, Patrick, Bocanegra, Luis, et al.
Created Date
2018

Environmentally responsive hydrogels are one interesting class of soft materials. Due to their remarkable responsiveness to stimuli such as temperature, pH, or light, they have attracted widespread attention in many fields. However, certain functionality of these materials alone is often limited in comparison to other materials such as silicon; thus, there is a need to integrate soft and hard materials for the advancement of environmental-ly responsive materials. Conventional hydrogels lack good mechanical properties and have inherently slow response time, important characteristics which must be improved before the hydrogels can be integrated with silicon. In the present dissertation work, both these …

Contributors
Chatterjee, Prithwish, Dai, Lenore L., Jiang, Hanqing, et al.
Created Date
2015

Mesoporous materials that possess large surface area, tunable pore size, and ordered structures are attractive features for many applications such as adsorption, protein separation, enzyme encapsulation and drug delivery as these materials can be tailored to host different guest molecules. Films provide a model system to understand how the pore orientation impacts the potential for loading and release of selectively sized molecules. This research work aims to develop structure-property relationships to understand how pore size, geometry, and surface hydrophobicity influence the loading and release of drug molecules. In this study, the pore size is systematically varied by incorporating pore-swelling agent …

Contributors
Labiano, Alpha Chavez, Vogt, Bryan, Rege, Kaushal, et al.
Created Date
2011

Vapor intrusion (VI) pathway assessment often involves the collection and analysis of groundwater, soil gas, and indoor air data. There is temporal variability in these data, but little is understood about the characteristics of that variability and how it influences pathway assessment decision-making. This research included the first-ever collection of a long-term high-frequency indoor air data set at a house with VI impacts overlying a dilute chlorinated solvent groundwater plume. It also included periodic synoptic snapshots of groundwater and soil gas data and high-frequency monitoring of building conditions and environmental factors. Indoor air trichloroethylene (TCE) concentrations varied over three orders-of-magnitude …

Contributors
Holton, Chase Weston, Johnson, Paul C, Fraser, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2015

While the solution diffusion model and pore flow model dominate pervaporation transport mechanism modeling, a new model combining the solution diffusion and viscous flow models is validated using membranes with large scale defects exceeding 2 nm in diameter. A range of membranes was characterized using scanning electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction (XRD) to determine quality and phase characteristics. MFI zeolite membranes of He/SF6 pure gas permeation ideal selectivities of 25, 15, and 3 for good, medium, and poor quality membranes were subjected to liquid pervaporations with a 5% ethanol in water feed, by weight. Feed pressure was increased from 1 …

Contributors
Williams, Suzanne J., Lin, Jerry Y.S., Emady, Heather, et al.
Created Date
2016

Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering has aided the production of chemicals using renewable resources, thus offering a solution to our dependence on the dwindling petroleum resources. While a major portion of petroleum resources go towards production of fuels, a significant fraction also goes towards production of specialty chemicals. There has been a growing interest in recent years in commercializing bio-based production of such high value compounds. In this thesis the biosynthesis of aromatic esters has been explored, which have typical application as flavor and fragrance additive to food, drinks and cosmetics. Recent progress in pathway engineering has led to the …

Contributors
Madathil Soman Pillai, Karthika, Nielsen, David, Wang, Xuan, et al.
Created Date
2016

Biomass synthesis is a competing factor in biological systems geared towards generation of commodity and specialty chemicals, ultimately limiting maximum titer and yield; in this thesis, a widely generalizable, modular approach focused on decoupling biomass synthesis from the production of the phenylalanine in a genetically modified strain of E. coli BW25113 was explored with the use of synthetic trans-encoded small RNA (sRNA) to achieve greater efficiency. The naturally occurring sRNA MicC was used as a scaffold, and combined on a plasmid with a promoter for anhydrous tetracycline (aTc) and a T1/TE terminator. The coding sequence corresponding to the target binding …

Contributors
Herschel, Daniel Jordan, Nielsen, David R, Torres, Cesar I, et al.
Created Date
2016

This research explores microbial chain elongation as a pathway for production of complex organic compounds in soils with implication for the carbon cycle. In chain elongation, simple substrates such as ethanol and short chain carboxylates such as acetate can be converted to longer carbon chain carboxylates under anaerobic conditions through cyclic, reverse β oxidation. This pathway elongates the carboxylate by two carbons. The chain elongation process is overall thermodynamically feasible, and microorganisms gain energy through this process. There have been limited insights into the versatility of chain elongating substrates, understanding the chain elongating microbial community, and its importance in sequestering …

Contributors
Joshi, Sayalee Milind, Delgado, Anca G, Torres, Cesar I, et al.
Created Date
2018

Alzheimer’s disease is a major problem affecting over 5.7 million Americans. Although much is known about the effects of this neurogenerative disease, the exact pathogenesis is still unknown. One very important characteristic of Alzheimer’s is the accumulation of beta amyloid protein which often results in plaques. To understand these beta amyloid proteins better, antibody fragments may be used to bind to these oligomers and potentially reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. This thesis focused on the expression and crystallization the fragment antigen binding antibody fragment A4. A fragment antigen binding fragment was chosen to be worked with as it is …

Contributors
Colasurd, Paige, Nannenga, Brent, Mills, Jeremy, et al.
Created Date
2018

A low temperature amorphous oxide thin film transistor (TFT) and amorphous silicon PIN diode backplane technology for large area flexible digital x-ray detectors has been developed to create 7.9-in. diagonal backplanes. The critical steps in the evolution of the backplane process include the qualification and optimization of the low temperature (200 °C) metal oxide TFT and a-Si PIN photodiode process, the stability of the devices under forward and reverse bias stress, the transfer of the process to flexible plastic substrates, and the fabrication and assembly of the flexible detectors. Mixed oxide semiconductor TFTs on flexible plastic substrates suffer from performance …

Contributors
Marrs, Michael A, Raupp, Gregory B, Allee, David R, et al.
Created Date
2016

Reactive inkjet printing (RIJP) is a direct-write deposition technique that synthesizes and patterns functional materials simultaneously. It is a route to cheap fabrication of highly conductive features on a versatile range of substrates. Silver reactive inks have become a staple of conductive inkjet printing for application in printed and flexible electronics, photovoltaic metallization, and more. However, the high cost of silver makes these less effective for disposable and low-cost applications. This work aimed to develop a particle-free formulation for a nickel reactive ink capable of metallizing highly pure nickel at temperatures under 100 °C to facilitate printing on substrates like …

Contributors
Debruin, Dylan Jerome, Torres, Cesar, Rykaczewski, Konrad, et al.
Created Date
2019

Hydrogel polymers have been the subject of many studies, due to their fascinating ability to alternate between being hydrophilic and hydrophobic, upon the application of appropriate stimuli. In particular, thermo-responsive hydrogels such as N-Isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM), which possess a unique lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of 32°C, have been leveraged for membrane-based processes such as using NIPAM as a draw agent for forward osmosis (FO) desalination. The low LCST temperature of NIPAM ensures that fresh water can be recovered, at a modest energy cost as compared to other thermally based desalination processes which require water recovery at higher temperatures. This work …

Contributors
Abdullahi, Adnan None, Phelan, Patrick, Wang, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2019