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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.


Subject
Date Range
2011 2019


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

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