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.


Resource Type
  • Doctoral Dissertation
Subject
Date Range
2010 2019


Plastic crystals as a class are of much interest in applications as solid state electrolytes for electrochemical energy conversion devices. A subclass exhibit very high protonic conductivity and its members have been investigated as possible fuel cell electrolytes, as first demonstrated by Haile’s group in 2001 with CsHSO4. To date these have been inorganic compounds with tetrahedral oxyanions carrying one or more protons, charge-balanced by large alkali cations. Above the rotator phase transition, the HXO4- anions re-orient at a rate dependent on temperature while the centers of mass remain ordered. The transition is accompanied by a conductivity "jump" (as much …

Contributors
Klein, Iolanda Santana, Angell, Charles A, Buttry, Daniel A, et al.
Created Date
2016

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

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

The communication of genetic material with biomolecules has been a major interest in cancer biology research for decades. Among its different levels of involvement, DNA is known to be a target of several antitumor agents. Additionally, tissue specific interaction between macromolecules such as proteins and structurally important regions of DNA has been reported to define the onset of certain types of cancers. Illustrated in Chapter 1 is the general history of research on the interaction of DNA and anticancer drugs, most importantly different congener of bleomycin (BLM). Additionally, several synthetic analogues of bleomycin, including the structural components and functionalities, are …

Contributors
Roy, Basab, Hecht, Sidney M, Jones, Anne, et al.
Created Date
2014

Nucleosomes are the basic repetitive unit of eukaryotic chromatin and are responsible for packing DNA inside the nucleus of the cell. They consist of a complex of eight histone proteins (two copies of four proteins H2A, H2B, H3 and H4) around which 147 base pairs of DNA are wrapped in ~1.67 superhelical turns. Although the nucleosomes are stable protein-DNA complexes, they undergo spontaneous conformational changes that occur in an asynchronous fashion. This conformational dynamics, defined by the "site-exposure" model, involves the DNA unwrapping from the protein core and exposing itself transiently before wrapping back. Physiologically, this allows regulatory proteins to …

Contributors
Gurunathan, Kaushik, Levitus, Marcia, Lindsay, Stuart, et al.
Created Date
2011

The ability to manipulate the interaction between small molecules and biological macromolecules towards the study of disease pathogenesis has become a very important part of research towards treatment options for various diseases. The work described here shows both the use of DNA oligonucleotides as carriers for a nicotine hapten small molecule, and the use of microsomes to study the stability of compounds derived to treat mitochondrial diseases. Nicotine addiction is a worldwide epidemic because nicotine is one of the most widely used addictive substances. It is linked to early death, typically in the form of heart or lung disease. A …

Contributors
Schmierer, Margaret Louise, Hecht, Sidney M, Allen, James, et al.
Created Date
2016

Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is a technique that influences the motion of polarizable particles in an electric field gradient. DEP can be combined with other effects that influence the motion of a particle in a microchannel, such as electrophoresis and electroosmosis. Together, these three can be used to probe properties of an analyte, including charge, conductivity, and zeta potential. DEP shows promise as a high-resolution differentiation and separation method, with the ability to distinguish between subtly-different populations. This, combined with the fast (on the order of minutes) analysis times offered by the technique, lend it many of the features necessary to be …

Contributors
Hilton, Shannon, Hayes, Mark A, Borges, Chad, et al.
Created Date
2019

The field of Ionic Liquid (IL) research has received considerable attention during the past decade. Unique physicochemical properties of these low melting salts have made them very promising for applications in a many areas of science and technology such as electrolyte research, green chemistry and electrodeposition. One of the most important parameters dictating their physicochemical behavior is the basicity of their anion. Using four sets of Protic Ionic Liquids (PILs) and spectroscopic characterization of them, a qualitative order for anion basicity of ILs is obtained. Protic Ionic Liquids are made by proton transfer form a Brønsted acid to a base. …

Contributors
Hasani, Mohammad, Angell, C. Austen, Yarger, Jeffrey L, et al.
Created Date
2016

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

Carbonaceous chondrites (CCs) present a unique opportunity for learning about the earliest organic chemistry that took place in our Solar System. The complex and diverse suite of meteoritic organic material is the result of multiple settings and physicochemical processes, including aqueous and thermal alteration. Though meteorites often inform origin-of-life discussions because they could have seeded early Earth with significant amounts of water and pre-biotic, organic material, their record of abiotic, aqueous, and organic geochemistry is of interest as well. CC materials previously resided on asteroidal parent bodies, relic planetesimals of Solar System formation which never accreted enough material to develop …

Contributors
Monroe, Adam Alexander, Pizzarello, Sandra, Williams, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2014

Multivalency is an important phenomenon that guides numerous biological interactions. It has been utilized in design of therapeutics and drug candidates. Hence, this study attempts to develop analytical tools to study multivalent interactions and design multivalent ligands for drug delivery and therapeutic applications. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) has been envisioned as a means of nanodiagnostics due to its single molecule sensitivity. However, the AFM based recognition imaging lacks a multiplex capacity to detect multiple analytes in a single test. Also there is no user friendly wet chemistry to functionalize AFM tips. Hence, an uncatalyzed Click Chemistry protocol was developed to …

Contributors
Manna, Saikat, Lindsay, Stuart, Zhang, Peiming, et al.
Created Date
2016

In eukaryotes, DNA is packed in a highly condensed and hierarchically organized structure called chromatin, in which DNA tightly wraps around the histone octamer consisting of one histone 3-histone 4 (H3-H4) tetramer and two histone 2A- histone 2B (H2A-H2B) dimers with 147 base pairs in an almost two left handed turns. Almost all DNA dependent cellular processes, such as DNA duplication, transcription, DNA repair and recombination, take place in the chromatin form. Based on the critical importance of appropriate chromatin condensation, this thesis focused on the folding behavior of the nucleosome array reconstituted using different templates with various controllable factors …

Contributors
Fu, Qiang, Lindsay, Stuart M, Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2010

Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) has been described as the knowledge teachers' use in the process of designing and implementing lessons to a particular group of students. This includes the most effective representations that make the content understandable to students, together with the preconceptions and misconceptions that students hold. For chemistry, students have been found to have difficulty with the discipline due to its reliance upon three levels of representation called the triplet: the macro, the submicro, and the symbolic. This study examines eight beginning chemistry teachers' depiction of the chemistry content through the triplet relationship and modifications as a result …

Contributors
Adams, Krista Lynn, Luft, Julie A., Baker, Dale, et al.
Created Date
2012

[FeFe]-hydrogenases are enzymes for the reduction of protons to hydrogen. They rely on only the earth abundant first-row transition metal iron at their active site (H cluster). In recent years, a multitude of diiron mimics of hydrogenases have been synthesized, but none of them catalyzes hydrogen production with the same exquisite combination of high turnover frequency and low activation energy as the enzymes. Generally, model complexes fail to include one or both of two features essential to the natural enzyme: an intricate array of outer coordination sphere contacts that constrain the coordination geometry to attain a catalytically optimal conformation, and …

Contributors
Roy, Souvik, Jones, Anne K, Moore, Thomas, et al.
Created Date
2013

The bleomycins are a family of glycopeptide-derived antibiotics isolated from various Streptomyces species and have been the subject of much attention from the scientific community as a consequence of their antitumor activity. Bleomycin clinically and is an integral part of a number of combination chemotherapy regimens. It has previously been shown that bleomycin has the ability to selectively target tumor cells over their non-malignant counterparts. Pyrimidoblamic acid, the N-terminal metal ion binding domain of bleomycin is known to be the moiety that is responsible for O2 activation and the subsequent chemistry leading to DNA strand scission and overall antitumor activity. …

Contributors
Bozeman, Trevor, Hecht, Sidney M, Chaput, John, et al.
Created Date
2013

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

The US National Academy of Sciences and The Royal Society have recently released a detailed report on the causes and effects of global climate change.1 This report states that the Earth’s climate is rapidly changing due to human activity. Specifically, the burning of fossil fuels to satisfy the energy demands of rising global population has resulted in unprecedented levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. These high levels of greenhouse gasses are serving to warm the surface of the planet resulting in extreme weather events. Thus, controlling the atmospheric CO2 level is motivating a great deal of scientific research in …

Contributors
Rheinhardt, Joseph, Buttry, Daniel A., Angell, Charles A., et al.
Created Date
2018

A novel small metal-binding protein (SmbP), with only 93 residues and no similarity to other known proteins, has been isolated from the periplasm of Nitrosomonas europaea. It is characterized by its high percentage (17%) of histidines, a motif of ten repeats of seven residues, a four α-helix bundle structure, and a high binding affinity to about six equivalents of Cu2+. The goal of this study is to investigate the Cu2+ binding sites in SmbP and to understand how Cu2+ stabilizes the protein. Preliminary folding experiments indicated that Cu2+ greatly stabilizes SmbP. In this study, protein folding data from circular dichroism …

Contributors
Yan, Qin, Francisco, Wilson A, Allen, James, et al.
Created Date
2010

The behaviors of various amorphous materials are characterized at high pressures to deduce phase transitions, coordination changes, densification, and other structural or electronic alterations in the system. Alongside, improvements on high pressure techniques are presented to measure equations of state of glassy materials and probe liquids using in-situ high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. 27Al NMR is used to quantify coordination changes in CaAl2O4 glass pressure cycled to 16 GPa. The structure and coordination environments remain unchanged up to 8 GPa at which 93% of the recovered glass exists as 4-fold Al, whereas the remaining population exists as [5,6]Al. …

Contributors
Amin, Samrat Ashokkumar, Yarger, Jeffery L, Wolf, George, 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

Optoelectronic and microelectronic applications of germanium-based materials have received considerable research interest in recent years. A novel method for Ge on Si heteroepitaxy required for such applications was developed via molecular epitaxy of Ge5H12. Next, As(GeH3)3, As(SiH3)3, SbD3, S(GeH3)2 and S(SiH3)2 molecular sources were utilized in degenerate n-type doping of Ge. The epitaxial Ge films produced in this work incorporate donor atoms at concentrations above the thermodynamic equilibrium limits. The donors are nearly fully activated, and led to films with lowest resistivity values thus far reported. Band engineering of Ge was achieved by alloying with Sn. Epitaxy of the alloy …

Contributors
Senaratne, Charutha Lasitha, Kouvetakis, John, Chizmeshya, Andrew, et al.
Created Date
2016

The green fluorescent protein (GFP)-like fluorescent proteins play an important role for the color of reef-building corals. Different colors of extant coral fluorescent proteins (FPs) have evolved from a green ancestral protein. Interestingly, green-to-red photoconversion FPs (Kaede-type Red FPs) are only found in clade D from Scleractinia (Faviina suborder). Therefore, I focus on the evolution of Kaede-type FPs from Faviina suborder ancestral FP. A total of 13 mutations have been identified previously that recapitulate the evolution of Kaede-type red FPs from the ancestral green FP. To examine the effect of each mutation, total ten reconstructed FPs were analyzed and six …

Contributors
Kim, Hanseong, Wachter, Rebekka M, Fromme, Petra, et al.
Created Date
2012

Humanity’s demand for energy is increasing exponentially and the dependence on fossil fuels is both unsustainable and detrimental to the environment. To provide a solution to the impending energy crisis, it is reasonable to look toward utilizing solar energy, which is abundant and renewable. One approach to harvesting solar irradiation for fuel purposes is through mimicking the processes of natural photosynthesis in an artificial design to use sunlight and water to store energy in chemical bonds for later use. Thus, in order to design an efficient energy conversion device, the underlying processes of the natural system must be understood. An …

Contributors
Brown, Chelsea Lynn, Moore, Ana L, Gust, Devens, et al.
Created Date
2015

DNA and RNA are generally regarded as one of the central molecules in molecular biology. Recent advancements in the field of DNA/RNA nanotechnology witnessed the success of usage of DNA/RNA as programmable molecules to construct nano-objects with predefined shapes and dynamic molecular machines for various functions. From the perspective of structural design with nucleic acid, there are basically two types of assembly method, DNA tile based assembly and DNA origami based assembly, used to construct infinite-sized crystal structures and finite-sized molecular structures. The assembled structure can be used for arrangement of other molecules or nanoparticles with the resolution of nanometers …

Contributors
Hong, Fan, Yan, Hao, Liu, Yan, et al.
Created Date
2019

The purpose of this study was to construct an instructional systems design model for chemistry teaching laboratories at the undergraduate level to accurately depict the current practices of design experts. This required identifying the variables considered during design, prioritizing and ordering these variables, and constructing a model. Experts were identified by multiple publications in the Journal of Chemical Education on undergraduate laboratories. Twelve of these individuals participated in three rounds of Delphi surveys. An initial literature review was used to construct the first survey, which established the variables of design. The second and third surveys were constructed based on the …

Contributors
Bunag, Tara Francis, Savenye, Wilhelmina C, Springer, Joseph W, et al.
Created Date
2012

Natural photosynthesis features a complex biophysical/chemical process that requires sunlight to produce energy rich products. It is one of the most important processes responsible for the appearance and sustainability of life on earth. The first part of the thesis focuses on understanding the mechanisms involved in regulation of light harvesting, which is necessary to balance the absorption and utilization of light energy and in that way reduce the effect caused by photooxidative damage. In photosynthesis, carotenoids are responsible not only for collection of light, but also play a major role in protecting the photosynthetic system. To investigate the role of …

Contributors
Pillai, Smitha Thulasi, Moore, Ana, Moore, Thomas, et al.
Created Date
2011

Most of the sunlight powering natural photosynthesis is absorbed by antenna arrays that transfer, and regulate the delivery of excitation energy to reaction centers in the chloroplast where photosynthesis takes place. Under intense sunlight the plants and certain organisms cannot fully utilize all of the sunlight received by antennas and excess redox species are formed which could potentially harm them. To prevent this, excess energy is dissipated by antennas before it reaches to the reaction centers to initiate electron transfer needed in the next steps of photosynthesis. This phenomenon is called non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). The mechanism of NPQ is not …

Contributors
Bhushan, Kul, Gust, Devens, Moore, Ana, et al.
Created Date
2012

A clean and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels is solar energy. For efficient use of solar energy to be realized, artificial systems that can effectively capture and convert sunlight into a usable form of energy have to be developed. In natural photosynthesis, antenna chlorophylls and carotenoids capture sunlight and transfer the resulting excitation energy to the photosynthetic reaction center (PRC). Small reorganization energy, &#955; and well-balanced electronic coupling between donors and acceptors in the PRC favor formation of a highly efficient charge-separated (CS) state. By covalently linking electron/energy donors to acceptors, organic molecular dyads and triads that mimic natural photosynthesis …

Contributors
Arero, Jaro, Gust, Devens, Moore, Ana, et al.
Created Date
2014

For reading DNA bases more accurately, a series of nitrogen-containing aromatic heterocycles have been designed and synthesized as candidates of universal reader to interact with all naturally occurring DNA nucleobases by hydrogen bonding interaction and eventually is used to read DNA by recognition tunneling. These recognition molecules include 6-mercapto-1H-benzo[d]imidazole-2-carboxamide, 5-(2-mercaptoethyl)-1H-imidazole-2-carboxamide, 5-(2-mercaptoethyl)-4H-1,2,4-traizole-3-carboxamide and 1-(2-mercaptoethyl)-1H-pyrrole-3-carboxamide. Their formation of hydrogen bonding complexes with nucleobases was studied and association constants were measured by proton NMR titration experiments in deuterated chloroform at room temperature. To do so, the mercaptoethyl chain or thiol group of these reading molecules was replaced or protected with the more lipophilic …

Contributors
Biswas, Sovan, Lindsay, Stuart, Zhang, Peiming, et al.
Created Date
2016

Engineered nanoparticles (NPs) pose risk potentials, if they exist in water systems at significant concentrations and if they remain reactive to cause toxicity. Three goals guided this study: (1) establishing NP detecting methods with high sensitivity to tackle low concentration and small sizes, (2) achieving assays capable of measuring NP surface reactivity and identifying surface reaction mechanisms, and (3) understanding the impact of surface adsorption of ions on surface reactivity of NPs in water. The size detection limit of single particle inductively coupled plasma spectrometry (spICP-MS) was determined for 40 elements, demonstrating the feasibility of spICP-MS to different NP species …

Contributors
Bi, Xiangyu, Westerhoff, Paul K, Rittmann, Bruce E, et al.
Created Date
2018

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

A major goal of synthetic biology is to recapitulate emergent properties of life. Despite a significant body of work, a longstanding question that remains to be answered is how such a complex system arose? In this dissertation, synthetic nucleic acid molecules with alternative sugar-phosphate backbones were investigated as potential ancestors of DNA and RNA. Threose nucleic acid (TNA) is capable of forming stable helical structures with complementary strands of itself and RNA. This provides a plausible mechanism for genetic information transfer between TNA and RNA. Therefore TNA has been proposed as a potential RNA progenitor. Using molecular evolution, functional sequences …

Contributors
Zhang, Su, Chaut, John C, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, et al.
Created Date
2011

ABSTRACT Peptide microarrays may prove to be a powerful tool for proteomics research and clinical diagnosis applications. Fodor et al. and Maurer et al. have shown proof-of-concept methods of light- and electrochemically-directed peptide microarray fabrication on glass and semiconductor microchips respectively. In this work, peptide microarray fabrication based on the abovementioned techniques were optimized. In addition, MALDI mass spectrometry based peptide synthesis characterization on semiconductor microchips was developed and novel applications of a CombiMatrix (CBMX) platform for electrochemically controlled synthesis were explored. We have investigated performance of 2-(2-nitrophenyl)propoxycarbonyl (NPPOC) derivatives as photo-labile protecting group. Specifically, influence of substituents on 4 …

Contributors
Kumar, Pallav, Woodbury, Neal, Allen, James, et al.
Created Date
2013

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

Glycans are monosaccharide-based heteropolymers that are found covalently attached to many different proteins and lipids and are ubiquitously displayed on the exterior surfaces of cells. Serum glycan composition and structure are well known to be altered in many different types of cancer. In fact, glycans represent a promising but only marginally accessed source of cancer markers. The approach used in this dissertation, which is referred to as “glycan node analysis”, is a molecularly bottom-up approach to plasma/serum (P/S) glycomics based on glycan linkage analysis that captures features such as α2-6 sialylation, β1-6 branching, and core fucosylation as single analytical signals. …

Contributors
Roshdiferdosi, Shadi, Borges, Chad R, Woodbury, Neal, et al.
Created Date
2018

Broadband dielectric spectroscopy is a powerful technique for understanding the dynamics in supercooled liquids. It generates information about the timescale of the orientational motions of molecular dipoles within the liquid. However, dynamics of liquids measured in the non-linear response regime has recently become an area of significant interest, because additional information can be obtained compared with linear response measurements. The first part of this thesis describes nonlinear dielectric relaxation experiments performed on various molecular glass forming-liquids, with an emphasis on the response at high frequencies (excess wing). A significant nonlinear dielectric effect (NDE) was found to persist in these modes, …

Contributors
Samanta, Subarna, Richert, Ranko, Steimle, Timothy, et al.
Created Date
2016

Scientists around the world have been striving to develop artificial light-harvesting antenna model systems for energy and other light-driven biochemical applications. Among the various approaches to achieve this goal, one of the most promising is the assembly of structurally well-defined artificial light-harvesting antennas based on the principles of structural DNA nanotechnology. DNA has recently emerged as an extremely efficient material to organize molecules such as fluorophores and proteins on the nanoscale. It is desirable to develop a hybrid smart material by combining artificial antenna systems based on DNA with natural reaction center components, so that the material can be engineered …

Contributors
Dutta, Palash Kanti, Liu, Yan, Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2014

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

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a biopolymer well known for its role in preserving genetic information in biology, is now drawing great deal of interest from material scientists. Ease of synthesis, predictable molecular recognition via Watson-Crick base pairing, vast numbers of available chemical modifications, and intrinsic nanoscale size makes DNA a suitable material for the construction of a plethora of nanostructures that can be used as scaffold to organize functional molecules with nanometer precision. This dissertation focuses on DNA-directed organization of metallic nanoparticles into well-defined, discrete structures and using them to study photonic interaction between fluorophore and metal particle. Presented here are …

Contributors
Pal, Suchetan, Liu, Yan, Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2012

Nature is a master at organizing biomolecules in all intracellular processes, and researchers have conducted extensive research to understand the way enzymes interact with each other through spatial and orientation positioning, substrate channeling, compartmentalization, and more. DNA nanostructures of high programmability and complexity provide excellent scaffolds to arrange multiple molecular/macromolecular components at nanometer scale to construct interactive biomolecular complexes and networks. Due to the sequence specificity at different positions of the DNA origami nanostructures, spatially addressable molecular pegboard with a resolution of several nm (less than 10 nm) can be achieved. So far, DNA nanostructures can be used to build …

Contributors
Yang, Yuhe Renee, Yan, Hao, Liu, Yan, et al.
Created Date
2016

As the genetic information storage vehicle, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecules are essential to all known living organisms and many viruses. It is amazing that such a large amount of information about how life develops can be stored in these tiny molecules. Countless scientists, especially some biologists, are trying to decipher the genetic information stored in these captivating molecules. Meanwhile, another group of researchers, nanotechnologists in particular, have discovered that the unique and concise structural features of DNA together with its information coding ability can be utilized for nano-construction efforts. This idea culminated in the birth of the field of DNA …

Contributors
Han, Dongran, Yan, Hao, Liu, Yan, et al.
Created Date
2012

Natural photosynthesis dedicates specific proteins to achieve the modular division of the essential roles of solar energy harvesting, charge separation and carrier transport within natural photosynthesis. The modern understanding of the fundamental photochemistry by which natural photosynthesis operates is well advanced and solution state mimics of the key photochemical processes have been reported previously. All of the early events in natural photosynthesis responsible for the conversion of solar energy to electric potential energy occur within proteins and phospholipid membranes that act as scaffolds for arranging the active chromophores. Accordingly, for creating artificial photovoltaic (PV) systems, scaffolds are required to imbue …

Contributors
Watson, Brian Lyndon, Gust, Devens, Gould, Ian, et al.
Created Date
2013

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

Metalloporphyrins represent a class of molecular electrocatalysts for driving energy relevant half-reactions, including hydrogen evolution and carbon dioxide reduction. As electrocatalysts, they provide a strategy, and potential structural component, for linking renewable energy sources with the production of fuels and other value-added chemicals. In this work, porphyrins are used as structural motifs for exploring structure-function relationships in electrocatalysis and as molecular building blocks for assembling photoelectrochemical assemblies leveraging the light capture and conversion properties of a gallium phosphide (GaP) semiconductor. These concepts are further covered in Chapter 1. A direct one-step method to chemically graft metalloporphyrins to GaP surfaces is …

Contributors
Khusnutdinova, Diana, Moore, Gary F., Moore, Ana L., et al.
Created Date
2019

Biological systems have long been known to utilize two processes for energy conservation: substrate-level phosphorylation and electron transport phosphorylation. Recently, a new bioenergetic process was discovered that increases ATP yields: flavin-based electron bifurcation (FBEB). This process couples an energetically favorable reaction with an energetically unfavorable one to conserve energy in the organism. Currently, the mechanisms of enzymes that perform FBEB are unknown. In this work, NADH-dependent reduced ferredoxin:NADP+ oxidoreductase (Nfn), a FBEB enzyme, is used as a model system to study this phenomenon. Nfn is a heterodimeric enzyme that reversibly couples the exergonic reduction of NADP+ by reduced ferredoxin with …

Contributors
Jennings, David, Jones, Anne K, Redding, Kevin E, et al.
Created Date
2018

Palladium metal in its various forms has been heavily studied for many catalytic, hydrogen storage and sensing applications and as an electrocatalyst in fuel cells. A short review on various applications of palladium and the mechanism of Pd nanoparticles synthesis will be discussed in chapter 1. Size dependent properties of various metal nanoparticles and a thermodynamic theory proposed by Plieth to predict size dependent redox properties of metal nanoparticles will also be discussed in chapter 1. To evaluate size dependent stability of metal nanoparticles using electrochemical techniques in aqueous media, a synthetic route was designed to produce water soluble Pd …

Contributors
Kumar, Ashok, Buttry, Daniel A., Gould, Ian R., et al.
Created Date
2016

Spider dragline silk is an outstanding biopolymer with a strength that exceeds steel by weight and a toughness greater than high-performance fibers like Kevlar. For this reason, structural and dynamic studies on the spider silk are of great importance for developing future biomaterials. The spider dragline silk comprises two silk proteins, Major ampullate Spidroin 1 and 2 (MaSp1 and 2), which are synthesized and stored in the major ampullate (MA) gland of spiders. The initial state of the silk proteins within Black Widow MA glands was probed with solution-state NMR spectroscopy. The conformation dependent chemical shifts information indicates that the …

Contributors
Xu, Dian, Yarger, Jeffery L, Holland, Gregory P, et al.
Created Date
2015

Natural hydrogenases catalyze the reduction of protons to molecular hydrogen reversibly under mild conditions; these enzymes have an unusual active site architecture, in which a diiron site is connected to a cubane type [4Fe-4S] cluster. Due to the relevance of this reaction to energy production, and in particular to sustainable fuel production, there have been substantial amount of research focused on developing biomimetic organometallic models. However, most of these organometallic complexes cannot revisit the structural and functional fine-tuning provided by the protein matrix as seen in the natural enzyme. The goal of this thesis is to build a protein based …

Contributors
Roy, Anindya, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, Yan, Hao, 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

Group IV alloy films exhibit the ability to tune both band structure and lattice parameters and have recently attracted attention for their potential applications in Si-photonics and photovoltaics. In this work, several new approaches to produce these alloys directly on Si(100) and Ge(100) wafers are developed. For photovoltaics, use of Ge-buffered Si(100) wafers as a low cost platform for epitaxy of In1-xGaxAs layers was explored. The results indicate that this approach has promise for transitioning from bulk Ge platforms to virtual substrates for a significant cost reduction. The electrical and optical properties of Ge and Ge1-ySny layers produced using several …

Contributors
Beeler, Richard Todd, Kouvetakis, John, Menéndez, José, et al.
Created Date
2012