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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.


Resource Type
  • Doctoral Dissertation
Subject
Date Range
2011 2019


This thesis is devoted to the theoretical and computational study of electron transport in molecular junctions where one or more hydrogen bonds are involved in the process. While electron transport through covalent bonds has been extensively studied, in recent work the focus has been shifted towards hydrogen-bonded systems due to their ubiquitous presence in biological systems and their potential in forming nano- junctions between molecular electronic devices and biological systems. This analysis allows us to significantly expand our comprehension of the experimentally observed result that the inclusion of hydrogen bonding in a molecular junc- tion significantly impacts its transport properties, …

Contributors
Wimmer, Michael, Mujica, Vladimiro, Wolf, George, et al.
Created Date
2017

Non-stoichiometric oxides play a critical role in many catalytic, energy, and sensing technologies, providing the ability to reversibly exchange oxygen with the ambient environment through the creation and annihilation of surface oxygen vacancies. Oxygen exchange at the surfaces of these materials is strongly influenced by atomic structure, which varies significantly across nanoparticle surfaces. The studies presented herein elucidate the relationship between surface structure behaviors and oxygen exchange reactions on ceria (CeO2) catalyst materials. In situ aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy (AC-TEM) techniques were developed and employed to correlate dynamic atomic-level structural heterogeneities to local oxygen vacancy activity. A model Ni/CeO2 catalyst …

Contributors
Lawrence, Ethan Lee, Crozier, Peter A, Lin, Jerry, et al.
Created Date
2019

Carbon nanomaterials have caught tremendous attention in the last few decades due to their unique physical and chemical properties. Tremendous effort has been made to develop new synthesis techniques for carbon nanomaterials and investigate their properties for different applications. In this work, carbon nanospheres (CNSs), carbon foams (CF), and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) were studied for various applications, including water treatment, energy storage, actuators, and sensors. A facile spray pyrolysis synthesis technique was developed to synthesize individual CNSs with specific surface area (SSA) up to 1106 m2/g. The hollow CNSs showed adsorption of up to 300 mg rhodamine B dye …

Contributors
Wang, Chengwei, Chan, Candace K, Tongay, Sefaattin, et al.
Created Date
2015

Raman scattering from Ge-Si core-shell nanowires is investigated theoretically and experimentally. A theoretical model that makes it possible to extract quantitative strain information from the measured Raman spectra is presented for the first time. Geometrical and elastic simplifications are introduced to keep the model analytical, which facilitates comparison with experimental results. In particular, the nanowires are assumed to be cylindrical, and their elastic constants isotropic. The simple analytical model is subsequently validated by performing numerical calculations using realistic nanowire geometries and cubic, anisotropic elastic constants. The comparison confirms that the analytic model is an excellent approximation that greatly facilitates quantitative …

Contributors
Singh, Rachna, Menendez, Jose, Drucker, Jeffery, et al.
Created Date
2011

In this dissertation, combined photo-induced and thermionic electron emission from low work function diamond films is studied through low energy electron spectroscopy analysis and other associated techniques. Nitrogen-doped, hydrogen-terminated diamond films prepared by the microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition method have been the most focused material. The theme of this research is represented by four interrelated issues. (1) An in-depth study describes combined photo-induced and thermionic emission from nitrogen-doped diamond films on molybdenum substrates, which were illuminated with visible light photons, and the electron emission spectra were recorded as a function of temperature. The diamond films displayed significant emissivity with …

Contributors
Sun, Tianyin, Nemanich, Robert, Ponce, Fernando, et al.
Created Date
2013

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

The research of this dissertation involved quantitative characterization of electrostatic potential and charge distribution of semiconductor nanostructures using off-axis electron holography, as well as other electron microscopy techniques. The investigated nanostructures included Ge quantum dots, Ge/Si core/shell nanowires, and polytype heterostructures in ZnSe nanobelts. Hole densities were calculated for the first two systems, and the spontaneous polarization for wurtzite ZnSe was determined. Epitaxial Ge quantum dots (QDs) embedded in boron-doped silicon were studied. Reconstructed phase images showed extra phase shifts near the base of the QDs, which was attributed to hole accumulation in these regions. The resulting charge density was …

Contributors
Li, Luying, Mccartney, Martha R., Smith, David J., et al.
Created Date
2011

Operando transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is an extension of in-situ TEM in which the performance of the material being observed is measured simultaneously. This is of great value, since structure-performance relationships lie at the heart of materials science. For catalyst materials, like the SiO2-supported Ru nanoparticles studied, the important performance metric, catalyst activity, is measured inside the microscope by determining the gas composition during imaging. This is accomplished by acquisition of electron energy loss spectra (EELS) of the gas in the environmental TEM while catalysis is taking place. In this work, automated methods for rapidly quantifying low-loss and core-loss EELS …

Contributors
Miller, Benjamin, Crozier, Peter, Liu, Jingyue, et al.
Created Date
2016

This thesis describes several experiments based on carbon nanotube nanofludic devices and field-effect transistors. The first experiment detected ion and molecule translocation through one single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) that spans a barrier between two fluid reservoirs. The electrical ionic current is measured. Translocation of small single stranded DNA oligomers is marked by large transient increases in current through the tube and confirmed by a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) analysis. Carbon nanotubes simplify the construction of nanopores, permit new types of electrical measurement, and open new avenues for control of DNA translocation. The second experiment constructed devices in which the interior …

Contributors
Cao, Di, Lindsay, Stuart, Vaiana, Sara, et al.
Created Date
2011

Richard Feynman said “There’s plenty of room at the bottom”. This inspired the techniques to improve the single molecule measurements. Since the first single molecule study was in 1961, it has been developed in various field and evolved into powerful tools to understand chemical and biological property of molecules. This thesis demonstrates electronic single molecule measurement with Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) and two of applications of STM; Break Junction (BJ) and Recognition Tunneling (RT). First, the two series of carotenoid molecules with four different substituents were investigated to show how substituents relate to the conductance and molecular structure. The measured …

Contributors
Im, JongOne, Lindsay, Stuart M, Zhang, Peiming, et al.
Created Date
2016

In this dissertation research, conventional and aberration-corrected (AC) transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques were used to evaluate the structural and compositional properties of thin-film semiconductor compounds/alloys grown by molecular beam epitaxy for infrared photo-detection. Imaging, diffraction and spectroscopy techniques were applied to TEM specimens in cross-section geometry to extract information about extended structural defects, chemical homogeneity and interface abruptness. The materials investigated included InAs1-xBix alloys grown on GaSb (001) substrates, InAs/InAs1-xSbx type-II superlattices grown on GaSb (001) substrates, and CdTe-based thin-film structures grown on InSb (001) substrates. The InAsBi dilute-bismide epitaxial films were grown on GaSb (001) substrates at relatively …

Contributors
Lu, Jing, Smith, David J., Alford, Terry L., et al.
Created Date
2017

Engineered nanoparticles (NP; 10-9 m) have found use in a variety of consumer goods and medical devices because of the unique changes in material properties that occur when synthesized on the nanoscale. Although many definitions for nanoparticle exist, from the perspective of size, nanoparticle is defined as particles with diameters less than 100 nm in any external dimension. Examples of their use include titanium dioxide added as a pigment in products intended to be ingested by humans, silicon dioxide NPs are used in foods as an anticaking agent, and gold or iron oxide NPs can be used as vectors for …

Contributors
Faust, James Jude, Capco, David G., Ugarova, Tatiana, et al.
Created Date
2014

DNA, RNA and Protein are three pivotal biomolecules in human and other organisms, playing decisive roles in functionality, appearance, diseases development and other physiological phenomena. Hence, sequencing of these biomolecules acquires the prime interest in the scientific community. Single molecular identification of their building blocks can be done by a technique called Recognition Tunneling (RT) based on Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM). A single layer of specially designed recognition molecule is attached to the STM electrodes, which trap the targeted molecules (DNA nucleoside monophosphates, RNA nucleoside monophosphates or amino acids) inside the STM nanogap. Depending on their different binding interactions with …

Contributors
SEN, SUMAN, Lindsay, Stuart, Zhang, Peiming, et al.
Created Date
2016

ABSTRACT Autonomous smart windows may be integrated with a stack of active components, such as electrochromic devices, to modulate the opacity/transparency by an applied voltage. Here, we describe the processing and performance of two classes of visibly-transparent photovoltaic materials, namely inorganic (ZnO thin film) and fully organic (PCDTBT:PC70BM), for integration with electrochromic stacks. Sputtered ZnO (2% Mn) films on ITO, with transparency in the visible range, were used to fabricate metal-semiconductor (MS), metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS), and p-i-n heterojunction devices, and their photovoltaic conversion under ultraviolet (UV) illumination was evaluated with and without oxygen plasma-treated surface electrodes (Au, Ag, Al, and Ti/Ag). …

Contributors
Azhar, Ebraheem, Yu, Hongbin, Dey, Sandwip, et al.
Created Date
2018

In-situ environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM) is a powerful tool for following the evolution of supported metal nanoparticles under different reacting gas conditions at elevated temperatures. The ability to observe the events in real time under reacting gas conditions can provide significant information on the fundamental processes taking place in catalytic materials, from which the performance of the catalyst can be understood. The first part of this dissertation presents the application of in-situ ETEM studies in developing structure-activity relationship in supported metal nanoparticles. In-situ ETEM studies on nanostructures in parallel with ex-situ reactor studies of conversions and selectivities were performed …

Contributors
Chenna, Santhosh, Crozier, Peter A, Carpenter, Ray, et al.
Created Date
2011

Stroke remains the leading cause of adult disability in developed countries. Most survivors live with residual motor impairments that severely diminish independence and quality of life. After stroke, the only accepted treatment for these patients is motor rehabilitation. However, the amount and kind of rehabilitation required to induce clinically significant improvements in motor function is rarely given due to the constraints of our current health care system. Research reported in this dissertation contributes towards developing adjuvant therapies that may augment the impact of motor rehabilitation and improve functional outcome. These studies have demonstrated reorganization of maps within motor cortex as …

Contributors
Warraich, Zuha, Kleim, Jeffrey A, Stabenfeldt, Sarah, et al.
Created Date
2013

Layer structured two dimensional (2D) semiconductors have gained much interest due to their intriguing optical and electronic properties induced by the unique van der Waals bonding between layers. The extraordinary success for graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) has triggered a constant search for novel 2D semiconductors beyond them. Gallium chalcogenides, belonging to the group III-VI compounds, are a new class of 2D semiconductors that carry a variety of interesting properties including wide spectrum coverage of their bandgaps and thus are promising candidates for next generation electronic and optoelectronic devices. Pushing these materials toward applications requires more controllable synthesis methods …

Contributors
Cai, Hui, Tongay, Sefaattin, Dwyer, Christian, et al.
Created Date
2018

Graphene has been extensively researched for both scientific and technological interests since its first isolation from graphite. The excellent transport properties and long spin diffusion length of graphene make it a promising material for electronic and spintronic device applications. This dissertation deals with the optimization of magnetic field sensing in graphene and the realization of nanoparticle induced ferromagnetism in graphene towards spintronic device applications. Graphene has been used as a channel material for magnetic sensors demonstrating the potential for very high sensitivities, especially for Hall sensors, due to its extremely high mobility and low carrier concentration. However, the two-carrier nature …

Contributors
Song, Guibin, Kiehl, Richard A, Kiehl, Richard A, et al.
Created Date
2019

This thesis develops molecular models for electron transport in molecular junctions and intra-molecular electron transfer. The goal is to identify molecular descriptors that afford a substantial simplification of these electronic processes. First, the connection between static molecular polarizability and the molecular conductance is examined. A correlation emerges whereby the measured conductance of a tunneling junction decreases as a function of the calculated molecular polarizability for several systems, a result consistent with the idea of a molecule as a polarizable dielectric. A model based on a macroscopic extension of the Clausius-Mossotti equation to the molecular domain and Simmon’s tunneling model is …

Contributors
Khezr Seddigh Mazinani, Shobeir, Mujica, Vladimiro, Pilarisetty, Tarakeshwar, et al.
Created Date
2015

Nanomaterials have attracted considerable attention in recent research due to their wide applications in various fields such as material science, physical science, electrical engineering, and biomedical engineering. Researchers have developed many methods for synthesizing different types of nanostructures and have further applied them in various applications. However, in many cases, a molecular level understanding of nanoparticles and their associated surface chemistry is lacking investigation. Understanding the surface chemistry of nanomaterials is of great significance for obtaining a better understanding of the properties and functions of the nanomaterials. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy can provide a familiar means of looking at …

Contributors
Guo, Chengchen, Yarger, Jeffery L, Holland, Gregory P, et al.
Created Date
2017

Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) is the most widely used method to grow large-scale single layer graphene. However, a systematic experimental study of the relationship between growth parameters and graphene film morphology, especially in the industrially preferred cold wall CVD, has not been undertaken previously. This research endeavored to address this and provide comprehensive insight into the growth physics of graphene on supported solid and liquid Cu films using cold wall CVD. A multi-chamber UHV system was customized and transformed into a cold wall CVD system to perform experiments. The versatile growth process was completely custom-automated by controlling the process parameters …

Contributors
Das, Shantanu, Drucker, Jeff, Alford, Terry, et al.
Created Date
2018

This dissertation presents research findings regarding the exploitation of localized surface plasmon (LSP) of epitaxial Ag islands as a means to enhance the photoluminescence (PL) of Germanium (Ge) quantum dots (QDs). The first step of this project was to investigate the growth of Ag islands on Si(100). Two distinct families of Ag islands have been observed. “Big islands” are clearly faceted and have basal dimensions in the few hundred nm to μm range with a variety of basal shapes. “Small islands” are not clearly faceted and have basal diameters in the 10s of nm range. Big islands form via a …

Contributors
Kong, Dexin, Drucker, Jeffery, Chen, Tingyong, et al.
Created Date
2015

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

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

Gold nanoparticles have emerged as promising nanomaterials for biosensing, imaging, photothermal treatment and therapeutic delivery for several diseases, including cancer. We have generated poly(amino ether)-functionalized gold nanorods (PAE-GNRs) using a layer-by-layer deposition approach. Sub-toxic concentrations of PAE-GNRs were employed to deliver plasmid DNA to prostate cancer cells in vitro. PAE-GNRs generated using 1,4C-1,4Bis, a cationic polymer from our laboratory demonstrated significantly higher transgene expression and exhibited lower cytotoxicities when compared to similar assemblies generated using 25 kDa poly(ethylene imine) (PEI25k-GNRs), a current standard for polymer-mediated gene delivery. Additionally, sub-toxic concentrations of 1,4C-1,4Bis-GNR nanoassemblies were employed to deliver expression vectors that …

Contributors
Ramos, James Matthew, Rege, Kaushal, Kodibagkar, Vikram, et al.
Created Date
2014

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

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

Rapid development of new technology has significantly disrupted the way radiotherapy is planned and delivered. These processes involve delivering high radiation doses to the target tumor while minimizing dose to the surrounding healthy tissue. However, with rapid implementation of these new technologies, there is a need for the detection of prescribed ionizing radiation for radioprotection of the patient and quality assurance of the technique employed. Most available clinical sensors are subjected to various limitations including requirement of extensive training, loss of readout with sequential measurements, sensitivity to light and post-irradiation wait time prior to analysis. Considering these disadvantages, there is …

Contributors
Subramaniam Pushpavanam, Karthik, Rege, Kaushal, Sapareto, Stephen, et al.
Created Date
2019

This research focuses on the stress and structure evolution observed in-situ during the earliest stages of thin film growth in Cu on Au(111)-reconstruction. For the research, an ultra high vacuum-scanning tunneling microscopy (UHV-STM) system was modified to have the additional capabilities of in-situ deposition and in-situ stress evolution monitoring. The design and fabrication processes for the modifications are explained in detail. The deposition source enabled imaging during the deposition of Cu thin films, while also being columnar enough to avoid negatively impacting the function of the microscope. It was found that the stress-induced changes in piezo voltage occurred over a …

Contributors
Nah, Jungwoo, Friesen, Cody, Sieradzki, Karl, et al.
Created Date
2012

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has become an important tool to characterize and image surfaces with nanoscale resolution. AFM imaging technique has been utilized to study a wide range of substances such as DNA, proteins, cells, silicon surfaces, nanowires etc. Hence AFM has become extremely important in the field of biochemistry, cell biology and material science. Functionalizing the AFM tip made it possible to detect molecules and their interaction using recognition imaging at single molecule level. Also the unbinding force of two molecules can be investigated based on AFM based single molecule force spectroscopy. In the first study, a new chemical …

Contributors
SENAPATI, SUBHADIP, Lindsay, Stuart, Zhang, Peiming, et al.
Created Date
2015

Integrated photonics requires high gain optical materials in the telecom wavelength range for optical amplifiers and coherent light sources. Erbium (Er) containing materials are ideal candidates due to the 1.5 μm emission from Er3+ ions. However, the Er density in typical Er-doped materials is less than 1 x 1020 cm-3, thus limiting the maximum optical gain to a few dB/cm, too small to be useful for integrated photonics applications. Er compounds could potentially solve this problem since they contain much higher Er density. So far the existing Er compounds suffer from short lifetime and strong upconversion effects, mainly due to …

Contributors
Yin, Leijun, Ning, Cun-Zheng, Chamberlin, Ralph, et al.
Created Date
2013

This dissertation describes fundamental studies of hollow carbon nanostructures, which may be used as electrodes for practical energy storage applications such as batteries or supercapacitors. Electron microscopy is heavily utilized for the nanoscale characterization. To control the morphology of hollow carbon nanostructures, ZnO nanowires serve as sacrificial templates. The first part of this dissertation focuses on the optimization of synthesis parameters and the scale-up production of ZnO nanowires by vapor transport method. Uniform ZnO nanowires with 40 nm width can be produced by using 1100 °C reaction temperature and 20 sccm oxygen flow rate, which are the two most important …

Contributors
Song, Yian, Liu, Jingyue, Liu, Jingyue, et al.
Created Date
2016

The rapid progress of solution-phase synthesis has led colloidal nanocrystals one of the most versatile nanoscale materials, provided opportunities to tailor material's properties, and boosted related technological innovations. Colloidal nanocrystal-based materials have been demonstrated success in a variety of applications, such as LEDs, electronics, solar cells and thermoelectrics. In each of these applications, the thermal transport property plays a big role. An undesirable temperature rise due to inefficient heat dissipation could lead to deleterious effects on devices' performance and lifetime. Hence, the first project is focused on investigating the thermal transport in colloidal nanocrystal solids. This study answers the question …

Contributors
Liu, Minglu, Wang, Robert Y, Wang, Liping, et al.
Created Date
2015

ABSTRACT The unique structural features of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) that are of considerable biological interest also make it a valuable engineering material. Perhaps the most useful property of DNA for molecular engineering is its ability to self-assemble into predictable, double helical secondary structures. These interactions are exploited to design a variety of DNA nanostructures, which can be organized into both discrete and periodic structures. This dissertation focuses on studying the dynamic behavior of DNA nanostructure recognition processes. The thermodynamics and kinetics of nanostructure binding are evaluated, with the intention of improving our ability to understand and control their assembly. Presented …

Contributors
Nangreave, Jeanette Kim, Yan, Hao, Liu, Yan, et al.
Created Date
2011

My research centers on the design and fabrication of biomolecule-sensing devices that combine top-down and bottom-up fabrication processes and leverage the unique advantages of each approach. This allows for the scalable creation of devices with critical dimensions and surface properties that are tailored to target molecules at the nanoscale. My first project focuses on a new strategy for preparing solid-state nanopore sensors for DNA sequencing. Challenges for existing nanopore approaches include specificity of detection, controllability of translocation, and scalability of fabrication. In a new solid-state pore architecture, top-down fabrication of an initial electrode gap embedded in a sealed nanochannel is …

Contributors
Sadar, Joshua Stephen, Qing, Quan, Lindsay, Stuart, et al.
Created Date
2019