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
Date Range
2011 2019


Bioparticles comprise a diverse amount of materials ubiquitously present in nature. From proteins to aerosolized biological debris, bioparticles have important roles spanning from regulating cellular functions to possibly influencing global climate. Understanding their structures, functions, and properties provides the necessary tools to expand our fundamental knowledge of biological systems and exploit them for useful applications. In order to contribute to this efforts, the work presented in this dissertation focuses on the study of electrokinetic properties of liposomes and novel applications of bioaerosol analysis. Using immobilized lipid vesicles under the influence of modest (less than 100 V/cm) electric fields, a novel …

Contributors
Castillo Gutierrez, Josemar Andreina, Hayes, Mark A, Herckes, Pierre, et al.
Created Date
2011

Black carbon (BC) is the product of incomplete combustion of biomass and fossil fuels. It is found ubiquitously in nature and is relevant to studies in atmospheric science, soil science, oceanography, and anthropology. Black carbon is best described using a combustion continuum that sub-classifies BC into slightly charred biomass, char, charcoal and soot. These sub-classifications range in particle size, formation temperature, and relative reactivity. Interest in BC has increased because of its role in the long-term storage of organic matter and the biogeochemistry of urban areas. The global BC budget is unbalanced. Production of BC greatly outweighs decomposition of BC. …

Contributors
Hamilton, George A., Hartnett, Hilairy E, Herckes, Pierre, et al.
Created Date
2013

Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) present in wastewater effluent can threat its safe discharge or reuse. Additional barriers of protection can be provided using advanced or natural treatment processes. This dissertation evaluated ozonation and constructed wetlands to remove CECs from wastewater effluent. Organic CECs can be removed by hydroxyl radical formed during ozonation, however estimating the ozone demand of wastewater effluent is complicated due to the presence of reduced inorganic species. A method was developed to estimate ozone consumption only by dissolved organic compounds and predict trace organic oxidation across multiple wastewater sources. Organic and engineered nanomaterial (ENM) CEC removal …

Contributors
Sharif, Fariya, Westerhoff, Paul, Halden, Rolf, et al.
Created Date
2013

Americans spend upwards of 90% of their time indoors, hence indoor air quality (IAQ) and the impact of IAQ on human health is a major public health concern. IAQ can be negatively impacted by outdoor pollution infiltrating indoors, the emission of indoor pollutants, indoor atmospheric chemistry and poor ventilation. Energy saving measures like retrofits to seal the building envelope to prevent the leakage of heated or cooled air will impact IAQ. However, existing studies have been inconclusive as to whether increased energy efficiency is leading to detrimental IAQ. In this work, field campaigns were conducted in apartment homes in Phoenix, …

Contributors
Frey, Sarah Elizabeth, Herckes, Pierre, Fraser, Matthew P, et al.
Created Date
2014

The atmosphere contains a substantial amount of water soluble organic material, yet despite years of efforts, little is known on the structure, composition and properties of this organic matter. Aqueous phase processing by fogs and clouds of the gas and particulate organic material is poorly understood despite the importance for air pollution and climate. On one hand, gas phase species can be processed by fog/cloud droplets to form lower volatility species, which upon droplet evaporation lead to new aerosol mass, while on the other hand larger nonvolatile material can be degraded by in cloud oxidation to smaller molecular weight compounds …

Contributors
Wang, Youliang, Herckes, Pierre, Fraser, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2014

This dissertation is presented in two sections. First, I explore two methods of using stable isotope analysis to trace environmental and biogeochemical processes. Second, I present two related studies investigating student understanding of the biogeochemical concepts that underlie part one. Fe and Hg are each biogeochemically important elements in their own way. Fe is a critical nutrient for phytoplankton, while Hg is detrimental to nearly all forms of life. Fe is often a limiting factor in marine phytoplankton growth. The largest source, by mass, of Fe to the open ocean is windblown mineral dust, but other more soluble sources are …

Contributors
Mead, Chris, Anbar, Ariel, Semken, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2014

N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is a probable human carcinogen and drinking water disinfection by-product. NDMA forms as the product of reactions between chloramines and precursor compounds in water. This dissertation aims to provide insight into the removal of NDMA precursors, their nature, and a method to aid in their identification. Watershed-derived precursors accounted for more of and greater variability to NDMA formation upon chloramination than polymer-derived precursors in environmental samples. Coagulation polymers are quaternary amines, which have low NDMA yield but high use rates. Watershed-derived precursors were removed up to 90% by sorption to activated carbon, but activated carbon exhibited much less …

Contributors
Hanigan, David, Westerhoff, Paul, Rittmann, Bruce, et al.
Created Date
2015

Geopolymers, a class of X-ray amorphous, ceramic-like aluminosilicate materials are produced at ambient temperatures through a process called geopolymerization. Due to both low energy requirement during synthesis and interesting mechanical and chemical properties, geopolymers are grabbing enormous attention. Although geopolymers have a broad range of applications including thermal/acoustic insulation and waste immobilization, they are always prepared in monolithic form. The primary aim of this study is to produce new nanostructured materials from the geopolymerization process, including porous monoliths and powders. In view of the current interest in porous geopolymers for non-traditional applications, it is becoming increasingly important to develop synthetic …

Contributors
Medpelli, Dinesh, Seo, Dong-Kyun, Herckes, Pierre, et al.
Created Date
2015

Particulate trace metals can enter the atmosphere as mineral dust, sea spray, anthropogenic emissions, biomass burning, etc. Once in the atmosphere they can undergo a variety of transformations including aqueous phase (cloud) processing, photochemical reactions, interact with gases, and ultimately deposit. Metals in aerosols are of particular interest because of their natural and anthropogenic sources as well as their effects on local (human health) and global (climate change) scales. This work investigates the metal component of atmospheric particles and how it changes during physical and chemical processes at local, regional and global scales, through laboratory and field studies. In the …

Contributors
Marcotte, Aurelie R., Herckes, Pierre, Anbar, Ariel, et al.
Created Date
2015

Biological fluids contain information-rich mixtures of biochemicals and particles such as cells, proteins, and viruses. Selective and sensitive analysis of these fluids can enable clinicians to accurately diagnose a wide range of pathologies. Fluid samples such as these present an intriguing challenge to researchers; they are packed with potentially vital information, but notoriously difficult to analyze. Rapid and inexpensive analysis of blood and other bodily fluids is a topic gaining substantial attention in both science and medicine. Current limitations to many analyses include long culture times, expensive reagents, and the need for specialized laboratory facilities and personnel. Improving these tests …

Contributors
Jones, Paul Vernon, Hayes, Mark, Ros, Alexandra, et al.
Created Date
2015

N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable human carcinogen, has been found in clouds and fogs at concentration up to 500 ng/L and in drinking water as disinfection by-product. NDMA exposure to the general public is not well understood because of knowledge gaps in terms of occurrence, formation and fate both in air and water. The goal of this dissertation was to contribute to closing these knowledge gaps on potential human NDMA exposure through contributions to atmospheric measurements and fate as well as aqueous formation processes. Novel, sensitive methods of measuring NDMA in air were developed based on Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) and …

Contributors
Zhang, Jinwei, Herckes, Pierre, Westerhoff, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2016

New sol-gel routes were developed to fabricate transparent conducting oxide coatings for energy applications. Sol-gel synthesis was chosen because the metal oxide products have high surface area and porosity. Titanium sol-gel chemistry was the main focus of the studies, and the synthesis of macroporous antimony-doped tin oxide was also explored. The surface chemistry and band characteristics of anatase TiO2 show promise for solar energy purposes as photoelectrodes in DSSCs and as photocatalysts to degrade organic dyes and to split water. Modifying the band structure by increasing the conduction band edge energy is specifically of interest for reducing protons in water. …

Contributors
Mieritz, Daniel Gustav, Seo, Dong-Kyun, Petuskey, William, et al.
Created Date
2016

Dust storms known as 'haboobs' occur in the City of Tempe, AZ during the North American monsoon season. A haboob classification method based on meteorological and air quality measurements is described. There were from 3 to 20 haboob events per year over the period from 2005 to 2014. The calculated annual TSP (total suspended particulate) dry deposition during haboobs is estimated to contribute 74% of the total particulate mass deposited in Tempe, AZ. Dry deposition is compared with the aqueous chemistry of Tempe Town Lake. Water management and other factors may have a stronger impact on Tempe Town Lake chemistry …

Contributors
Eagar, Jershon Dale, Herckes, Pierre, Hayes, Mark, et al.
Created Date
2016

In many natural systems aqueous geochemical conditions dictate the reaction pathways of organic compounds. Geologic settings that span wide ranges in temperature, pressure, and composition vastly alter relative reaction rates and resulting organic abundances. The dependence of organic reactions on these variables contributes to planetary-scale nutrient cycling, and suggests that relative abundances of organic compounds can reveal information about inaccessible geologic environments, whether from the terrestrial subsurface, remote planetary settings, or even the distant past (if organic abundances are well preserved). Despite their relevance to planetary modeling and exploration, organic reactions remain poorly characterized under geochemically relevant conditions, especially in …

Contributors
Robinson, Kirtland John, Shock, Everett L, Herckes, Pierre, et al.
Created Date
2017

Nanomaterials (NMs), implemented into a plethora of consumer products, are a potential new class of pollutants with unknown hazards to the environment. Exposure assessment is necessary for hazard assessment, life cycle analysis, and environmental monitoring. Current nanomaterial detection techniques on complex matrices are expensive and time intensive, requiring weeks of sample preparation and detection by specialized equipment, limiting the feasibility of large-scale monitoring of NMs. A need exists to develop a rapid pre-screening technique to detect, within minutes, nanomaterials in complex matrices. The goal of this dissertation is to develop a tiered process to detect and characterize nanomaterials in consumer …

Contributors
Schoepf, Jared, Westerhoff, Paul, Dai, Lenore, et al.
Created Date
2018

Lipids perform functions essential to life and have a variety of structures that are influenced by the organisms and environments that produced them. Lipids tend to resist degradation after cell death, leading to their widespread use as biomarkers in geobiology, though their interpretation is often tricky. Many lipid structures are shared among organisms and function in many geochemical conditions and extremes. I argue it is useful to interpret lipid distributions as a balance of functional necessity and energy cost. This work utilizes a quantitative thermodynamic framework for interpreting energetically driven adaptation in lipids. Yellowstone National Park is a prime location …

Contributors
Boyer, Grayson Maxwell, Shock, Everett, Hartnett, Hilairy, et al.
Created Date
2018

Flame retardants (FRs) are applied to variety of consumer products such as textiles and polymers for fire prevention and fire safety. Substantial research is ongoing to replace traditional FRs with alternative materials that are less toxic, present higher flame retardancy and result in lower overall exposure as there are potential health concerns in case of exposure to popular FRs. Carbonaceous nanomaterials (CNMs) such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene oxide (GO) have been studied and applied to polymer composites and electronics extensively due to their remarkable properties. Hence CNMs are considered as potential alternative materials that present high flame retardancy. …

Contributors
Nosaka, Takayuki, Herckes, Pierre, Westerhoff, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2018

Atmospheric particulate matter (PM) has a pronounced effect on our climate, and exposure to PM causes negative health outcomes and elevated mortality rates in urban populations. Reactions that occur in fog can form new secondary organic aerosol material from gas-phase species or primary organic aerosols. It is important to understand these reactions, as well as how organic material is scavenged and deposited, so that climate and health effects can be fully assessed. Stable carbon isotopes have been used widely in studying gas- and particle-phase atmospheric chemistry. However, the processing of organic matter by fog has not yet been studied, even …

Contributors
Napolitano, Denise, Herckes, Pierre, Fraser, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2018

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

Electrospinning is a means of fabricating micron-scale diameter fiber networks with enmeshed nanomaterials. Polymeric nanocomposites for water treatment require the manipulation of fiber morphology to expose nanomaterial surface area while anchoring the nanomaterials and maintaining fiber integrity; that is the overarching goal of this dissertation. The first investigation studied the effect of metal oxide nanomaterial loadings on electrospinning process parameters such as critical voltage, viscosity, fiber diameter, and nanomaterial distribution. Increases in nanomaterial loading below 5% (w/v) were not found to affect critical voltage or fiber diameter. Nanomaterial dispersion was conserved throughout the process. Arsenic adsorption tests determined that the …

Contributors
Hoogesteijn von Reitzenstein, Natalia Virginia, Westerhoff, Paul, Hristovski, Kiril, et al.
Created Date
2018