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- Analysis of Biological Materials Using a Nuclear Microprobe
- The use of nuclear microprobe techniques including: Particle induced x-ray emission (PIXE) and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) for elemental analysis and quantitative elemental imaging of biological samples is especially useful in biological and biomedical research because of its high sensitivity for physiologically important trace elements or toxic heavy metals. The nuclear microprobe of the Ion Beam Modification and Analysis Laboratory (IBMAL) has been used to study the enhancement in metal uptake of two different plants. The roots of corn (Zea mays) have been analyzed to study the enhancement of iron uptake by adding Fe (II) or Fe (III) of different concentrations to the germinating medium of the seeds. The Fe uptake enhancement effect produced by lacing the germinating medium with carbon nanotubes has also been investigated. The aim of this investigation is to ensure not only high crop yield but also Fe-rich food products especially from calcareous soil which covers 30% of world’s agricultural land. The result will help reduce iron deficiency anemia, which has been identified as the leading nutritional disorder especially in developing countries by the World Health Organization. For the second plant, Mexican marigold (Tagetes erecta), the effect of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Glomus intraradices) for the improvement of lead-phytoremediation of lead contaminated soil has been investigated. Phytoremediation provides an environmentally safe technique of removing toxic heavy metals (like lead), which can find their way into human food, from lands contaminated by human activities like mining or by natural disasters like earthquakes. The roots of Mexican marigold have been analyzed to study the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in enhancement of lead uptake from the contaminated rhizosphere.
- Cooperation-induced Criticality in Neural Networks
- The human brain is considered to be the most complex and powerful information-processing device in the known universe. The fundamental concepts behind the physics of complex systems motivate scientists to investigate the human brain as a collective property emerging from the interaction of thousand agents. In this dissertation, I investigate the emergence of cooperation-induced properties in a system of interacting units. I demonstrate that the neural network of my research generates a series of properties such as avalanche distribution in size and duration coinciding with the experimental results on neural networks both in vivo and in vitro. Focusing attention on temporal complexity and fractal index of the system, I discuss how to define an order parameter and phase transition. Criticality is assumed to correspond to the emergence of temporal complexity, interpreted as a manifestation of non-Poisson renewal dynamics. In addition, I study the transmission of information between two networks to confirm the criticality and discuss how the network topology changes over time in the light of Hebbian learning.
- Criticality in Cooperative Systems
- Cooperative behavior arises from the interactions of single units that globally produce a complex dynamics in which the system acts as a whole. As an archetype I refer to a flock of birds. As a result of cooperation the whole flock gets special abilities that the single individuals would not have if they were alone. This research work led to the discovery that the function of a flock, and more in general, that of cooperative systems, surprisingly rests on the occurrence of organizational collapses. In this study, I used cooperative systems based on self-propelled particle models (the flock models) which have been proved to be virtually equivalent to sociological network models mimicking the decision making processes (the decision making model). The critical region is an intermediate condition between a highly disordered state and a strong ordered one. At criticality the waiting times distribution density between two consecutive collapses shows an inverse power law form with an anomalous statistical behavior. The scientific evidences are based on measures of information theory, correlation in time and space, and fluctuation statistical analysis. In order to prove the benefit for a system to live at criticality, I made a flock system interact with another similar system, and then observe the information transmission for different disturbance values. I proved that at criticality the transfer of information gets the maximal efficiency. As last step, the flock model has been shown that, despite its simplicity, is sufficiently a realistic model as proved via the use of 3D simulations and computer animations.
- A Determination of the Fine Structure Constant Using Precision Measurements of Helium Fine Structure
- Spectroscopic measurements of the helium atom are performed to high precision using an atomic beam apparatus and electro-optic laser techniques. These measurements, in addition to serving as a test of helium theory, also provide a new determination of the fine structure constant α. An apparatus was designed and built to overcome limitations encountered in a previous experiment. Not only did this allow an improved level of precision but also enabled new consistency checks, including an extremely useful measurement in 3He. I discuss the details of the experimental setup along with the major changes and improvements. A new value for the J = 0 to 2 fine structure interval in the 23P state of 4He is measured to be 31 908 131.25(30) kHz. The 300 Hz precision of this result represents an improvement over previous results by more than a factor of three. Combined with the latest theoretical calculations, this yields a new determination of α with better than 5 ppb uncertainty, α-1 = 137.035 999 55(64).
- EEG, Alpha Waves and Coherence
- This thesis addresses some theoretical issues generated by the results of recent analysis of EEG time series proving the brain dynamics are driven by abrupt changes making them depart from the ordinary Poisson condition. These changes are renewal, unpredictable and non-ergodic. We refer to them as crucial events. How is it possible that this form of randomness be compatible with the generation of waves, for instance alpha waves, whose observation seems to suggest the opposite view the brain is characterized by surprisingly extended coherence? To shed light into this apparently irretrievable contradiction we propose a model based on a generalized form of Langevin equation under the influence of a periodic stimulus. We assume that there exist two different forms of time, a subjective form compatible with Poisson statistical physical and an objective form that is accessible to experimental observation. The transition from the former to the latter form is determined by the brain dynamics interpreted as emerging from the cooperative interaction among many units that, in the absence of cooperation would generate Poisson fluctuations. We call natural time the brain internal time and we make the assumption that in the natural time representation the time evolution of the EEG variable y(t) is determined by a Langevin equation perturbed by a periodic process that in this time representation is hardly distinguishable from an erratic process. We show that the representation of this random process in the experimental time scale is characterized by a surprisingly extended coherence. We show that this model generates a sequence of damped oscillations with a time behavior that is remarkably similar to that derived from the analysis of real EEG's. The main result of this research work is that the existence of crucial events is not incompatible with the alpha wave coherence. In addition to this important result, we find another result that may help our group, or any other research group working on the analysis of brain's dynamics, to prove or to disprove the existence of crucial events. We study the diffusion process generated by fluctuations emerging from the same model after filtering out the alpha coherence, and we study the recursion to the origin. We study the survival probability of this process, namely the probability that up to a given time no re-crossing of the origin occurs. We find that this is an inverse power law with a power that depends on whether or not crucial events exist.
- Effects of Dissipation on Propagation of Surface Electromagnetic and Acoustic Waves
- With the recent emergence of the field of metamaterials, the study of subwavelength propagation of plane waves and the dissipation of their energy either in the form of Joule losses in the case of electomagnetic waves or in the form of viscous dissipation in the case of acoustic waves in different interfaced media assumes great importance. with this motivation, I have worked on problems in two different areas, viz., plasmonics and surface acoustics. the first part (chapters 2 & 3) of the dissertation deals with the emerging field of plasmonics. Researchers have come up with various designs in an efort to fabricate efficient plasmonic waveguides capable of guiding plasmonic signals. However, the inherent dissipation in the form of Joule losses limits efficient usage of surface plasmon signal. a dielectric-metal-¬dielectric planar structure is one of the most practical plasmonic structures that can serve as an efficient waveguide to guide electromagnetic waves along the metal-dielectric boundary. I present here a theoretical study of propagation of surface plasmons along a symmetric dielectric-metal-dielectric structure and show how proper orientation of the optical axis of the anisotropic substrate enhances the propagation length. an equation for propagation length is derived in a wide range of frequencies. I also show how the frequency of coupled surface plasmons can be modulated by changing the thickness of the metal film. I propose a Kronig-Penny model for the plasmonic crystal, which in the long wavelength limit, may serve as a homogeneous dielectric substrate with high anisotropy which do not exist for natural optical crystals. in the second part (chapters 4 & 5) of the dissertation, I discuss an interesting effect of extraordinary absorption of acoustic energy due to resonant excitation of Rayleigh waves in a narrow water channel clad between two metal plates. Starting from the elastic properties of the metal plates, I derive a dispersion equation that gives resonant frequencies, which coincide with those observed in the experiment that was performed by Wave Phenomena Group at Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain. Two eigenmodes with different polarizations and phase velocities are obtained from the dispersion equation. at certain critical aperture of the channel, an interesting cutoff effect, which is unusual for an acoustic wave, is observed for one of the eigenmodes with symmetric distribution of the pressure field. the theoretical prediction of the coupling and synchronization of Rayleigh waves strongly supports the experimentally measured shift of the resonant frequencies in the transmission spectra with channel aperture. the observed high level of absorption may find applications in designing metamaterial acoustic absorbers.
- Effects of Quantum Coherence and Interference
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Quantum coherence and interference (QCI) is a phenomenon that takes place in all multi-level atomic systems interacting with multiple lasers. In this work QCI is used to create several interesting effects like lasing without inversion (LWI), controlling group velocity of light to extreme values, controlling the direction of propagation through non-linear phase matching condition and for controlling the correlations in field fluctuations. Controlling group velocity of light is very interesting because of many novel applications it can offer. One of the unsolved problems in this area is to achieve a slow and fast light which can be tuned continuously as a function of frequency. We describe a method for creation of tunable slow and fast light by controlling intensity of incident laser fields using QCI effects. Lasers are not new to the modern world but an extreme ultra-violet laser or a x-ray laser is definitely one of the most desirable technologies today. Using QCI, we describe a method to realize lasing at high frequencies by creating lasing without inversion. Role of QCI in creating correlations and anti-correlations, which are generated by vacuum fluctuations, in a three level lambda system coupled to two strong fields is discussed.
- The Effects of Residual Gases on the Field Emission Properties of Zno, Gan, Zns Nanostructures, and the Effects of Light on the Resistivity of Graphene
- In this dissertation, I present that at a vacuum of 3×10-7 Torr, residual O2, CO2, H2 and Ar exposure do not significantly degrade the field emission (FE) properties of ZnO nanorods, but N2 exposure significantly does. I propose that this could be due to the dissociation of N2 into atomic nitrogen species and the reaction of such species with ZnO. I also present the effects of O2, CO2, H2O, N2, H2, and Ar residual gas exposure on the FE properties of GaN and ZnS nanostructure. A brief review of growth of ZnO, GaN and ZnS is provided. In addition, Cs deposition on GaN nanostructures at ultra-high vacuum results in 30% decrease in turn-on voltage and 60% in work function. The improvement in FE properties could be due to a Cs-induced space-charge layer at the surface that reduces the barrier for FE and lowers the work function. I describe a new phenomenon, in which the resistivity of CVD-grown graphene increases to a higher saturated value under light exposure, and depends on the wavelength of the light—the shorter the wavelength, the higher the resistivity. First-principle calculations and theoretical analysis based on density functional theory show that (1) a water molecule close to a graphene defect is easier to be split than that of the case of no defect existing and (2) there are a series of meta-stable partially disassociated states for an interfacial water molecule. Calculated disassociation energies are from 2.5 eV to 4.6 eV, that match the experimental observation range of light wavelength from visible to 254 nm UV light under which the resistivity of CVD-grown graphene is increased.
- Electrical Conduction Mechanisms in the Disordered Material System P-type Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon
- The electrical and optical properties of boron doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin films (a-Si) were investigated to determine the effect of boron and hydrogen incorporation on carrier transport. The a-Si thin films were grown by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) at various boron concentrations, hydrogen dilutions, and at differing growth temperatures. The temperature dependent conductivity generally follows the hopping conduction model. Above a critical temperature, the dominant conduction mechanism is Mott variable range hopping conductivity (M-VRH), where p = ¼, and the carrier hopping depends on energy. However, at lower temperatures, the coulomb interaction between charge carriers becomes important and Efros-Shklosvkii variable hopping (ES-VRH) conduction, where p=1/2, must be included to describe the total conductivity. To correlate changes in electrical conductivity to changes in the local crystalline order, the transverse optical (TO) and transverse acoustic (TA) modes of the Raman spectra were studied to relate changes in short- and mid-range order to the effects of growth temperature, boron, and hydrogen incorporation. With an increase of hydrogen and/or growth temperature, both short and mid-range order improve, whereas the addition of boron results in the degradation of short range order. It is seen that there is a direct correlation between the electrical conductivity and changes in the short and mid-range order resulting from the passivation of defects by hydrogen and the creation of trap states by boron. This work was done under the ARO grant W911NF-10-1-0410, William W. Clark Program Manager. The samples were provided by L-3 Communications.
- An Electro- Magneto-static Field for Confinement of Charged Particle Beams and Plasmas
- A system is presented that is capable of confining an ion beam or plasma within a region that is essentially free of applied fields. An Artificially Structured Boundary (ASB) produces a spatially periodic set of magnetic field cusps that provides charged particle confinement. Electrostatic plugging of the magnetic field cusps enhances confinement. An ASB that has a small spatial period, compared to the dimensions of a confined plasma, generates electro- magneto-static fields with a short range. An ASB-lined volume thus constructed creates an effectively field free region near its center. It is assumed that a non-neutral plasma confined within such a volume relaxes to a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution. Space charge based confinement of a second species of charged particles is envisioned, where the second species is confined by the space charge of the first non-neutral plasma species. An electron plasma confined within an ASB-lined volume can potentially provide confinement of a positive ion beam or positive ion plasma. Experimental as well as computational results are presented in which a plasma or charged particle beam interact with the electro- magneto-static fields generated by an ASB. A theoretical model is analyzed and solved via self-consistent computational methods to determine the behavior and equilibrium conditions of a relaxed plasma. The equilibrium conditions of a relaxed two species plasma are also computed. In such a scenario, space charge based electrostatic confinement is predicted to occur where a second plasma species is confined by the space charge of the first plasma species. An experimental apparatus with cylindrical symmetry that has its interior surface lined with an ASB is presented. This system was developed by using a simulation of the electro- magneto-static fields present within the trap to guide mechanical design. The construction of the full experimental apparatus is discussed. Experimental results that show the characteristics of electron beam transmission through the experimental apparatus are presented. A description of the experimental hardware and software used for trapping a charged particle beam or plasma is also presented.
- Electromagnetically Modulated Sonic Structures
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Phononic crystals are structures composed of periodically arranged scatterers in a background medium that affect the transmission of elastic waves. They have garnered much interest in recent years for their macro-scale properties that can be modulated by the micro-scale components. The elastic properties of the composite materials, the contrast in the elastic properties of the composite materials, and the material arrangement all directly affect how an elastic wave will behave as it propagates through the sonic structure. The behavior of an elastic wave in a periodic structure is revealed in its transmission bandstructure, and modification of any the elastic parameters will result in tuning of the band structure. In this dissertation, a phononic crystal with properties that can be modulated using electromagnetic radiation, and more specifically, radio-frequency (RF) light will be presented.
- Electrostatic Effects in III-V Semiconductor Based Metal-optical Nanostructures
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The modification of the band edge or emission energy of semiconductor quantum well light emitters due to image charge induced phenomenon is an emerging field of study. This effect observed in quantum well light emitters is critical for all metal-optics based light emitters including plasmonics, or nanometallic electrode based light emitters. This dissertation presents, for the first time, a systematic study of the image charge effect on semiconductor–metal systems. the necessity of introducing the image charge interactions is demonstrated by experiments and mathematical methods for semiconductor-metal image charge interactions are introduced and developed.
- Electrostatic Mechanism of Emission Enhancement in Hybrid Metal-semiconductor Light-emitting Heterostructures
- III-V nitrides have been put to use in a variety of applications including laser diodes for modern DVD devices and for solid-state white lighting. Plasmonics has come to the foreground over the past decade as a means for increasing the internal quantum efficiency (IQE) of devices through resonant interaction with surface plasmons which exist at metal/dielectric interfaces. Increases in emission intensity of an order of magnitude have been previously reported using silver thin-films on InGaN/GaN MQWs. the dependence on resonant interaction between the plasmons and the light emitter limits the applications of plasmonics for light emission. This dissertation presents a new non-resonant mechanism based on electrostatic interaction of carriers with induced image charges in a nearby metallic nanoparticle. Enhancement similar in strength to that of plasmonics is observed, without the restrictions imposed upon resonant interactions. in this work we demonstrate several key features of this new interaction, including intensity-dependent saturation, increase in the radiative recombination lifetime, and strongly inhomogeneous light emission. We also present a model for the interaction based on the aforementioned image charge interactions. Also discussed are results of work done in the course of this research resulting in the development of a novel technique for strain measurement in light-emitting structures. This technique makes use of a spectral fitting model to extract information about electron-phonon interactions in the sample which can then be related to strain using theoretical modeling.
- Enhancement of Mechanical, Thermal Stability, and Tribological Properties by Addition of Functionalized Reduced Graphene Oxide in Epoxy
- The effects of octadecylamine-functionalized reduced graphene oxide (FRGO) on the frictional and wear properties of diglycidylether of bisphenol-A (DGEBA) epoxy are studied using a pin-on-disk tribometer. It was observed that the addition of FRGO significantly improves the tribological, mechanical, and thermal properties of epoxy matrix. Graphene oxide (GO) was functionalized with octadecylamine (ODA), and then reduction of oxygen-containing functional groups was carried out using hydrazine monohydrate. The Raman and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy studies confirm significant reduction in oxygen-containing functional groups and formation of ODA functionalized reduced GO. The nanocomposites are prepared by adding 0.1, 0.2, 0.5 and 1.0 wt % of FRGO to the epoxy. The addition of FRGO increases by more than an order of magnitude the sliding distance during which the dynamic friction is ≤ 0.1. After this distance, the friction sharply increases to the range of 0.4 - 0.5. We explain the increase in sliding distance during which the friction is low by formation of a transfer film from the nanocomposite to the counterface. The wear rates in the low and high friction regimes are approximately 1.5 x 10-4 mm3/N·m and 5.5 x 10-4 mm3/N·m, respectively. The nanocomposites exhibit a 74 % increase in Young’s modulus with 0.5 wt. % of FRGO, and an increase in glass transition and thermal degradation temperatures.
- High Efficiency High Power Blue Laser by Resonant Doubling in PPKTP
- I developed a high power blue laser for use in scientific and technical applications (eg. precision spectroscopy, semiconductor inspection, flow cytometry, etc). It is linearly polarized, single longitudinal and single transverse mode, and a convenient fiber coupled continuous wave (cw) laser source. My technique employs external cavity frequency doubling and provides better power and beam quality than commercially available blue diode lasers. I use a fiber Bragg grating (FBG) stabilized infrared (IR) semiconductor laser source with a polarization maintaining (PM) fiber coupled output. Using a custom made optical and mechanical design this output is coupled with a mode matching efficiency of 96% into the doubling cavity. With this carefully designed and optimized cavity, measurements were carried out at various fundamental input powers. A net efficie ncy of 81 % with an output power of 680 mW at 486 nm was obtained using 840 mW of IR input. Also I report an 87.5 % net efficiency in coupling of blue light from servo locked cavity into a single mode PM fiber. Thus I have demonstrated a total fiber to fiber efficiency of 71% can be achieved in our approach using periodically poled potassium titanyl phosphate (PPKTP). To obtain these results, all losses in the system were carefully studied and minimized.
- Highly Efficient Single Frequency Blue Laser Generation by Second Harmonic Generation of Infrared Lasers Using Quasi Phase Matching in Periodically Poled Ferroelectric Crystals
- Performance and reliability of solid state laser diodes in the IR region exceeds those in the visible and UV part of the light spectrum. Single frequency visible and UV laser diodes with higher than 500 mW power are not available commercially. However we successfully stabilized a multi-longitudinal mode IR laser to 860 mW single frequency. This means high efficiency harmonic generation using this laser can produce visible and UV laser light not available otherwise. In this study we examined three major leading nonlinear crystals: PPMgO:SLN, PPKTP and PPMgO:SLT to generate blue light by second harmonic generation. We achieved record high net conversion efficiencies 81.3% using PPMgO:SLT (~500 mW out), and 81.1% using PPKTP (~700 mW out). In both these cases an external resonance buildup cavity was used. We also studied a less complicated single pass waveguide configuration (guided waist size of ~ 5 um compared to ~60 um) to generate blue. With PPMgO:SLN we obtained net 40.4% and using PPKT net 6.8% (110mW and 10.1 mW respectively).
- How Cooperative Systems Respond to External Forces
- Cooperative interactions permeate through nature, bringing about emergent behavior and complexity. Using a simple cooperative model, I illustrate the mean field dynamics that occur at the critical point of a second order phase transition in the framework of Langevin equations. Through this formalism I discuss the response, both linear and nonlinear, to external forces. Emphasis is placed on how information is transferred from one individual to another in order to facilitate the collective response of the cooperative network to a localized perturbation. The results are relevant to a wide variety of systems, ranging from nematic liquid crystals, to flocks and swarms, social groups, and neural networks.
- Interaction of Plasmons and Excitons for Low-Dimension Semiconductors
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The effects of surface plasmon for InGaN/GaN multi-quantum wells and ZnO nanoparticles optical linear and nonlinear emission efficiency had been experimentally studied. Due to the critical design for InGaN MQWs with inverted hexagonal pits based on GaN, both contribution of surface plasmon effect and image charge effect at resonant and off resonant frequencies were experimentally and theoretically investigated. With off- resonant condition, the InGaN MQWs emission significantly enhanced by metal nanoparticles. This enhancement was caused by the image charge effect, due to the accumulation of carriers to NPs region. When InGaN emission resonated with metal particles SP modes, surface Plasmon effect dominated the emission process. We also studied the surface plasmon effect for ZnO nanoparticles nonlinear optical processes, SHG and TPE. Defect level emission had more contribution at high incident intensity. Emissions are different for pumping deep into the bulk and near surface. A new assumption to increase the TPE efficiency was studied. We thought by using Au nanorods localized surface plasmon mode to couple the ZnO virtual state, the virtual state’s life time would be longer and experimentally lead the emission enhancement. We studied the TPE phenomena at high and near band gap energy. Both emission intensity and decay time results support our assumption. Theoretically, the carriers dynamic mechanism need further studies.
- Ion Beam Synthesis of Carbon Assisted Nanosystems in Silicon Based Substrates
- The systematic study of the formation of β-SiC formed by low energy carbon ion (C-)implantation into Si followed by high temperature annealing is presented. The research is performed to explore the optimal annealing conditions. The formation of crystalline β-SiC is clearly observed in the sample annealed at 1100 °C for a period of 1 hr. Quantitative analysis is performed in the formation of β-SiC by the process of implantation of different carbon ion fluences of 1×1017, 2×1017, 5×1017, and 8×1017 atoms /cm2 at an ion energy of 65 keV into Si. It is observed that the average size of β-SiC crystals decreased and the amount of β-SiC crystals increased with the increase in the implanted fluences when the samples were annealed at 1100°C for 1 hr. However, it is observed that the amount of β-SiC linearly increased with the implanted fluences up to 5×1017 atoms /cm2. Above this fluence the amount of β-SiC appears to saturate. The stability of graphitic C-C bonds at 1100°C limits the growth of SiC precipitates in the sample implanted at a fluence of 8×1017 atoms /cm2 which results in the saturation behavior of SiC formation in the present study. Secondly, the carbon cluster formation process in silica and the characterization of formed clusters is presented. Silicon dioxide layers ~500 nm thick are thermally grown on a Si (100) wafer. The SiO2 layers are then implanted with 70 keV carbon ions at a fluence of 5×1017 atoms/cm2. The implanted samples are annealed 1100 °C for different time periods of 10 min., 30 min., 60 min., 90 min., and 120 min., in the mixture of argon and hydrogen gas (96 % Ar + 4% hydrogen). Photoluminescence spectroscopy reveals UV to visible emission from the samples. A detail mechanism of the photoluminescence and its possible origin is discussed by correlating the structural and optical properties of the samples. Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, spectroscopy, photoluminescence spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy are used to characterize the samples.
- Modification of Graphene Properties: Electron Induced Reversible Hydrogenation, Oxidative Etching and Layer-by-layer Thinning
- In this dissertation, I present the mechanism of graphene hydrogenation via three different electron sources: scanning electron microscopy, e-beam irradiation and H2 and He plasma irradiation. in each case, hydrogenation occurs due to electron impact fragmentation of adsorbed water vapor from the sample preparation process. in the proposed model, secondary and backscattered electrons generated from incident electron interactions with the underlying silicon substrate are responsible for the dissociation of water vapor. Chemisorbed H species from the dissociation are responsible for converting graphene into hydrogenated graphene, graphane. These results may lead to higher quality graphane films having a larger band gap than currently reported. in addition, the dissertation presents a novel and scalable method of controllably removing single atomic planes from multi-layer graphene using electron irradiation from an intense He plasma under a positive sample bias. As the electronic properties or multi-layer graphene are highly dependent on the number of layers, n, reducing n in certain regions has many benefits. for example, a mask in conjunction with this thinning method could be used for device applications.
- Nanoscale Materials Applications: Thermoelectrical, Biological, and Optical Applications with Nanomanipulation Technology
- In a sub-wavelength scale, even approaching to the atomic scale, nanoscale physics shows various novel phenomena. Since it has been named, nanoscience and nanotechnology has been employed to explore and exploit this small scale world. For example, with various functionalized features, nanowire (NW) has been making its leading position in the researches of physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering as a miniaturized building block. Its individual characteristic shows superior and unique features compared with its bulk counterpart. As one part of these research efforts and progresses, and with a part of the fulfillment of degree study, novel methodologies and device structures in nanoscale were devised and developed to show the abilities of high performing thermoelectrical, biological, and optical applications. A single β-SiC NW was characterized for its thermoelectric properties (thermal conductivity, Seebeck coefficient, and figure of merit) to compare with its bulk counterpart. The combined structure of Ag NW and ND was made to exhibit its ability of clear imaging of a fluorescent cell. And a plasmonic nanosture of silver (Ag) nanodot array and a β-SiC NW was fabricated to show a high efficient light harvesting device that allows us to make a better efficient solar cell. Novel nanomanipulation techniques were developed and employed in order to fabricate all of these measurement platforms. Additionally, one of these methodological approaches was used to successfully isolate a few layer graphene.
- A New Approach for Transition Metal Free Magnetic Sic: Defect Induced Magnetism After Self-ion Implantation
- SiC has become an attractive wide bandgap semiconductor due to its unique physical and electronic properties and is widely used in high temperature, high frequency, high power and radiation resistant applications. SiC has been used as an alternative to Si in harsh environments such as in the oil industry, nuclear power systems, aeronautical, and space applications. SiC is also known for its polytypism and among them 3C-SiC, 4H-SiC and 6H-SiC are the most common polytypes used for research purposes. Among these polytypes 4H-SiC is gaining importance due to its easy commercial availability with a large bandgap of 3.26 eV at room temperature. Controlled creation of defects in materials is an approach to modify the electronic properties in a way that new functionality may result. SiC is a promising candidate for defect-induced magnetism on which spintronic devices could be developed. The defects considered are of room temperature stable vacancy types, eliminating the need for magnetic impurities, which easily diffuse at room temperature. Impurity free vacancy type defects can be created by implanting the host atoms of silicon or carbon. The implantation fluence determines the defect density, which is a critical parameter for defect induced magnetism. Therefore, we have studied the influence of low fluence low energy silicon and carbon implantation on the creation of defects in n-type 4H-SiC. The characterization of the defects in these implanted samples was performed using the techniques, RBS-channeling and Raman spectroscopy. We have also utilized these characterization techniques to analyze defects created in much deeper layers of the SiC due to implantation of high energy nitrogen ions. The experimentally determined depths of the Si damage peaks due to low energy (60 keV) Si and C ions with low fluences (< 1015 cm-2) are consistent with the SRIM-2011 simulations. From RBS-C Si sub-lattice measurements for different fluences (1.1×1014 cm-2 to 3.2×1014 cm-2) of Si implantation in 4H-SiC, the Si vacancy density is estimated to range from 1.29×1022 cm-3 to 4.57×1022 cm-2, corresponding to average vacancy distances of 4.26 Å to 2.79 Å at the damage peak (50±5 nm). Similarly, for C implanted fluences (1.85×1014 cm-2 to 1×1015 cm-2), the Si vacancy density varies from 1.37×1022 cm-3 to 4.22×1022 cm-3 with the average vacancy distances from 4.17 Å to 2.87 Å at the damage peak (110±10 nm). From the Raman spectroscopy, the implantation-induced lattice disorders calculated along the c-axis (LO mode) and perpendicular to c-axis (TO mode) in 4H-SiC are found to be similar. Furthermore, the results obtained from SQUID measurements in C implanted n-type 4H-SiC sample with fluences ranging from 1×1012 to 1.7×1016 ions/cm2 have been discussed. The implanted samples showed diamagnetism similar to the unimplanted sample. To date, to our best of knowledge, no experimental work has been reported on investigating defect induced magnetism for self-ion implantation in n-type 4H-SiC. These first reports of experimental results can provide useful information in future studies for a better understanding of self-ion implantation in SiC-based DMS.
- A Non-equilibrium Approach to Scale Free Networks
- Many processes and systems in nature and society can be characterized as large numbers of discrete elements that are (usually non-uniformly) interrelated. These networks were long thought to be random, but in the late 1990s, Barabási and Albert found that an underlying structure did in fact exist in many natural and technological networks that are now referred to as scale free. Since then, researchers have gained a much deeper understanding of this particular form of complexity, largely by combining graph theory, statistical physics, and advances in computing technology. This dissertation focuses on out-of-equilibrium dynamic processes as they unfold on these complex networks. Diffusion in networks of non-interacting nodes is shown to be temporally complex, while equilibrium is represented by a stable state with Poissonian fluctuations. Scale free networks achieve equilibrium very quickly compared to regular networks, and the most efficient are those with the lowest inverse power law exponent. Temporally complex diffusion also occurs in networks with interacting nodes under a cooperative decision-making model. At a critical value of the cooperation parameter, the most efficient scale free network achieves consensus almost as quickly as the equivalent all-to-all network. This finding suggests that the ubiquity of scale free networks in nature is due to Zipf's principle of least effort. It also suggests that an efficient scale free network structure may be optimal for real networks that require high connectivity but are hampered by high link costs.
- Novel Semi-Conductor Material Systems: Molecular Beam Epitaxial Growth and Characterization
- Semi-conductor industry relies heavily on silicon (Si). However, Si is not a direct-band gap semi-conductor. Consequently, Si does not possess great versatility for multi-functional applications in comparison with the direct band-gap III-V semi-conductors such as GaAs. To bridge this gap, what is ideally required is a semi-conductor material system that is based on silicon, but has significantly greater versatility. While sparsely studied, the semi-conducting silicides material systems offer great potential. Thus, I focused on the growth and structural characterization of ruthenium silicide and osmium silicide material systems. I also characterized iron silicon germanide films using extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) to reveal phase, semi-conducting behavior, and to calculate nearest neighbor distances. The choice of these silicides material systems was due to their theoretically predicted and/or experimentally reported direct band gaps. However, the challenge was the existence of more than one stable phase/stoichiometric ratio of these materials. In order to possess the greatest control over the growth process, molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) has been employed. Structural and film quality comparisons of as-grown versus annealed films of ruthenium silicide are presented. Structural characterization and film quality of MBE grown ruthenium silicide and osmium silicide films via in situ and ex situ techniques have been done using reflection high energy electron diffraction, scanning tunneling microscopy, atomic force microscopy, cross-sectional scanning electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and micro Raman spectroscopy. This is the first attempt, to the best of our knowledge, to grow osmium silicide thin films on Si(100) via the template method and compare it with the regular MBE growth method. The pros and cons of using the MBE template method for osmium silicide growth are discussed, as well as the structural differences of the as-grown versus annealed films. Future perspectives include further studies on other semi-conducting silicides material systems in terms of growth optimization and characterization.
- Sputtering of Bi and Preferential Sputtering of an Inhomogeneous Alloy
- Angular distributions and total yields of atoms sputtered from bismuth targets by normally incident 10 keV -50 keV Ne+ and Ar+ ions have been measured both experimentally and by computer simulation. Polycrystalline Bi targets were used for experimental measurements. The sputtered atoms were collected on high purity aluminum foils under ultra-high vacuum conditions, and were subsequently analyzed using Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy. The Monte-Carlo based SRIM code was employed to simulate angular distributions of sputtered Bi atoms and total sputtering yields of Bi to compare with experiment. The measured sputtering yields were found to increase with increasing projectile energy for normally incident 10 keV - 50 keV Ne+ and Ar+ ions. The shapes of the angular distributions of sputtered Bi atoms demonstrated good agreement between experiment and simulation in the present study. The measured and simulated angular distributions of sputtered Bi exhibited an over-cosine tendency. The measured value of the degree of this over-cosine nature was observed to increase with increasing incident Ne+ ion energy, but was not strongly dependent on incident Ar+ ion energy. The differential angular sputtering yield and partial sputtering yields due to Ar ion bombardment of an inhomogeneous liquid Bi:Ga alloy have been investigated, both experimentally and by computer simulation. Normally incident 25 keV and 50 keV beams of Ar+ were used to sputter a target of 99.8 at% Ga and 0.2 at% Bi held at 40° C in ultra-high vacuum (UHV), under which conditions the alloy is known to exhibit extreme Gibbsian surface segregation that produces essentially a monolayer of Bi atop the bulk liquid. Angular distributions of sputtered neutrals and partial sputtering yields obtained from the conversion of areal densities of Bi and Ga atoms on collector foils were determined. The Monte-Carlo based SRIM code was employed to simulate the experiment and obtain the angular distribution of sputtered components. The angular distribution of sputtered Ga atoms, originating from underneath the surface monolayer, was measured to be sharply peaked in angle about the surface normal direction compared to the Bi atoms originating from surface monolayer. The simulation study produced contradicting results, where the species originating from surface monolayer was strongly peaked around the surface normal compared to the species originating from beneath the surface monolayer.
- Studies of Charged Particle Dynamics for Antihydrogen Synthesis
- Synthesis and capture of antihydrogen in controlled laboratory conditions will enable precise studies of neutral antimatter. The work presented deals with some of the physics pertinent to manipulating charged antiparticles in order to create neutral antimatter, and may be applicable to other scenarios of plasma confinement and charged particle interaction. The topics covered include the electrostatic confinement of a reflecting ion beam and the transverse confinement of an ion beam in a purely electrostatic configuration; the charge sign effect on the Coulomb logarithm for a two component (e.g., antihydrogen) plasma in a Penning trap as well as the collisional scattering for binary Coulomb interactions that are cut off at a distance different than the Debye length; and the formation of magnetobound positronium and protonium.
- Synthesis and Characterization of Ion Beam Assisted Silver Nanosystems in Silicon Based Materials for Enhanced Photocurrent Collection Efficiency
- In recent years a great deal of interest has been focused on the synthesis of transitional metal (e.g. Ag, Cu, Fe, Au) nanosystems at the surface to sub-surface regions of Si and SiO2 matrices for fundamental understanding of their structures as well as for development of technological applications with enhanced electronic and optical properties. The applications of the metal nanoparticle or nanocluster (NC) systems range from plasmonics, photovoltaic devices, medical, and biosensors. In all of these applications; the size, shape and distribution of the metallic NCs in the silicon matrix play a key role. Low energy ion implantation followed by thermal annealing (in vacuum or gas environment) is one of the most suitable methods for synthesis of NCs at near surfaces to buried layers below the surfaces of the substrates. This technique can provide control over depth and concentration of the implanted ions in the host matrix. The implanted low energy metal ions initially amorphizes the Si substrates while being distributed at a shallow depth near the substrate surface. When subject to thermal annealing, the implanted ions agglomerate to form clusters of different sizes at different depths depending upon the fluence. However, for the heavier ions implanted with high fluences (~1×1016 - 1×1017 atoms/cm2), there lies challenges for accurately predicting the distribution of the implanted ions due to sputtering of the surface as well as redistribution of the implants within the host matrix. In this dissertation, we report the investigation of the saturation of the concentration of the implanted ion species in the depth profiles with low energies (< 80 keV) metal ions (Ag and Au) in Si (100), while studying the dynamic changes during the ion implantation. Multiple low energies (30-80 keV) Ag ions with different fluences were sequentially implanted into commercially available Si wafers in order to facilitate the formation of Ag NCs with a wide ion distributions range. The light absorption profile according to different sizes of NCs at the near-surface layers in Si were investigated. We have investigated the formation of Ag NCs in the Si matrix as a function of implantation and thermal annealing parameters. The absorbance of light is increased in Ag implanted Si with a significant increase in the current collection in I-V (current-voltage) photo switching measurements. The experimental photovoltaic cells fabricated with the Ag implanted Si samples were optically characterized under AM (air mass) 1.5 solar radiation conditions (~1.0 kW/m2). An enhancement in the charge collection were measured in the annealed samples, where prominent Ag NCs were formed in the Si matrix compared to the as-implanted samples with the amorphous layer. The characterization techniques such as Rutherford Backscattering Spectroscopy, XPS-depth profiling, transmission electron microscopy, optical absorption, and I-V (current-voltage) photo switching measurements were employed to understand the underlying science in the observed properties. The results of these investigations are discussed in this research.
- Synthesis, Characterization, Structural, and Optical Properties of Zinc Oxide Nanostructures Embedded in Silicon Based Substrates
- Structural and optical properties of ZnO nanostructures synthesized by low energy ion implantation technique were examined. ZnO molecular ions were implanted into Si/SiO2 substrates at room temperature and then furnace annealed under different temperatures and environments. In all as-implanted samples only Zn nanostructures with varying diameters distributed into the Si/SiO2 matrices were observed. No trace of ZnO was found. The distributions of Zn nanostructures in Si/SiO2 closely matched results from Stopping and Range of Ions in Matter (SRIM) simulations. During annealing at 750 oC, Zn diffused both toward and away from the surface of the substrate and combine with oxygen to form ZnO nanostructures. At higher annealing temperatures ZnO bonding started to break down and transfer to zinc silicate (Zn2SiO4), and at 900 oC the ZnO was completely converted into Zn2SiO4. The average sizes of Zn/ZnO nanostructures depended on the ion fluence. If the fluence increased the average sizes of nanostructures also increased and vice versa. For room temperature photoluminescence (RT-PL), band-edge emission in the ultraviolet (UV) region was observed from all samples annealed at 700 oC/750 oC and were slightly blue shifted as compare to bulk ZnO. Donor-bound exciton (D,X) and acceptor-bound exciton (A,X) transitions were observed in low temperature photoluminescence (PL). The lifetime of both donor-bound excitonic emission (D, X) and acceptor-bound excitonic emission (A, X) were found to be in the picosecond (ps) range.
- Synthesis Strategies and a Study of Properties of Narrow and Wide Band Gap Nanowires
- Various techniques to synthesize nanowires and nanotubes as a function of growth temperature and time were investigated. These include growth of nanowires by a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) system using vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth mechanism and electro-chemical synthesis of nanowires and nanotubes. Narrow band gap InSb Eg = 0.17 eV at room temp) nanowires were successively synthesized. Using a phase diagram, the transition of the nanowire from metallic- semiconducting- semi-metallic phase was investigated. A thermodynamic model is developed to show that the occurrence of native defects in InSb nanowires influenced by the nanowire growth kinetics and thermodynamics of defect formation. Wide band gap ZnO (Eg = 3.34 eV) and In2O3 (3.7 eV) were also synthesized. ZnO nanowires and nanotubes were successfully doped with a transition metal Fe, making it a Dilute Magnetic Semiconductor of great technological relevance. Structural and electronic characterizations of nanowires were studied for different semiconducting, metallic and semi-metallic nanowires. Electron transport measurements were used to estimate intrinsic material parameters like carrier concentration and mobility. An efficient gas sensing device using a single In2O3 nanowire was studied and which showed sensitivity to reducing gas like NH3 and oxidizing gas like O2 gas at room temperature. The efficiency of the gas sensing device was found to be sensitive to the nature of contacts as well as the presence of surface states on the nanowire.
- Temporal Complexity and Stochastic Central Limit Theorem
- Complex processes whose evolution in time rests on the occurrence of a large and random number of intermittent events are the systems under study. The mean time distance between two consecutive events is infinite, thereby violating the ergodic condition and activating at the same time a stochastic central limit theorem that explains why the Mittag-Leffler function is a universal property of nature. The time evolution of these complex systems is properly generated by means of fractional differential equations, thus leading to the interpretation of fractional trajectories as the average over many random trajectories, each of which fits the stochastic central limit theorem and the condition for the Mittag-Leffler universality. Additionally, the effect of noise on the generation of the Mittag-Leffler function is discussed. Fluctuations of relatively weak intensity can conceal the asymptotic inverse power law behavior of the Mittag-Leffler function, providing a reason why stretched exponentials are frequently found in nature. These results afford a more unified picture of complexity resting on the Mittag-Leffler function and encompassing the standard inverse power law definition.
- Temporal Properties Of Dynamic Processes On Complex Networks
- Many social, biological and technological systems can be viewed as complex networks with a large number of interacting components. However despite recent advancements in network theory, a satisfactory description of dynamic processes arising in such cooperative systems is a subject of ongoing research. In this dissertation the emergence of dynamical complexity in networks of interacting stochastic oscillators is investigated. In particular I demonstrate that networks of two and three state stochastic oscillators present a second-order phase transition with respect to the strength of coupling between individual units. I show that at the critical point fluctuations of the global order parameter are characterized by an inverse-power law distribution and I assess their renewal properties. Additionally, I study the effect that different types of perturbation have on dynamical properties of the model. I discuss the relevance of those observations for the transmission of information between complex systems.
- Theoretical and Experimental Investigations Concerning Microgels of Varied Spherical Geometries
- Polymer gels have been studied extensively due to their ability to simulate biological tissues and to swell or collapse reversibly in response to external stimuli. This work presents a variety of studies using poly-N-isopropylacrylamide (PNIPA) hydrogels. The projects have been carried out both in the lab of Dr. Zhibing Hu and in collaboration with others outside of UNT: (1) an analysis of the swelling kinetics of microgel spherical shells prepared using a novel design of microfluidic devices; (2) a comparison of the drug-release rates between nanoparticle structures having either core or core-with-shell (core-shell) designs; (3) an investigation into the thermodynamics of swelling for microgels of exceedingly small size.
- Theoretical and Experimental Investigations of Peg Based Thermo Sensitive Hydro Microgel
- Poly ethylene glycol (PEG) based microgels were synthesized and investigated. The PEG microgel has the same phase transition as the traditional poly N-isopropylacrylamide (PNIPAM). As a good substitute of PNIPAM, PEG microgel exhibits many advantages: it is easier to control the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the microgel by changing the component of copolymers; it has a more solid spherical core-shell structure to have a double thermo sensitivity; it is straightforward to add other sensitivities such as pH, magnetic field or organic functional groups; it readily forms a photonic crystal structure exhibiting Bragg diffraction; and, most importantly, the PEG microgel is biocompatible with human body and has been approved by FDA while PNIPAM has not. PEG microgels with core-shell structure are synthesized with a two-step free radical polymerization and characterized with DLS, SLS and UV–Vis. The dynamic mechanics of melting and recrystallizing of the PEG core-shell microgel are presented and discussed. Photonic crystals of PEG microgels were synthesized and characterized. The crystal can be isolated in a thin film or a bulk column. The phase transition of PEG microgel was simulated with the mean field theory. The enthalpy and entropy of phase transition can be estimated from the best fit to theoretical calculation with experimental data.
- Thorium and Uranium M-shell X-ray Production Cross Sections for 0.4 – 4.0 MeV Protons, 0.4 - 6.0 MeV Helium Ions, 4.5 – 11.3 MeV Carbon Ions, and 4.5 – 13.5 MeV Oxygen Ions.
- The M-shell x-ray production cross section for thorium and uranium have been determined for protons of energy 0.4 - 4.0 MeV, helium ions of energy 0.4 - 6.0 MeV, carbon ions of energy 4.5 - 11.3 MeV and oxygen ions of energy 4.5 - 13.5 MeV. The total cross sections and the cross sections for individual x-ray peaks in the spectrum, consisting of the following transitions Mz (M4-N2, M5-N3, M4-N3), Ma (M5-N6,7), Mb (M4-N6, M5-O3, M4- O2), and Mg (M4-O3, M5-P3, M3-N4, M3-N5), were compared to the theoretical values determined from the PWBA + OBKN and ECUSAR. The theoretical values for the carbon and oxygen ions were also modified to take into account the effects of multiple ionizations of the target atom by the heavier ions. It is shown that the results of the ECUSAR theory tend to provide better agreement with the experimental data.
- Ultrafast Spectroscopy of Hybrid Ingan/gan Quantum Wells
- Group III nitrides are efficient light emitters. The modification of internal optoelectronic properties of these materials due to strain, external or internal electric field are an area of interest. Insertion of metal nanoparticles (MNPs) (Ag, Au etc) inside the V-shaped inverted hexagonal pits (IHP) of InGaN/GaN quantum wells (QWs) offers the potential of improving the light emission efficiencies. We have observed redshift and blueshift due to the Au MNPs and Ag MNPs respectively. This shift could be due to the electric field created by the MNPs through electrostatic image charge. We have studied the ultrafast carrier dynamics of carriers in hybrid InGaN/GaN QWs. The change in quantum confinement stark effect due to MNPs plays an important role for slow and fast carrier dynamics. We have also observed the image charge effect on the ultrafast differential transmission measurement due to the MNPs. We have studied the non-linear absorption spectroscopy of these materials. The QWs behave as a discharging of a nanocapacitor for the screening of the piezoelectric field due to the photo-excited carriers. We have separated out screening and excitonic bleaching components from the main differential absorption spectra of InGaN/GaN QWs.
- Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles for Nonlinear Bioimaging, Cell Detection and Selective Cell Destruction
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Light matter interactions have led to a great part of our current understanding of the universe. When light interacts with matter it affects the properties of both the light and the matter. Visible light, being in the region that the human eye can "see," was one of the first natural phenomenon we used to learn about our universe. The application of fundamental physics research has spilled over into other fields that were traditionally separated from physics, being considered two different sciences. Current physics research has applications in all scientific fields. By taking a more physical approach to problems in fields such as chemistry and biology, we have furthered our knowledge of both. Nanocrystals have many interesting optical properties. Furthermore, the size and properties of nanocrystals has given them applications in materials ranging from solar cells to sunscreens. By understanding and controlling their interactions with systems we can utilize them to increase our knowledge in other fields of science, such as biology. Nanocrystals exhibit optical properties superior to currently used fluorescent dyes. By replacing molecular dyes with nanoparticles we can reduce toxicity, increase resolution and have better cellular targeting abilities. They have also shown to have toxicity to cancer and antibacterial properties. With the understanding of how to target specific cells in vitro as well as in vivo, nanoparticles have the potential to be used as highly cell specific nanodrugs that can aid in the fight against cancer and the more recent fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria. This dissertation includes our work on bioimaging as well as our novel drug delivery system. An explanation of toxicity associated with ZnO nanoparticles and how we can use it and the nonlinear optical properties of ZnO for nanodrugs and nanoprobes is presented.