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Cooperation-induced Criticality in Neural Networks

Description: 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.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Zare, Marzieh

Effects of Quantum Coherence and Interference

Description: 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.
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Date: August 2013
Creator: Davuluri, Subrahmanya Bhima Sankar

A New Approach for Transition Metal Free Magnetic Sic: Defect Induced Magnetism After Self-ion Implantation

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2013
Creator: Kummari, Venkata Chandra Sekhar

Novel Semi-Conductor Material Systems: Molecular Beam Epitaxial Growth and Characterization

Description: 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 ...
Date: December 2013
Creator: Elmarhoumi, Nader M.

Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles for Nonlinear Bioimaging, Cell Detection and Selective Cell Destruction

Description: 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.
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Date: May 2013
Creator: Urban, Ben E.