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