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Theoretical and Experimental Investigations of Peg Based Thermo Sensitive Hydro Microgel

Description: 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.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Chi, Chenglin

A Non-equilibrium Approach to Scale Free Networks

Description: 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.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Hollingshad, Nicholas W.

Theoretical and Experimental Investigations Concerning Microgels of Varied Spherical Geometries

Description: 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.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Wahrmund, Joshua Joseph

Ultrafast Spectroscopy of Hybrid Ingan/gan Quantum Wells

Description: 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.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Mahat, Meg Bahadur

Criticality in Cooperative Systems

Description: 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.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Vanni, Fabio

Effects of Dissipation on Propagation of Surface Electromagnetic and Acoustic Waves

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Nagaraj, Nagaraj

Electrostatic Effects in III-V Semiconductor Based Metal-optical Nanostructures

Description: 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.
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Date: May 2012
Creator: Gryczynski, Karol Grzegorz

Electrostatic Mechanism of Emission Enhancement in Hybrid Metal-semiconductor Light-emitting Heterostructures

Description: 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.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Llopis, Antonio

Modification of Graphene Properties: Electron Induced Reversible Hydrogenation, Oxidative Etching and Layer-by-layer Thinning

Description: 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.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Jones, Jason David

Temporal Properties Of Dynamic Processes On Complex Networks

Description: 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.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Turalska, Malgorzata A.

High Efficiency High Power Blue Laser by Resonant Doubling in PPKTP

Description: 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.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Danekar, Koustubh

Nanoscale Materials Applications: Thermoelectrical, Biological, and Optical Applications with Nanomanipulation Technology

Description: 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.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Lee, Kyung-Min

Ion Beam Synthesis of Carbon Assisted Nanosystems in Silicon Based Substrates

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2011
Creator: Poudel, Prakash Raj

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.

Description: 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.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Phinney, Lucas C.

A Determination of the Fine Structure Constant Using Precision Measurements of Helium Fine Structure

Description: 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).
Date: August 2010
Creator: Smiciklas, Marc

EEG, Alpha Waves and Coherence

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2010
Creator: Ascolani, Gianluca

Growth and Characterization of β-Iron Disilicide, β-Iron Silicon Germanide, and Osmium Silicides

Description: The semiconducting silicides offer significant potential for use in optoelectronic devices. Full implementation of the materials, however, requires the ability to tailor the energy gap and band structure to permit the synthesis of heterojunctions. One promising approach is to alloy the silicides with Ge. As part of an investigation into the synthesis of semiconducting silicide heterostructures, a series of β-Fe(Si1−xGex)2 epilayer samples, with nominal alloy content in the range 0 < x < 0.15, have been prepared by molecular beam epitaxy on Si(100). I present results of the epitaxial and crystalline quality of the films, as determined by reflection high-energy electron diffraction, Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy, and double crystal x-ray diffraction, and of the band gap dependence on the alloy composition, as determined by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. A reduction in band gap was observed with increasing Ge content, in agreement with previous theoretical predictions. However Ge segregation was also observed in β-Fe(Si1−xGex)2 epilayers when x > 0.04. Osmium silicide films have been grown by molecular beam epitaxy on Si(100). The silicides have been grown using e-beam evaporation sources for both Os and Si onto Si(100) substrates at varying growth rates and temperatures ranging from 600-700ºC. The resulting films have been analyzed using reflection high-energy electron diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, reflectivity measurements, in-plane and out of plane X-ray diffraction and temperature dependent magnetotransport. A change in crystalline quality is observed with an increase in Si overpressure. For a lower silicon to osmium flux ration (JSi/JOs=1.5) both OsSi2 and Os2Si3 occur, whereas with a much larger Si overpressure (JSi/JOs>4), crystalline quality is greatly increased and only a single phase, Os2Si3, is present. The out-of-plane X-ray diffraction data show that the film grows along its [4 0 2] direction, with a good crystal quality as evidenced by the small FWHM in the rocking curve. ...
Date: August 2009
Creator: Cottier, Ryan James

Nonlinear UV Laser Build-up Cavity: An Efficient Design

Description: Using the concept of the build-up cavity for second harmonic generation to produce 243nm laser light, an innovative cavity is theoretically explored using a 15mm length CLBO crystal. In order to limit the losses of the cavity, the number of effective optical surfaces is kept to only four and the use of a MgF2 crystal is adopted to separate the harmonic and fundamental laser beam from each other. The cavity is shown to have an expected round trip loss of five tenths of a percent or better, resulting in a conversion efficiency greater than 65%.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Rady, Nicholas Henry

Exploration of hierarchical leadership and connectivity in neural networks in vitro.

Description: Living neural networks are capable of processing information much faster than a modern computer, despite running at significantly lower clock speeds. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms neural networks utilize is an issue of substantial importance. Neuronal interaction dynamics were studied using histiotypic networks growing on microelectrode arrays in vitro. Hierarchical relationships were explored using bursting (when many neurons fire in a short time frame) dynamics, pairwise neuronal activation, and information theoretic measures. Together, these methods reveal that global network activity results from ignition by a small group of burst leader neurons, which form a primary circuit that is responsible for initiating most network-wide burst events. Phase delays between leaders and followers reveal information about the nature of the connection between the two. Physical distance from a burst leader appears to be an important factor in follower response dynamics. Information theory reveals that mutual information between neuronal pairs is also a function of physical distance. Activation relationships in developing networks were studied and plating density was found to play an important role in network connectivity development. These measures provide unique views of network connectivity and hierarchical relationship in vitro which should be included in biologically meaningful models of neural networks.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Ham, Michael I.

The Nonadditive Generalization of Klimontovich's S-Theorem for Open Systems and Boltzmann's Orthodes

Description: We show that the nonadditive open systems can be studied in a consistent manner by using a generalized version of S-theorem. This new generalized S-theorem can further be considered as an indication of self-organization in nonadditive open systems as prescribed by Haken. The nonadditive S-theorem is then illustrated by using the modified Van der Pol oscillator. Finally, Tsallis entropy as an equilibrium entropy is studied by using Boltzmann's method of orthodes. This part of dissertation shows that Tsallis ensemble is on equal footing with the microcanonical, canonical and grand canonical ensembles. However, the associated entropy turns out to be Renyi entropy.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Bagci, Gokhan Baris

Oligonucleotide guanosine conjugated to gallium nitride nano-structures for photonics.

Description: In this work, I studied the hybrid system based on self-assembled guanosine crystal (SAGC) conjugated to wide-bandgap semiconductor gallium nitride (GaN). Guanosine is one of the four bases of DNA and has the lowest oxidation energy, which favors carrier transport. It also has large dipole moment. Guanosine molecules self-assemble to ribbon-like structure in confined space. GaN surface can have positive or negative polarity depending on whether the surface is Ga- or N-terminated. I studied SAGC in confined space between two electrodes. The current-voltage characteristics can be explained very well with the theory of metal-semiconductor-metal (MSM) structure. I-V curves also show strong rectification effect, which can be explained by the intrinsic polarization along the axis of ribbon-like structure of SAGC. GaN substrate property influences the properties of SAGC. So SAGC has semiconductor properties within the confined space up to 458nm. When the gap distance gets up to 484nm, the structure with guanosine shows resistance characteristics. The photocurrent measurements show that the bandgap of SAGC is about 3.3-3.4eV and affected by substrate properties. The MSM structure based on SAGC can be used as photodetector in UV region. Then I show that the periodic structure based on GaN and SAGC can have photonic bandgaps. The bandgap size and the band edges can be tuned by tuning lattice parameters. Light propagation and emission can be tuned by photonic crystals. So the hybrid photonic crystal can be potentially used to detect guanosine molecules. If guanosine molecules are used as functional linker to other biomolecules which usually absorb or emit light in blue to UV region, the hybrid photonic crystal can also be used to tune the coupling of light source to guanosine molecules, then to other biomolecules.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Li, Jianyou

Emergence of Complexity from Synchronization and Cooperation

Description: The dynamical origin of complexity is an object of intense debate and, up to moment of writing this manuscript, no unified approach exists as to how it should be properly addressed. This research work adopts the perspective of complexity as characterized by the emergence of non-Poisson renewal processes. In particular I introduce two new complex system models, namely the two-state stochastic clocks and the integrate-and-fire stochastic neurons, and investigate its coupled dynamics in different network topologies. Based on the foundations of renewal theory, I show how complexity, as manifested by the occurrence of non-exponential distribution of events, emerges from the interaction of the units of the system. Conclusion is made on the work's applicability to explaining the dynamics of blinking nanocrystals, neuron interaction in the human brain, and synchronization processes in complex networks.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Geneston, Elvis L.

Microscopic Foundations of Thermodynamics and Generalized Statistical Ensembles

Description: This dissertation aims at addressing two important theoretical questions which are still debated in the statistical mechanical community. The first question has to do with the outstanding problem of how to reconcile time-reversal asymmetric macroscopic laws with the time-reversal symmetric laws of microscopic dynamics. This problem is addressed by developing a novel mechanical approach inspired by the work of Helmholtz on monocyclic systems and the Heat Theorem, i.e., the Helmholtz Theorem. By following a line of investigation initiated by Boltzmann, a Generalized Helmholtz Theorem is stated and proved. This theorem provides us with a good microscopic analogue of thermodynamic entropy. This is the volume entropy, namely the logarithm of the volume of phase space enclosed by the constant energy hyper-surface. By using quantum mechanics only, it is shown that such entropy can only increase. This can be seen as a novel rigorous proof of the Second Law of Thermodynamics that sheds new light onto the arrow of time problem. The volume entropy behaves in a thermodynamic-like way independent of the number of degrees of freedom of the system, indicating that a whole thermodynamic-like world exists at the microscopic level. It is also shown that breaking of ergodicity leads to microcanonical phase transitions associated with nonanalyticities of volume entropy. The second part of the dissertation deals with the problem of the foundations of generalized ensembles in statistical mechanics. The starting point is Boltzmann's work on statistical ensembles and its relation with the Heat Theorem. We first focus on the nonextensive thermostatistics of Tsallis and the associated deformed exponential ensembles. These ensembles are analyzed in detail and proved (a) to comply with the requirements posed by the Heat Theorem, and (b) to interpolate between canonical and microcanonical ensembles. Further they are showed to describe finite systems in contact with finite heat baths. ...
Date: May 2008
Creator: Campisi, Michele

Multifunctional Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Nanophotonic Devices

Description: The emergence of optical applications, such as lasers, fiber optics, and semiconductor based sources and detectors, has created a drive for smaller and more specialized devices. Nanophotonics is an emerging field of study that encompasses the disciplines of physics, engineering, chemistry, biology, applied sciences and biomedical technology. In particular, nanophotonics explores optical processes on a nanoscale. This dissertation presents nanophotonic applications that incorporate various forms of the organic polymer N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPA) with inorganic semiconductors. This includes the material characterization of NIPA, with such techniques as ellipsometry and dynamic light scattering. Two devices were constructed incorporating the NIPA hydrogel with semiconductors. The first device comprises a PNIPAM-CdTe hybrid material. The PNIPAM is a means for the control of distances between CdTe quantum dots encapsulated within the hydrogel. Controlling the distance between the quantum dots allows for the control of resonant energy transfer between neighboring quantum dots. Whereby, providing a means for controlling the temperature dependent red-shifts in photoluminescent peaks and FWHM. Further, enhancement of photoluminescent due to increased scattering in the medium is shown as a function of temperature. The second device incorporates NIPA into a 2D photonic crystal patterned on GaAs. The refractive index change of the NIPA hydrogel as it undergoes its phase change creates a controllable mechanism for adjusting the transmittance of light frequencies through a linear defect in a photonic crystal. The NIPA infiltrated photonic crystal shows greater shifts in the bandwidth per ºC than any liquid crystal methods. This dissertation demonstrates the versatile uses of hydrogel, as a means of control in nanophotonic devices, and will likely lead to development of other hybrid applications. The development of smaller light based applications will facilitate the need to augment the devices with control mechanism and will play an increasing important role in the future.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Garner, Brett William