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Examining the Effect of Security Environment on U.S. Unilateral Military Intervention in Civil Conflicts

Description: This study focuses on how perceived security environment affect U.S. unilateral, military intervention in civil conflicts, using the concept of Bayesian learning to illustrate how threat perceptions are formed, how they change, and how they affect the U.S. decision to intervene militarily in civil conflicts. I assess the validity of two primary hypotheses: (1) the U.S. is more likely to intervene in civil conflicts with connections to a threatening actor or ideology; and (2) the U.S. is more likely to intervene in civil conflicts for humanitarian motives in a less threatening security context. To test these hypotheses, I compare U.S. military intervention in three temporal contexts reflecting more threatening security contexts (Cold War and post-9/11) and less threatening security contexts (1992-2001). Results of logit regression analysis reveal that a conflict’s connection to a threatening actor or ideology is the most statistically and substantively significant determinant of U.S. military intervention in civil conflicts, both in more and less threatening security contexts. They also indicate that humanitarian motives are not a statistically significant determinant of U.S. military intervention in civil conflicts, even in a more benign security environment. These findings imply that U.S. unilateral military intervention is reserved for more direct national security threats, even those that are less grave, and that the perception of the U.S. as “global cop” may be misleading, at least in terms of unilateral military intervention.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Aubone, Amber
Partner: UNT Libraries

Molecular Structure Analyses of Asymmetric Hydrocarbon Liquid Compounds in the Gas Phase Using Chirped-pulse Fourier Transform Microwave Spectroscopy: Acyl Chlorides and Perfluorinated Acyl Chlorides

Description: Examinations of the effects of (a.) alkyl carbon chain length and (b.) perfluorination of acyl chlorides; propionyl chloride, butyryl chloride, valeroyl chloride, and perfluorinated acyl chlorides; perfluoropropionyl chloride and perfluorobutyryl chloride, are reported and compared using CP-FTMW spectroscopy. All of these molecules are already published in various journals except for valeroyl chloride. The chapters are organized by molecule alkyl chain length and include some background theory. Conformational stability, internal rotation, helicity, and ionic character of the C-Cl bond via the nuclear electric quadrupole coupling constant (χzz) are analyzed. Results show syn, syn-anti/syn-gauche, and syn-anti-anti/syn-gauche-anti stable conformations. Internal rotation was only seen in propionyl chloride. Helicity was not observed. (χzz) was observed to be inert to alkyl chain length, ~ 60 MHz and ~ 65 MHz for the nonfluorinated and fluorinated acyl chlorides. Partial fluorination and varying functional groups are recommended.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Powoski, Robert A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ecological Analysis of Physical Activity and Health-related Quality of Life in Female College Students.

Description: Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is a comprehensive construct including physical and psychosocial health functioning. Despite significant health benefits of regular physical activity (PA), over 40% of female college students do not meet recommended PA guidelines to improve their health. This study investigated the influences of individual, social, and physical environmental factors on students’ PA and HRQOL. Participants were 235 female university students who completed validated surveys assessing their perceptions of PA, HRQOL, and social ecological factors. Three hierarchical regressions revealed individual and physical environmental factors as predictors of PA and HRQOL. These findings indicated health professionals need to consider students’ individual factors and physical environmental factors to promote female students’ PA and HRQOL.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Dunn, Jacqueline
Partner: UNT Libraries

Indirectly detected chemical shift correlation NMR spectroscopy in solids under fast magic angle spinning

Description: The development of fast magic angle spinning (MAS) opened up an opportunity for the indirect detection of insensitive low-{gamma} nuclei (e.g., {sup 13}C and {sup 15}N) via the sensitive high-{gamma} nuclei (e.g., {sup 1}H and {sup 19}F) in solid-state NMR, with advanced sensitivity and resolution. In this thesis, new methodology utilizing fast MAS is presented, including through-bond indirectly detected heteronuclear correlation (HETCOR) spectroscopy, which is assisted by multiple RF pulse sequences for {sup 1}H-{sup 1}H homonuclear decoupling. Also presented is a simple new strategy for optimization of {sup 1}H-{sup 1}H homonuclear decoupling. As applications, various classes of materials, such as catalytic nanoscale materials, biomolecules, and organic complexes, are studied by combining indirect detection and other one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) NMR techniques. Indirectly detected through-bond HETCOR spectroscopy utilizing refocused INEPT (INEPTR) mixing was developed under fast MAS (Chapter 2). The time performance of this approach in {sup 1}H detected 2D {sup 1}H{l_brace}{sup 13}C{r_brace} spectra was significantly improved, by a factor of almost 10, compared to the traditional {sup 13}C detected experiments, as demonstrated by measuring naturally abundant organic-inorganic mesoporous hybrid materials. The through-bond scheme was demonstrated as a new analytical tool, which provides complementary structural information in solid-state systems in addition to through-space correlation. To further benefit the sensitivity of the INEPT transfer in rigid solids, the combined rotation and multiple-pulse spectroscopy (CRAMPS) was implemented for homonuclear {sup 1}H decoupling under fast MAS (Chapter 3). Several decoupling schemes (PMLG5{sub m}{sup {bar x}}, PMLG5{sub mm}{sup {bar x}x} and SAM3) were analyzed to maximize the performance of through-bond transfer based on decoupling efficiency as well as scaling factors. Indirect detection with assistance of PMLG{sub m}{sup {bar x}} during INEPTR transfer proved to offer the highest sensitivity gains of 3-10. In addition, the CRAMPS sequence was applied under fast MAS to increase the ...
Date: August 15, 2011
Creator: Mao, Kanmi
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hot electron dynamics in graphene

Description: Graphene, a two-dimensional (2D) honeycomb structure allotrope of carbon atoms, has a long history since the invention of the pencil [Petroski (1989)] and the linear dispersion band structure proposed by Wallace [Wal]; however, only after Novoselov et al. successively isolated graphene from graphite [Novoselov et al. (2004)], it has been studied intensively during the recent years. It draws so much attentions not only because of its potential application in future electronic devices but also because of its fundamental properties: its quasiparticles are governed by the two-dimensional Dirac equation, and exhibit a variety of phenomena such as the anomalous integer quantum Hall effect (IQHE) [Novoselov et al. (2005)] measured experimentally, a minimal conductivity at vanishing carrier concentration [Neto et al. (2009)], Kondo effect with magnetic element doping [Hentschel and Guinea (2007)], Klein tunneling in p-n junctions [Cheianov and Fal’ko (2006), Beenakker (2008)], Zitterbewegung [Katsnelson (2006)], and Schwinger pair production [Schwinger (1951); Dora and Moessner (2010)]. Although both electron-phonon coupling and photoconductivity in graphene also draws great attention [Yan et al. (2007); Satou et al. (2008); Hwang and Sarma (2008); Vasko and Ryzhii (2008); Mishchenko (2009)], the nonequilibrium behavior based on the combination of electronphonon coupling and Schwinger pair production is an intrinsic graphene property that has not been investigated. Our motivation for studying clean graphene at low temperature is based on the following effect: for a fixed electric field, below a sufficiently low temperature linear eletric transport breaks down and nonlinear transport dominates. The criteria of the strength of this field [Fritz et al. (2008)] is eE = T2/~vF (1.1) For T >√eE~vF the system is in linear transport regime while for T <√eE~vF the system is in nonlinear transport regime. From the scaling’s point of view, at the nonlinear transport regime the temperature T and electric field E are also ...
Date: October 20, 2011
Creator: Ling, Meng-Cheieh
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) and Optically-Detected Magnetic Resonance (ODMR) studies on organic materials

Description: Organic semiconductors have evolved rapidly over the last decades and currently are considered as the next-generation technology for many applications, such as organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) in flat-panel displays (FPDs) and solid state lighting (SSL), and organic solar cells (OSCs) in clean renewable energy. This dissertation focuses mainly on OLEDs. Although the commercialization of the OLED technology in FPDs is growing and appears to be just around the corner for SSL, there are still several key issues that need to be addressed: (1) the cost of OLEDs is very high, largely due to the costly current manufacturing process; (2) the efficiency of OLEDs needs to be improved. This is vital to the success of OLEDs in the FPD and SSL industries; (3) the lifetime of OLEDs, especially blue OLEDs, is the biggest technical challenge. All these issues raise the demand for new organic materials, new device structures, and continued lower-cost fabrication methods. In an attempt to address these issues, we used solution-processing methods to fabricate highly efficient small molecule OLEDs (SMOLEDs); this approach is costeffective in comparison to the more common thermal vacuum evaporation. We also successfully made efficient indium tin oxide (ITO)-free SMOLEDs to further improve the efficiency of the OLEDs. We employed the spin-dependent optically-detected magnetic resonance (ODMR) technique to study the luminescence quenching processes in OLEDs and organic materials in order to understand the intrinsic degradation mechanisms. We also fabricated polymer LEDs (PLEDs) based on a new electron-accepting blue-emitting polymer and studied the effect of molecular weight on the efficiency of PLEDs. All these studies helped us to better understand the underlying relationship between the organic semiconductor materials and the OLEDs’ performance, and will subsequently assist in further enhancing the efficiency of OLEDs. With strongly improved device performance (in addition to other OLEDs' attributes such as mechanical ...
Date: November 30, 2011
Creator: Cai, Min
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Phase-field investigation on the non-equilibrium interface dynamics of rapid alloy solidification

Description: The research program reported here is focused on critical issues that represent conspicuous gaps in current understanding of rapid solidification, limiting our ability to predict and control microstructural evolution (i.e. morphological dynamics and microsegregation) at high undercooling, where conditions depart significantly from local equilibrium. More specifically, through careful application of phase-field modeling, using appropriate thin-interface and anti-trapping corrections and addressing important details such as transient effects and a velocity-dependent (i.e. adaptive) numerics, the current analysis provides a reasonable simulation-based picture of non-equilibrium solute partitioning and the corresponding oscillatory dynamics associated with single-phase rapid solidification and show that this method is a suitable means for a self-consistent simulation of transient behavior and operating point selection under rapid growth conditions. Moving beyond the limitations of conventional theoretical/analytical treatments of non-equilibrium solute partitioning, these results serve to substantiate recent experimental findings and analytical treatments for single-phase rapid solidification. The departure from the equilibrium solid concentration at the solid-liquid interface was often observed during rapid solidification, and the energetic associated non-equilibrium solute partitioning has been treated in detail, providing possible ranges of interface concentrations for a given growth condition. Use of these treatments for analytical description of specific single-phase dendritic and cellular operating point selection, however, requires a model for solute partitioning under a given set of growth conditions. Therefore, analytical solute trapping models which describe the chemical partitioning as a function of steady state interface velocities have been developed and widely utilized in most of the theoretical investigations of rapid solidification. However, these solute trapping models are not rigorously verified due to the difficulty in experimentally measuring under rapid growth conditions. Moreover, since these solute trapping models include kinetic parameters which are difficult to directly measure from experiments, application of the solute trapping models or the associated analytic rapid solidification model is limited. ...
Date: August 15, 2011
Creator: Choi, Jeong
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Optically Detected Magnetic Resonance Studies on π-conjugated semiconductor systems

Description: Optically Detected Magnetic Resonance (ODMR) techniques were used to investigate the dynamics of excitons and charge carriers in π-conjugated organic semiconductors. Degradation behavior of the negative spin-1/2 electroluminescence-detected magnetic resonance (ELDMR) was observed in Alq3 devices. The increase in the resonance amplitude implies an increasing bipolaron formation during degradation, which might be the result of growth of charge traps in the device. The same behavior of the negative spin-1/2 ELDMR was observed in 2wt% Rubrene doped Tris(8-hydroxyquinolinato)aluminium (Alq3) devices. However, with increasing injection current, a positive spin-1/2 ELDMR, together with positive spin 1 triplet powder patterns at {delta}m{sub S}={+-}1 and {delta}m{sub S}={+-}2, emerges. Due to the similarities in the frequency dependences of single and double modulated ELDMR and the photoluminescence-detected magnetic resonance (PLDMR) results in poly[2-methoxy-5-(2 -ethyl-hexyloxy)-1,4-phenyl ene vinylene] (MEH-PPV) films, the mechanism for this positive spin-1/2 ELDMR was assigned to enhanced triplet-polaron quenching under resonance conditions. The ELDMR in rubrene doped Alq3 devices provides a path to investigate charge distribution in the device under operational conditions. Combining the results of several devices with different carrier blocking properties and the results from transient EL, it was concluded trions not only exist near buffer layer but also exist in the electron transport layer. This TPQ model can also be used to explain the positive spin-1/2 PLDMR in poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) films at low temperature and in MEH-PPV films at various temperatures up to room temperature. Through quantitative analysis, TE-polaron quenching (TPQ) model is shown having the ability to explain most behaviors of the positive spin-1/2 resonance. Photocurrent detected magnetic resonance (PCDMR) studies on MEH-PPV devices revealed a novel transient resonance signal. The signal may originate from the higher concentration of deep traps near cathode. A quantitative analysis based on this assumption was carried out and found to be consistent with the experimental ...
Date: December 6, 2011
Creator: Chen, Ying
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campbell penetration depth in Fe-based superconductors

Description: A 'true' critical current density, j{sub c}, as opposite to commonly measured relaxed persistent (Bean) current, j{sub B}, was extracted from the Campbell penetration depth, {lambda}{sub c}(T,H) measured in single crystals of LiFeAs, and optimally electron-doped Ba(Fe{sub 0.954}Ni{sub 0.046}){sub 2}As{sub 2} (FeNi122). In LiFeAs, the effective pinning potential is nonparabolic, which follows from the magnetic field - dependent Labusch parameter {alpha}. At the equilibrium (upon field - cooling), {alpha}(H) is non-monotonic, but it is monotonic at a finite gradient of the vortex density. This behavior leads to a faster magnetic relaxation at the lower fields and provides a natural dynamic explanation for the fishtail (second peak) effect. We also find the evidence for strong pinning at the lower fields.The inferred field dependence of the pinning potential is consistent with the evolution from strong pinning, through collective pinning, and eventually to a disordered vortex lattice. The value of j{sub c}(2 K) {approx_equal} 1.22 x 10{sup 6} A/cm{sup 2} provide an upper estimate of the current carrying capability of LiFeAs. Overall, vortex behavior of almost isotropic, fully-gapped LiFeAs is very similar to highly anisotropic d-wave cuprate superconductors, the similarity that requires further studies in order to understand unconventional superconductivity in cuprates and pnictides. In addition to LiFeAs, we also report the magnetic penetration depth in BaFe{sub 2}As{sub 2} based superconductors including irradiation of FeNi122. In unirradiated FeNi122, the maximum critical current value is, j{sub c}(2K) {approx_equal} 3.3 x 10{sup 6} A/cm{sup 2}. The magnetic-dependent feature was observed near the transition temperature in FeTe{sub 0.53}Se{sub 0.47} and irradiated FeNi122. Because of this feature, further studies are required in order to properly calibrate the Campbell penetration depth. Finally, we detected the crossing between the magnetic penetration depth and London penetration depth in optimally hold-doped Ba{sub 0.6}K{sub 0.4}Fe{sub 2}As{sub 2} (BaK122) and isovalent doped BaFe{sub ...
Date: August 15, 2011
Creator: Prommapan, Plegchart
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bulk gold catalyzed oxidation reactions of amines and isocyanides and iron porphyrin catalyzed N-H and O-H bond insertion/cyclization reactions of diamines and aminoalcohols

Description: This work involves two projects. The first project entails the study of bulk gold as a catalyst in oxidation reactions of isocyanides and amines. The main goal of this project was to study the activation and reactions of molecules at metal surfaces in order to assess how organometallic principles for homogeneous processes apply to heterogeneous catalysis. Since previous work had used oxygen as an oxidant in bulk gold catalyzed reactions, the generality of gold catalysis with other oxidants was examined. Amine N-oxides were chosen for study, due to their properties and use in the oxidation of carbonyl ligands in organometallic complexes. When amine N-oxides were used as an oxidant in the reaction of isocyanides with amines, the system was able to produce ureas from a variety of isocyanides, amines, and amine N-oxides. In addition, the rate was found to generally increase as the amine N-oxide concentration increased, and decrease with increased concentrations of the amine. Mechanistic studies revealed that the reaction likely involves transfer of an oxygen atom from the amine N-oxide to the adsorbed isocyanide to generate an isocyanate intermediate. Subsequent nucleophilic attack by the amine yields the urea. This is in contrast to the bulk gold-catalyzed reaction mechanism of isocyanides with amines and oxygen. Formation of urea in this case was proposed to proceed through a diaminocarbene intermediate. Moreover, formation of the proposed isocyanate intermediate is consistent with the reactions of metal carbonyl ligands, which are isoelectronic to isocyanides. Nucleophilic attack at coordinated CO by amine N-oxides produces CO{sub 2} and is analogous to the production of an isocyanate in this gold system. When the bulk gold-catalyzed oxidative dehydrogenation of amines was examined with amine N-oxides, the same products were afforded as when O{sub 2} was used as the oxidant. When the two types of oxidants were directly ...
Date: December 29, 2011
Creator: Klobukowski, Erik
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Al-Ca and Al-Fe metal-metal composite strength, conductivity, and microstructure relationships

Description: Deformation processed metal-metal composites (DMMC’s) are composites formed by mechanical working (i.e., rolling, swaging, or wire drawing) of two-phase, ductile metal mixtures. Since both the matrix and reinforcing phase are ductile metals, the composites can be heavily deformed to reduce the thickness and spacing of the two phases. Recent studies have shown that heavily drawn DMMCs can achieve anomalously high strength and outstanding combinations of strength and conductivity. In this study, Al-Fe wire composite with 0.07, 0.1, and 0.2 volume fractions of Fe filaments and Al-Ca wire composite with 0.03, 0.06, and 0.09 volume fractions of Ca filaments were produced in situ, and their mechanical properties were measured as a function of deformation true strain. The Al-Fe composites displayed limited deformation of the Fe phase even at high true strains, resulting in little strengthening effect in those composites. Al-9vol%Ca wire was deformed to a deformation true strain of 13.76. The resulting Ca second-phase filaments were deformed to thicknesses on the order of one micrometer. The ultimate tensile strength increased exponentially with increasing deformation true strain, reaching a value of 197 MPa at a true strain of 13.76. This value is 2.5 times higher than the value predicted by the rule of mixtures. A quantitative relationship between UTS and deformation true strain was determined. X-ray diffraction data on transformation of Al + Ca microstructures to Al + various Al-Ca intermetallic compounds were obtained at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. Electrical conductivity was measured over a range of true strains and post-deformation heat treatment schedules.
Date: December 1, 2011
Creator: Kim, Hyong June
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mesoporous silica nanoparticles as smart and safe devices for regulating blood biomolecule levels

Description: Stimuli-responsive end-capped MSN materials are promising drug carriers that securely deliver a large payload of drug molecules without degradation or premature release. A general review of the recent progress in this field is presented, including a summary of a series of hard and soft caps for drug encapsulation and a variety of internal and external stimuli for controlled release of different therapeutics, a discussion of the biocompatibility of MSN both in vitro and in vivo, and a description of the sophisticated stimuli-responsive systems with novel capping agents and controlled release mechanism. The unique internal and external surfaces of MSN were utilized for the development of a glucose-responsive double delivery system end-capped with insulin. This unique system consists of functionalized MSNs capable of releasing insulin when the concentration of sugar in blood exceeds healthy levels. The insulin-free nanoparticles are then up taken by pancreatic cells, and release inside of them another biomolecule that stimulates the production of more insulin. The in vivo application of this system for the treatment of diabetes requires further understanding on the biological behaviors of these nanoparticles in blood vessels. The research presented in this dissertation demonstrated the size and surface effects on the interaction of MSNs with red blood cell membranes, and discovered how the surface of the nanoparticles can be modified to improve their compatibility with red blood cells and avoid their dangerous side effects. In order to optimize the properties of MSN for applying them as efficient intracellular drug carriers it is necessary to understand the factors that can regulate their internalization into and exocytosis out of the cells. The correlation between the particle morphology and aggregation of MSNs to the effectiveness of cellular uptake is discussed and compared with different cell lines. The differences in the degree of exocytosis of MSNs between healthy ...
Date: May 15, 2011
Creator: Zhao, Yan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mesoporous silica nanoparticles for biomedical and catalytical applications

Description: Mesoporous silica materials, discovered in 1992 by the Mobile Oil Corporation, have received considerable attention in the chemical industry due to their superior textual properties such as high surface area, large pore volume, tunable pore diameter, and narrow pore size distribution. Among those materials, MCM-41, referred to Mobile Composition of Matter NO. 41, contains honeycomb liked porous structure that is the most common mesoporous molecular sieve studied. Applications of MCM-41 type mesoporous silica material in biomedical field as well as catalytical field have been developed and discussed in this thesis. The unique features of mesoporous silica nanoparticles were utilized for the design of delivery system for multiple biomolecules as described in chapter 2. We loaded luciferin into the hexagonal channels of MSN and capped the pore ends with gold nanoparticles to prevent premature release. Luciferase was adsorbed onto the outer surface of the MSN. Both the MSN and the gold nanoparticles were protected by poly-ethylene glycol to minimize nonspecific interaction of luciferase and keep it from denaturating. Controlled release of luciferin was triggered within the cells and the enzymatic reaction was detected by a luminometer. Further developments by varying enzyme/substrate pairs may provide opportunities to control cell behavior and manipulate intracellular reactions. MSN was also served as a noble metal catalyst support due to its large surface area and its stability with active metals. We prepared MSN with pore diameter of 10 nm (LP10-MSN) which can facilitate mass transfer. And we successfully synthesized an organo silane, 2,2'-Bipyridine-amide-triethoxylsilane (Bpy-amide-TES). Then we were able to functionalize LP10-MSN with bipyridinyl group by both post-grafting method and co-condensation method. Future research of this material would be platinum complexation. This Pt (II) complex catalyst has been reported for a C-H bond activation reaction as an alternative of the traditional Friedel-Crafts reaction. And we will compare ...
Date: May 15, 2011
Creator: Sun, Xiaoxing
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

MicroCantilever (MC) based nanomechanical sensor for detection of molecular interactions

Description: Specific aims of this study are to investigate the mechanism governing surface stress generation associated with chemical or molecular binding on functionalized microcantilevers. Formation of affinity complexes on cantilever surfaces leads to charge redistribution, configurational change and steric hindrance between neighboring molecules resulting in surface stress change and measureable cantilever deformation. A novel interferometry technique employing two adjacent micromachined cantilevers (a sensing/reference pair) was utilized to measure the cantilever deformation. The sensing principle is that binding/reaction of specific chemical or biological species on the sensing cantilever transduces to mechanical deformation. The differential bending of the sensing cantilever respect to the reference cantilever ensures that measured response is insensitive to environmental disturbances. As a proof of principle for the measurement technique, surface stress changes associated with: self-assembly of alkanethiol, hybridization of ssDNA, and the formation of cocaine-aptamer complexes were measured. Dissociation constant (K{sub d}) for each molecular reaction was utilized to estimate the surface coverage of affinity complexes. In the cases of DNA hybridization and cocaine-aptamer binding, measured surface stress was found to be dependent on the surface coverage of the affinity complexes. In order to achieve a better sensitivity for DNA hybridization, immobilization of receptor molecules was modified to enhance the deformation of underlying surface. Single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) strands with thiol-modification on both 3-foot and 5-foot ends were immobilized on the gold surface such that both ends are attached to the gold surface. Immobilization condition was controlled to obtain similar receptor density as single-thiolated DNA strands. Hybridization of double-thiolated DNA strands leads to an almost two orders of magnitude increase in cantilever deformation. In both DNA hybridization and the conventional mode for cocaine detection, the lowest detectable concentration was determined by binding activity between the ligand and receptor molecules. In order to overcome this limitation for cocaine detection, a novel ...
Date: May 11, 2011
Creator: Kang, Kyung
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Plasminogen activator inhibitor 1: Mechanisms of its synergistic regulation by growth factors

Description: My research is on the synergistic regulation of PAI-1 by EGF and TGF-β. The mechanism of synergistic regulation of PAI-1 by EGF and TGF-β are addressed. Methods are described for effective identification of RNA accessible sites for antisense oligodexoxynucleotides (ODNs) and siRNA. In this study effective AS-ODN sequences for both Lcn2 and Bcl2 were identified by in vitro tiled microarray studies. Our results suggest that hybridization of ODN arrays to a target mRNA under physiological conditions might be used as a rapid and reliable in vitro method to accurately identify targets on mRNA molecules for effective antisense and potential siRNA activity in vivo.
Date: December 1, 2011
Creator: Song, Xiaoling
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gas atomized precursor alloy powder for oxide dispersion strengthened ferritic stainless steel

Description: Gas atomization reaction synthesis (GARS) was employed as a simplified method for producing precursor powders for oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) ferritic stainless steels (e.g., Fe-Cr-Y-(Ti,Hf)-O), departing from the conventional mechanical alloying (MA) process. During GARS processing a reactive atomization gas (i.e., Ar-O{sub 2}) was used to oxidize the powder surfaces during primary break-up and rapid solidification of the molten alloy. This resulted in envelopment of the powders by an ultra-thin (t < 150 nm) metastable Cr-enriched oxide layer that was used as a vehicle for solid-state transport of O into the consolidated microstructure. In an attempt to better understand the kinetics of this GARS reaction, theoretical cooling curves for the atomized droplets were calculated and used to establish an oxidation model for this process. Subsequent elevated temperature heat treatments, which were derived from Rhines pack measurements using an internal oxidation model, were used to promote thermodynamically driven O exchange reactions between trapped films of the initial Cr-enriched surface oxide and internal Y-enriched intermetallic precipitates. This novel microstructural evolution process resulted in the successful formation of nano-metric Y-enriched dispersoids, as confirmed using high energy X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), equivalent to conventional ODS alloys from MA powders. The thermal stability of these Y-enriched dispersoids was evaluated using high temperature (1200°C) annealing treatments ranging from 2.5 to 1,000 hrs of exposure. In a further departure from current ODS practice, replacing Ti with additions of Hf appeared to improve the Y-enriched dispersoid thermal stability by means of crystal structure modification. Additionally, the spatial distribution of the dispersoids was found to depend strongly on the original rapidly solidified microstructure. To exploit this, ODS microstructures were engineered from different powder particle size ranges, illustrating microstructural control as a function of particle solidification rate. The consolidation of ultra-fine powders (dia. ≤ 5μm) resulted in ...
Date: December 13, 2011
Creator: Rieken, Joel
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry: Examinations of the origins of polyatomic ions and advances in the sampling of particulates

Description: This dissertation provides a general introduction to Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and laser ablation (LA) sampling, with an examination of analytical challenges in the employment of this technique. It discusses the origin of metal oxide ions (MO+) in LA-ICP-MS, as well as the effect of introducing helium and nitrogen to the aerosol gas flow on the formation of these polyatomic interferences. It extends the study of polyatomic ions in LA-ICP-MS to metal argide (MAr+) species, an additional source of possible significant interferences in the spectrum. It describes the application of fs-LA-ICP-MS to the determination of uranium isotope ratios in particulate samples.
Date: November 30, 2011
Creator: Witte, Travis
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Improving the phase stability and oxidation resistance of B-NiAl

Description: High temperature alloys are essential to many industries that require a stable material to perform in harsh oxidative environments. Many of these alloys are suited for specific applications such as jet engine turbine blades where most other materials would either melt or oxidize and crumble (1). These alloys must have a high melting temperature, excellent oxidation resistance, good creep resistance, and decent fracture toughness to be successfully used in such environments. The discovery of Ni based superalloys in the 1940s revolutionized the high temperature alloy industry and there has been continued development of these alloys since their advent (2). These materials are capable of operating in oxidative environments in the presence of combustion gases, water vapor and at temperatures around 1050 C. Demands for increased f uel efficiency, however, has highlighted the need for materials that can be used under similar atmospheres and at temperatures in excess of 1200 C. The current Ni based superalloys are restricted to lower temperatures due to the presence of a number of low melting phases that result in softening of the alloys above 1000 C. Therefore, recent research has been aimed at exploring and developing newer alloy systems that can meet the escalating requirements. This thesis comprises a part of such an effort. The motivation of this work is to develop a novel high temperature alloy system that shows improved performance at higher temperatures than the currently employed alloys. The desired alloy should be in accordance with the requirements established in the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) FutureGen program having an operating temperature around 1300 C. Alloys based on NiAl offer significant potential payoffs as structural materials in gas turbine applications due to a unique range of physical and mechanical properties. Alloying additions to NiAl could be used to further improve the pertinent properties ...
Date: August 15, 2011
Creator: Brammer, Travis
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Imaging gene expression in real-time using aptamers

Description: Signal transduction pathways are usually activated by external stimuli and are transient. The downstream changes such as transcription of the activated genes are also transient. Real-time detection of promoter activity is useful for understanding changes in gene expression, especially during cell differentiation and in development. A simple and reliable method for viewing gene expression in real time is not yet available. Reporter proteins such as fluorescent proteins and luciferase allow for non-invasive detection of the products of gene expression in living cells. However, current reporter systems do not provide for real-time imaging of promoter activity in living cells. This is because of the long time period after transcription required for fluorescent protein synthesis and maturation. We have developed an RNA reporter system for imaging in real-time to detect changes in promoter activity as they occur. The RNA reporter uses strings of RNA aptamers that constitute IMAGEtags (Intracellular MultiAptamer GEnetic tags), which can be expressed from a promoter of choice. The tobramycin, neomycin and PDC RNA aptamers have been utilized for this system and expressed in yeast from the GAL1 promoter. The IMAGEtag RNA kinetics were quantified by RT-qPCR. In yeast precultured in raffinose containing media the GAL1 promoter responded faster than in yeast precultured in glucose containing media. IMAGEtag RNA has relatively short half-life (5.5 min) in yeast. For imaging, the yeast cells are incubated with their ligands that are labeled with fluorescent dyes. To increase signal to noise, ligands have been separately conjugated with the FRET (Förster resonance energy transfer) pairs, Cy3 and Cy5. With these constructs, the transcribed aptamers can be imaged after activation of the promoter by galactose. FRET was confirmed with three different approaches, which were sensitized emission, acceptor photobleaching and donor lifetime by FLIM (fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy). Real-time transcription was measured by FLIM-FRET, which ...
Date: December 13, 2011
Creator: Shin, Il Chung
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of high-spatial and high-mass resolution mass spectrometric imaging (MSI) and its application to the study of small metabolites and endogenous molecules of plants

Description: High-spatial and high-mass resolution laser desorption ionization (LDI) mass spectrometric (MS) imaging technology was developed for the attainment of MS images of higher quality containing more information on the relevant cellular and molecular biology in unprecedented depth. The distribution of plant metabolites is asymmetric throughout the cells and tissues, and therefore the increase in the spatial resolution was pursued to reveal the localization of plant metabolites at the cellular level by MS imaging. For achieving high-spatial resolution, the laser beam size was reduced by utilizing an optical fiber with small core diameter (25 μm) in a vacuum matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-linear ion trap (vMALDI-LTQ) mass spectrometer. Matrix application was greatly improved using oscillating capillary nebulizer. As a result, single cell level spatial resolution of ~ 12 μm was achieved. MS imaging at this high spatial resolution was directly applied to a whole Arabidopsis flower and the substructures of an anther and single pollen grains at the stigma and anther were successfully visualized. MS imaging of high spatial resolution was also demonstrated to the secondary roots of Arabidopsis thaliana and a high degree of localization of detected metabolites was successfully unveiled. This was the first MS imaging on the root for molecular species. MS imaging with high mass resolution was also achieved by utilizing the LTQ-Orbitrap mass spectrometer for the direct identification of the surface metabolites on the Arabidopsis stem and root and differentiation of isobaric ions having the same nominal mass with no need of tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). MS imaging at high-spatial and high-mass resolution was also applied to cer1 mutant of the model system Arabidopsis thaliana to demonstrate its usefulness in biological studies and reveal associated metabolite changes in terms of spatial distribution and/or abundances compared to those of wild-type. The spatial distribution of targeted metabolites, mainly waxes ...
Date: November 30, 2011
Creator: Jun, Ji Hyun
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Multicore Architecture-aware Scientific Applications

Description: Modern high performance systems are becoming increasingly complex and powerful due to advancements in processor and memory architecture. In order to keep up with this increasing complexity, applications have to be augmented with certain capabilities to fully exploit such systems. These may be at the application level, such as static or dynamic adaptations or at the system level, like having strategies in place to override some of the default operating system polices, the main objective being to improve computational performance of the application. The current work proposes two such capabilites with respect to multi-threaded scientific applications, in particular a large scale physics application computing ab-initio nuclear structure. The first involves using a middleware tool to invoke dynamic adaptations in the application, so as to be able to adjust to the changing computational resource availability at run-time. The second involves a strategy for effective placement of data in main memory, to optimize memory access latencies and bandwidth. These capabilties when included were found to have a significant impact on the application performance, resulting in average speedups of as much as two to four times.
Date: November 28, 2011
Creator: Srinivasa, Avinash
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Studies of the structure and function of Mms6, a bacterial protein that promotes the formation of magnetic nanoparticles

Description: Here we report structural and functional studies of Mms6, a biomineralization protein that can promote the formation in vitro of magnetic nanoparticles with sizes and morphologies similar to the magnetites synthesized by magnetotactic bacteria. We found the binding pattern of Mms6 to ferric ion to be two-phase and multivalent. We quantatively determined that Mms6 binds one Fe{sup 3+} with a very high affinity (K{sub d} = 10{sup -16} M). The second phase of iron binding is multivalent and cooperative with respect to iron with a K{sub d} in the {mu}M range and a stoichiometry of about 20 ferric ion per protein molecule. We found that Mms6 exists in large particles of two sizes, one consisting of 20-40 monomeric units and the other of 200 units. From proteolytic digestion, ultracentrifugation and liposome fusion studies, we found that Mms6 forms a large micellar quaternary structure with the N-terminal domain self-assembling into a uniformly sized micelle and the C-terminal domain on the surface. The two-phase iron-binding pattern may be relevant to iron crystal formation. We propose that the first high affinity phase may stabilize a new conformation of the C-terminal domain that allows interaction with other C-terminal domains leading to a structural change in the multimeric protein complex that enables the second low affinity iron binding phase to organize iron and initiate crystal formation. We also observed a dimeric apparent molecular mass of the Mms6 C-terminal peptide (C21Mms6). We speculate that the C-terminal domain may form higher order quaternary arrangements on the surface of the micelle or when anchored to a membrane by the N-terminal domain. The change in fluorescence quenching in the N-terminal domain with iron binding suggests a structural integrity between the C- and N-terminal domains. The slow change in trp fluorescence as a function of time after adding iron suggests ...
Date: May 15, 2011
Creator: Wang, Lijun
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Theory of spin-fluctuation induced superconductivity in iron-based superconductors

Description: In this dissertation we focus on the investigation of the pairing mechanism in the recently discovered high-temperature superconductor, iron pnictides. Due to the proximity to magnetic instability of the system, we considered short-range spin fluctuations as the major mediating source to induce superconductivity. Our calculation supports the magnetic fluctuations as a strong candidate that drives Cooper-pair formation in this material. We find the corresponding order parameter to be of the so-called ss-wave type and show its evolution with temperature as well as the capability of supporting high transition temperature up to several tens of Kelvin. On the other hand, our itinerant model calculation shows pronounced spin correlation at the observed antiferromagnetic ordering wave vector, indicating the underlying electronic structure in favor of antiferromagnetic state. Therefore, the electronic degrees of freedom could participate both in the magnetic and in the superconducting properties. Our work shows that the interplay between magnetism and superconductivity plays an important role to the understanding of the rich physics in this material. The magnetic-excitation spectrum carries important information on the nature of magnetism and the characteristics of superconductivity. We analyze the spin excitation spectrum in the normal and superconducting states of iron pnictides in the magnetic scenario. As a consequence of the sign-reversed gap structure obtained in the above, a spin resonance mode appears below the superconducting transition temperature. The calculated resonance energy, scaled with the gap magnitude and the magnetic correlation length, agrees well with the inelastic neutron scattering (INS) measurements. More interestingly, we find a common feature of those short-range spin fluctuations that are capable of inducing a fully gapped ss state is the momentum anisotropy with elongated span along the direction transverse to the antiferromagnetic momentum transfer. This calculated intrinsic anisotropy exists both in the normal and in the superconducting state, which naturally explains ...
Date: August 15, 2011
Creator: Zhang, Junhua
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The theoretical study of passive and active optical devices via planewave based transfer (scattering) matrix method and other approaches

Description: In this thesis, we theoretically study the electromagnetic wave propagation in several passive and active optical components and devices including 2-D photonic crystals, straight and curved waveguides, organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), and etc. Several optical designs are also presented like organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells and solar concentrators. The first part of the thesis focuses on theoretical investigation. First, the plane-wave-based transfer (scattering) matrix method (TMM) is briefly described with a short review of photonic crystals and other numerical methods to study them (Chapter 1 and 2). Next TMM, the numerical method itself is investigated in details and developed in advance to deal with more complex optical systems. In chapter 3, TMM is extended in curvilinear coordinates to study curved nanoribbon waveguides. The problem of a curved structure is transformed into an equivalent one of a straight structure with spatially dependent tensors of dielectric constant and magnetic permeability. In chapter 4, a new set of localized basis orbitals are introduced to locally represent electromagnetic field in photonic crystals as alternative to planewave basis. The second part of the thesis focuses on the design of optical devices. First, two examples of TMM applications are given. The first example is the design of metal grating structures as replacements of ITO to enhance the optical absorption in OPV cells (chapter 6). The second one is the design of the same structure as above to enhance the light extraction of OLEDs (chapter 7). Next, two design examples by ray tracing method are given, including applying a microlens array to enhance the light extraction of OLEDs (chapter 5) and an all-angle wide-wavelength design of solar concentrator (chapter 8). In summary, this dissertation has extended TMM which makes it capable of treating complex optical systems. Several optical designs by TMM and ray tracing method are also ...
Date: May 15, 2011
Creator: Zhuo, Ye
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department