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Development of Frequency Selective Surfaces for RF Interrogator Design

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The honors thesis presented in this document describes an extension to an electrical engineering capstone project whose scope is to develop the receiver electronics for an RF interrogator. The RF interrogator functions by detecting the change in resonant frequency

The honors thesis presented in this document describes an extension to an electrical engineering capstone project whose scope is to develop the receiver electronics for an RF interrogator. The RF interrogator functions by detecting the change in resonant frequency of (i.e, frequency of maximum backscatter from) a target resulting from an environmental input. The general idea of this honors project was to design three frequency selective surfaces that would act as surrogate backscattering or reflecting targets that each contains a distinct frequency response. Using 3-D electromagnetic simulation software, three surrogate targets exhibiting bandpass frequency responses at distinct frequencies were designed and presented in this thesis.

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2021-05

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Optical properties and electrochemical dealloying of gold-silver alloy nanoparticles immobilized on composite thin-tilm electrodes

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Gold-silver alloy nanoparticles (NPs) capped with adenosine 5'-triphosphate were synthesized by borohydride reduction of dilute aqueous metal precursors. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy showed the as-synthesized particles to be spherical with average diameters ~4 nm. Optical properties were measured by UV-Visible

Gold-silver alloy nanoparticles (NPs) capped with adenosine 5'-triphosphate were synthesized by borohydride reduction of dilute aqueous metal precursors. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy showed the as-synthesized particles to be spherical with average diameters ~4 nm. Optical properties were measured by UV-Visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis), and the formation of alloy NPs was verified across all gold:silver ratios by a linear shift in the plasmon band maxima against alloy composition. The molar absorptivities of the NPs decreased non-linearly with increasing gold content from 2.0 x 108 M-1 cm-1 (fÉmax = 404 nm) for pure silver to 4.1 x 107 M-1 cm-1 (fÉmax = 511 nm) for pure gold. The NPs were immobilized onto transparent indium-tin oxide composite electrodes using layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition with poly(diallyldimethylammonium) acting as a cationic binder. The UV-Vis absorbance of the LbL film was used to calculate the surface coverage of alloy NPs on the electrode. Typical preparations had average NP surface coverages of 2.8 x 10-13 mol NPs/cm2 (~5% of cubic closest packing) with saturated films reaching ~20% of ccp for single-layer preparations (1.0 ~ 10-12 mol NPs/cm2). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirmed the presence of alloy NPs in the LbL film and showed silver enrichment of the NP surfaces by ~9%. Irreversible oxidative dissolution (dealloying) of the less noble silver atoms from the NPs on LbL electrodes was performed by cyclic voltammetry (CV) in sulfuric acid. Alloy NPs with higher gold content required larger overpotentials for silver dealloying. Dealloying of the more-noble gold atoms from the alloy NPs was also achieved by CV in sodium chloride. The silver was oxidized first to cohesive silver chloride, and then gold dealloyed to soluble HAuCl4- at higher potentials. Silver oxidation was inhibited during the first oxidative scan, but subsequent cycles showed typical, reversible silver-to-silver chloride voltammetry. The potentials for both silver oxidation and gold dealloying also shifted to more oxidizing potentials with increasing gold content, and both processes converged for alloy NPs with >60% gold content. Charge-mediated electrochemistry of silver NPs immobilized in LbL films, using Fc(meOH) as the charge carrier, showed that 67% of the NPs were electrochemically inactive.

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2014

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Flexible Fractal-Inspired Metamaterial for Head Imaging at 3 T MRI

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The ability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to image any part of the human body without the effects of harmful radiation such as in CAT and PET scans established MRI as a clinical mainstay for a variety of different ailments

The ability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to image any part of the human body without the effects of harmful radiation such as in CAT and PET scans established MRI as a clinical mainstay for a variety of different ailments and maladies. Short wavelengths accompany the high frequencies present in high-field MRI, and are on the same scale as the human body at a static magnetic field strength of 3 T (128 MHz). As a result of these shorter wavelengths, standing wave effects are produced in the MR bore where the patient is located. These standing waves generate bright and dark spots in the resulting MR image, which correspond to irregular regions of high and low clarity. Coil loading is also an inevitable byproduct of subject positioning inside the bore, which decreases the signal that the region of interest (ROI) receives for the same input power. Several remedies have been proposed in the literature to remedy the standing wave effect, including the placement of high permittivity dielectric pads (HPDPs) near the ROI. Despite the success of HPDPs at smoothing out image brightness, these pads are traditionally bulky and take up a large spatial volume inside the already small MR bore. In recent years, artificial periodic structures known as metamaterials have been designed to exhibit specific electromagnetic effects when placed inside the bore. Although typically thinner than HPDPs, many metamaterials in the literature are rigid and cannot conform to the shape of the patient, and some are still too bulky for practical use in clinical settings. The well-known antenna engineering concept of fractalization, or the introduction of self-similar patterns, may be introduced to the metamaterial to display a specific resonance curve as well as increase the metamaterial’s intrinsic capacitance. Proposed in this paper is a flexible fractal-inspired metamaterial for application in 3 T MR head imaging. To demonstrate the advantages of this flexibility, two different metamaterial configurations are compared to determine which produces a higher localized signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and average signal measured in the image: in the first configuration, the metamaterial is kept rigid underneath a human head phantom to represent metamaterials in the literature (single-sided placement); and in the second, the metamaterial is wrapped around the phantom to utilize its flexibility (double-sided placement). The double-sided metamaterial setup was found to produce an increase in normalized SNR of over 5% increase in five of six chosen ROIs when compared to no metamaterial use and showed a 10.14% increase in the total average signal compared to the single-sided configuration.

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2022-05