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A low temperature amorphous oxide thin film transistor (TFT) backplane technology for flexible organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays has been developed to create 4.1-in. diagonal backplanes. The critical steps in the evolution of the backplane process include the qualification and optimization of the low temperature (200 °C) metal oxide process, the stability of the devices under forward and reverse bias stress, the transfer of the process to flexible plastic substrates, and the fabrication of white organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays. Mixed oxide semiconductor thin film transistors (TFTs) on flexible plastic substrates typically suffer from performance and stability issues related to the maximum processing temperature limitation of the polymer. A novel device architecture based upon a dual active layer enables significant improvements in both the performance and stability. Devices are directly fabricated below 200 ºC on a polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) substrate using mixed metal oxides of either zinc indium oxide (ZIO) or indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) as the active semiconductor. The dual active layer architecture allows for adjustment in the saturation mobility and threshold voltage stability without the requirement of high temperature annealing, which is not compatible with flexible colorless plastic substrates like PEN. The device performance and stability is strongly dependent upon the composition of the mixed metal oxide; this dependency provides a simple route to improving the threshold voltage stability and drive performance. By switching from a single to a dual active layer, the saturation mobility increases from 1.2 cm2/V-s to 18.0 cm2/V-s, while the rate of the threshold voltage shift decreases by an order of magnitude. This approach could assist in enabling the production of devices on flexible substrates using amorphous oxide semiconductors.
The world is grappling with two serious issues related to energy and climate change. The use of solar energy is receiving much attention due to its potential as one of the solutions. Air conditioning is particularly attractive as a solar energy application because of the near coincidence of peak cooling loads with the available solar power. Recently, researchers have started serious discussions of using adsorptive processes for refrigeration and heat pumps. There is some success for the >100 ton adsorption systems but none exists in the <10 ton size range required for residential air conditioning. There are myriad reasons for the lack of small-scale systems such as low Coefficient of Performance (COP), high capital cost, scalability, and limited performance data. A numerical model to simulate an adsorption system was developed and its performance was compared with similar thermal-powered systems. Results showed that both the adsorption and absorption systems provide equal cooling capacity for a driving temperature range of 70-120 ºC, but the adsorption system is the only system to deliver cooling at temperatures below 65 ºC. Additionally, the absorption and desiccant systems provide better COP at low temperatures, but the COP's of the three systems converge at higher regeneration temperatures. To further investigate the viability of solar-powered heat pump systems, an hourly building load simulation was developed for a single-family house in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Thermal as well as economic performance comparison was conducted for adsorption, absorption, and solar photovoltaic (PV) powered vapor compression systems for a range of solar collector area and storage capacity. The results showed that for a small collector area, solar PV is more cost-effective whereas adsorption is better than absorption for larger collector area. The optimum solar collector area and the storage size were determined for each type of solar system. As part of this dissertation work, a small-scale proof-of-concept prototype of the adsorption system was assembled using some novel heat transfer enhancement strategies. Activated carbon and butane was chosen as the adsorbent-refrigerant pair. It was found that a COP of 0.12 and a cooling capacity of 89.6 W can be achieved.
The effects of specific histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) on transgene expression in combination with a novel polymer as a delivery vehicle are investigated in this research. Polymer vectors, although safer than viruses, are notorious for low levels of gene expression. In this investigation, the use of an emerging chemotherapeutic anti-cancer drug molecule, HDACi, was used to enhance the polymer-mediated gene expression. HDACi are capable of inhibiting deacetylation activities of histones and other non-histone proteins in the cytoplasm and nucleus, as well as increase transcriptional activities necessary for gene expression. In a prior study, a parallel synthesis and screening of polymers yielded a lead cationic polymer with high DNA-binding properties, and even more attractive, high transgene expressions. Previous studies showed the use of this polymer in conjunction with cytoplasmic HDACi significantly enhanced gene expression in PC3-PSMA prostate cancer cells. This led to the basis for the investigation presented in this thesis, but to use nuclear HDACi to potentially achieve similar results. The HDACi, HDACi_A, was a previously discovered lead drug that had potential to significantly enhance luciferase expression in PC3-PSMA cells. The results of this study found that the 20:1 polymer:plasmid DNA weight ratio was effective with 1 uM and 2 uM HDACI_A concentrations, showing up to a 9-fold enhancement. This enhancement suggested that HDACi_A was effectively aiding transfection. While not an astounding enhancement, it is still interesting enough to investigate further. Cell viabilities need to be determined to supplement the results.
ABSTRACT Among the major applications of pervaporation membrane processes, organic separation from organic/water mixtures is becoming increasingly important. The polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is among the most interesting and promising membranes and has been extensively investigated. PDMS is an "organicelastomeric material, often referred to as "silicone rubber", exhibiting excellent film-forming ability, thermal stability, chemical and physiological inertness. In this thesis incorporation of nanosilicalite-1 particles into a PDMS matrix and effect of particle loading and temperature variation on membrane performance was studied. A strong influence of zeolite was found on the pervaporation of alcohol/water mixtures using filled PDMS membranes. The mixed matrix membrane showed high separation factor at higher zeolite loading and high flux at higher temperature.
Due to depletion of oil resources, increasing fuel prices and environmental issues associated with burning of fossil fuels, extensive research has been performed in biofuel production and dramatic progress has been made. But still problems exist in economically production of biofuels. One major problem is recovery of biofuels from fermentation broth with the relatively low product titer achieved. A lot of in situ product recovery techniques including liquid-liquid extraction, membrane extraction, pervaporation, gas stripping and adsorption have been developed and adsorption is shown to be the most promising one compared to other methods. Yet adsorption is not perfect due to defect in adsorbents and operation method used. So laurate adsorption using polymer resins was first investigated by doing adsorption isotherm, kinetic, breakthrough curve experiment and column adsorption of laurate from culture. The results indicate that polymer resins have good capacity for laurate with the highest capacity of 430 g/kg achieved by IRA-402 and can successfully recover laurate from culture without causing problem to Synechocystis sp.. Another research of this paper focused on a novel adsorbent: magnetic particles by doing adsorption equilibrium, kinetic and toxicity experiment. Preliminary results showed excellent performance on both adsorption capacity and kinetics. But further experiment revealed that magnetic particles were toxicity and inhibited growth of all kinds of cell tested severely, toxicity probably comes from Co (III) in magnetic particles. This problem might be solved by either using biocompatible coatings or immobilization of cells, which needs more investigation.
Over the past years, an interest has arisen in resolving two major issues: increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and depleting energy resources. A convenient solution would be a process that could simultaneously use CO2 while producing energy. The photocatalytic reduction of CO2 to fuels over the photocatalyst titanium dioxide (TiO2) is such a process. However, this process is presently inefficient and unsuitable for industrial applications. A step toward making this process more effective is to alter TiO2 based photocatalysts to improve their activity. The interactions of CO2 with oxygen-deficient and unmodified (210) surfaces of brookite TiO2 were studied using first-principle calculations on cluster systems. Charge and spin density analyses were implemented to determine if charge transfer to the CO2 molecule occurred and whether this charge transfer was comparable to that seen with the oxygen-deficient and unmodified anatase TiO2 (101) surfaces. Although the unmodified brookite (210) surface provided energetically similar CO2 interactions as compared to the unmodified anatase (101) surface, the unmodified brookite surface had negligible charge transfer to the CO2 molecule. This result suggests that unmodified brookite is not a suitable catalyst for the reduction of CO2. However, the results also suggest that modification of the brookite surface through the creation of oxygen vacancies may lead to enhancements in CO2 reduction. The computational results were supported with laboratory data for CO2 interaction with perfect brookite and oxygen-deficient brookite. The laboratory data, generated using diffuse reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, confirms the presence of CO2- on only the oxygen-deficient brookite. Additional computational work was performed on I-doped anatase (101) and I-doped brookite (210) surface clusters. Adsorption energies and charge and spin density analyses were performed and the results compared. While charge and spin density analyses showed minute charge transfer to CO2, the calculated adsorption energies demonstrated an increased affinity for CO2adsorption onto the I-doped brookite surface. Gathering the results from all calculations, the computational work on oxygen-deficient, I-doped, and unmodified anatase and brookite surface structures suggest that brookite TiO2 is a potential photocatalysts for CO2 photoreduction.
Emergent environmental issues, ever-shrinking petroleum reserves, and rising fossil fuel costs continue to spur interest in the development of sustainable biofuels from renewable feed-stocks. Meanwhile, however, the development and viability of biofuel fermentations remain limited by numerous factors such as feedback inhibition and inefficient and generally energy intensive product recovery processes. To circumvent both feedback inhibition and recovery issues, researchers have turned their attention to incorporating energy efficient separation techniques such as adsorption in in situ product recovery (ISPR) approaches. This thesis focused on the characterization of two novel adsorbents for the recovery of alcohol biofuels from model aqueous solutions. First, a hydrophobic silica aerogel was evaluated as a biofuel adsorbent through characterization of equilibrium behavior for conventional second generation biofuels (e.g., ethanol and n-butanol). Longer chain and accordingly more hydrophobic alcohols (i.e., n-butanol and 2-pentanol) were more effectively adsorbed than shorter chain alcohols (i.e., ethanol and i-propanol), suggesting a mechanism of hydrophobic adsorption. Still, the adsorbed alcohol capacity at biologically relevant conditions were low relative to other `model' biofuel adsorbents as a result of poor interfacial contact between the aqueous and sorbent. However, sorbent wettability and adsorption is greatly enhanced at high concentrations of alcohol in the aqueous. Consequently, the sorbent exhibits Type IV adsorption isotherms for all biofuels studied, which results from significant multilayer adsorption at elevated alcohol concentrations in the aqueous. Additionally, sorbent wettability significantly affects the dynamic binding efficiency within a packed adsorption column. Second, mesoporous carbons were evaluated as biofuel adsorbents through characterization of equilibrium and kinetic behavior. Variations in synthetic conditions enabled tuning of specific surface area and pore morphology of adsorbents. The adsorbed alcohol capacity increased with elevated specific surface area of the adsorbents. While their adsorption capacity is comparable to polymeric adsorbents of similar surface area, pore morphology and structure of mesoporous carbons greatly influenced adsorption rates. Multiple cycles of adsorbent regeneration rendered no impact on adsorption equilibrium or kinetics. The high chemical and thermal stability of mesoporous carbons provide potential significant advantages over other commonly examined biofuel adsorbents. Correspondingly, mesoporous carbons should be further studied for biofuel ISPR applications.
This dissertation provides a fundamental understanding of the impact of bulk polymer properties on the nanometer length scale modulus. The elastic modulus of amorphous organic thin films is examined using a surface wrinkling technique. Potential correlations between thin film behavior and intrinsic properties such as flexibility and chain length are explored. Thermal properties, glass transition temperature (Tg) and the coefficient of thermal expansion, are examined along with the moduli of these thin films. It is found that the nanometer length scale behavior of flexible polymers correlates to its bulk Tg and not the polymers intrinsic size. It is also found that decreases in the modulus of ultrathin flexible films is not correlated with the observed Tg decrease in films of the same thickness. Techniques to circumvent reductions from bulk modulus were also demonstrated. However, as chain flexibility is reduced the modulus becomes thickness independent down to 10 nm. Similarly for this series minor reductions in Tg were obtained. To further understand the impact of the intrinsic size and processing conditions; this wrinkling instability was also utilized to determine the modulus of small organic electronic materials at various deposition conditions. Lastly, this wrinkling instability is exploited for development of poly furfuryl alcohol wrinkles. A two-step wrinkling process is developed via an acid catalyzed polymerization of a drop cast solution of furfuryl alcohol and photo acid generator. The ability to control the surface topology and tune the wrinkle wavelength with processing parameters such as substrate temperature and photo acid generator concentration is also demonstrated. Well-ordered linear, circular, and curvilinear patterns are also obtained by selective ultraviolet exposure and polymerization of the furfuryl alcohol film. As a carbon precursor a thorough understanding of this wrinkling instability can have applications in a wide variety of technologies.
Of the potential technologies for pre-combustion capture, membranes offer the advantages of being temperature resistant, able to handle large flow rates, and having a relatively small footprint. A significant amount of research has centered on the use of polymeric and microporous inorganic membranes to separate CO2. These membranes, however, have limitations at high temperature resulting in poor permeation performance. To address these limitations, the use of a dense dual-phase membrane has been studied. These membranes are composed of conductive solid and conductive liquid phases that have the ability to selectively permeate CO2 by forming carbonate ions that diffuse through the membrane at high temperature. The driving force for transport through the membrane is a CO2 partial pressure gradient. The membrane provides a theoretically infinite selectivity. To address stability of the ceramic-carbonate dual-phase membrane for CO2 capture at high temperature, the ceramic phase of the membrane was studied and replaced with materials previously shown to be stable in harsh conditions. The permeation properties and stability of La0.6Sr0.4Co0.8Fe0.2O3-δ (LSCF)-carbonate, La0.85Ce0.1Ga0.3Fe0.65Al0.05O3-δ (LCGFA)-carbonate, and Ce0.8Sm0.2O1.9 (SDC)-carbonate membranes were examined under a wide range of experimental conditions at high temperature. LSCF-carbonate membranes were shown to be unstable without the presence of O2 due to reaction of CO2 with the ceramic phase. In the presence of O2, however, the membranes showed stable permeation behavior for more than one month at 900oC. LCGFA-carbonate membranes showed great chemical and permeation stability in the presence of various conditions including exposure to CH4 and H2, however, the permeation performance was quite low when compared to membranes in the literature. Finally, SDC-carbonate membranes showed great chemical and permeation stability both in a CO2:N2 environment for more than two weeks at 900oC as well as more than one month of exposure to simulated syngas conditions at 700oC. Ceramic phase chemical stability increased in the order of LSCF < LCGFA < SDC while permeation performance increased in the order of LCGFA < LSCF < SDC.
The horizontal desalination units belonging to the humidification-dehumidification family purify water using air as a carrier gas. The temperature required for separation can vary from ambient to 99 °C so waste heat, fuel combustion, or solar collectors can drive the process. A unit in which air flows horizontally affords several advantages over similar vertical “Dewvaporation” towers (as an example), including ease of construction and potentially increased efficiency. The objective was to build and test horizontal units and identify areas of potential efficiency improvements. The desalination units consisted of: 1.) A series of aligned, corrugated, polypropylene sheets covered on the outside with absorbent, water-wettable cloth. 2.) A basin that caught saline water flowing downward from the absorbent cloth. 3.) Ten pumps to cycle the basin water back onto the cloth. 4.) An air blower on the front of the unit that drove air horizontally across the cloth, increasing the humidity of the air. 5.) A steam generator on the back of the unit producing steam that mixed with the incoming air to increase the temperature and humidity. 6) A steam box that caused the air to mix with the steam and return to flow inside the corrugations in the plastic sheets, creating a countercurrent heat exchanger as the exiting air transferred its heat to the incoming air and causing purified water to condense from the cooling, oversaturated air. The tested unit produced distillate at a rate of 0.87 gallons per hour with 13 parts per million total dissolved solids and an energy reuse factor of 2.5. Recommendations include the implementation of a continuous longitudinal pump design, a modification of the basin to accommodate top and bottom unit center dividers, increase in insulation coverage, and optimization of air flow rate.