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Healing Mechanophore-Incorporated Epoxy Through UV Dimerization

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This study aims to determine the feasibility of producing mechanophore-incorporated epoxy that can be healed. This was accomplished by grafting a synthesized mechanophore into tris(2-aminoethyl)amine to create a new epoxy hardener. Then this branched hardener was combined with a second

This study aims to determine the feasibility of producing mechanophore-incorporated epoxy that can be healed. This was accomplished by grafting a synthesized mechanophore into tris(2-aminoethyl)amine to create a new epoxy hardener. Then this branched hardener was combined with a second hardener, diethylenetriamine (DETA). A proper ratio of the branched hardener to the DETA will ensure that the created epoxy will retain the force responsive characteristics without a noticeable decline in both the physical and thermal properties. Furthermore, it was desired that the natural structure of the epoxy would be left in place, and there would only be enough branched hardener present to elicit a force response and provide the possibility for healing. The two hardeners would then be added to Diglycidyl Ether of Bisphenol F (DGEBPF), which is the epoxy resin. The mechanophore-incorporated epoxy was compared to a standard epoxy—just DETA and DGEBPF—and it was determined that the incorporation of the mechanophore led to an 8.2 degrees Celsius increase in glass transition temperature, and a 33.0% increase in cross link density. This justified the mechanophore-incorporated epoxy as a feasible alternative to the standard, as its primary thermal and physical properties were not only equal, but superior. Then samples of the mechanophore-incorporated epoxy were damaged with a 3% tensile strain. This would cause a cycloreversion in the central cyclobutane inside of the mechanophore. Then they were healed with UV light, which would redimerize the severed hardener moieties. The healed samples saw a 4.69% increase in cross-link density, demonstrating that healing was occurring.

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2018-12

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New insights into the pore development mechanism of layered hydroxides upon thermal activation

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Layered double hydroxides (LDHs), also known as hydrotalcite-like materials, are extensively used as precursors for the preparation of (photo-)catalysts, electrodes, magnetic materials, sorbents, etc. The synthesis typically involves the transformation to the corresponding mixed metal oxide via calcination, resulting in

Layered double hydroxides (LDHs), also known as hydrotalcite-like materials, are extensively used as precursors for the preparation of (photo-)catalysts, electrodes, magnetic materials, sorbents, etc. The synthesis typically involves the transformation to the corresponding mixed metal oxide via calcination, resulting in atomically dispersed mixed metal oxides (MMOs). This process alters the porosity of the materials, with crucial implications for the performance in many applications. Yet, the mechanisms of pore formation and collapse are poorly understood. Combining an integrated in situ and ex situ characterization approach, here we follow the evolution of porosity changes during the thermal decomposition of LDHs integrating different divalent (Mg, Ni) and trivalent (Al, Ga) metals. Variations in porous properties determined by high-resolution argon sorption are linked to the morphological and compositional changes in the samples by in situ transmission electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, which is facilitated by the synthesis of well crystallized LDHs of large crystal size. The observations are correlated with the phase changes identified by X-ray diffraction, the mass losses evidenced by thermogravimetric analysis, the structural changes determined by infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and the pore connectivity analyzed by positron annihilation spectroscopy. The findings show that the multimetallic nature of the LDH governs the size and distribution (geometry, location, and connectivity) of the mesopores developed, which is controlled by the crystallization of the MMO phase, providing key insights for the improved design of porous mixed metal oxides.

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2017-05

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Universal Stress-Sensing Dimeric Anthracene-based Mechanophore Particle Fillers Incorporated into Polyurethane Thermoset Matrices

Description

The ability to sense applied damage and correlate it with a measurable signal is extremely desirable in any material application to prevent catastrophic failure and the possible loss of use of the material or human injury. Mechanochemistry, in which mechanical

The ability to sense applied damage and correlate it with a measurable signal is extremely desirable in any material application to prevent catastrophic failure and the possible loss of use of the material or human injury. Mechanochemistry, in which mechanical forces induce chemical changes, can allow for targeted damage detection by way of embedded mechanophore units, with certain mechanophore chemistries emitting a fluorescent signal in response an applied force. In this work, we successfully employed microparticles of the mechanophore dimeric 9-anthracene carboxylic acid (Di-AC) in a thermoset polyurethane matrix to study their application as universal stress-sensing fillers in network polymer matrix composites. Under a compressive force, there is bond breakage in the mechanically weak cyclooctane photodimers of Di-AC, such that there is reversion to the fluorescent anthracene-type monomers. This fluorescent emission was then correlated to the applied strain, and the precursors to damage were detected with a noticeable fluorescent signal change at an applied strain of only 2%. This early damage detection was additionally possible at very low particle loadings of 2.5 and 5 wt%, with the 5 wt% loading showing enhanced material properties compared to the 2.5 wt%, due to particle reinforcement in the composite. Overall, the synthesis of Di-AC as a stress-sensitive particle filler allows for facile addition of advanced functionality to these ubiquitous thermoset composites.

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2016-05

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Synthesis and characterization of ordered mesoporous silica with controlled macroscopic morphology for membrane applications

Description

Ordered mesoporous materials have tunable pore sizes between 2 and 50 nm and are characterized by ordered pore structures and high surface areas (~1000 m2/g). This makes them particularly favorable for a number of membrane applications such as protein separation,

Ordered mesoporous materials have tunable pore sizes between 2 and 50 nm and are characterized by ordered pore structures and high surface areas (~1000 m2/g). This makes them particularly favorable for a number of membrane applications such as protein separation, polymer extrusion, nanowire fabrication and membrane reactors. These membranes can be fabricated as top-layers on macroporous supports or as embedded membranes in a dense matrix. The first part of the work deals with the hydrothermal synthesis and water-vapor/oxygen separation properties of supported MCM-48 and a new Al-MCM-48 type membrane for potential use in air conditioning systems. Knudsen-type permeation is observed in these membranes. The combined effect of capillary condensation and the aluminosilicate matrix resulted in the highest separation factor (142) in Al-MCM-48 membranes, with a water vapor permeance of 6×10-8mol/m2Pas. The second part focuses on synthesis of embedded mesoporous silica membranes with helically ordered pores by a novel Counter Diffusion Self-Assembly (CDSA) method. This method is an extension of the interfacial synthesis method for fiber synthesis using tetrabutylorthosilicate (TBOS) and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) as the silica source and surfactant respectively. The initial part of this study determined the effect of TBOS height and humidity on fiber formation. From this study, the range of TBOS heights for best microscopic and macroscopic ordering were established. Next, the CDSA method was used to successfully synthesize membranes, which were characterized to have good support plugging and an ordered pore structure. Factors that influence membrane synthesis and plug microstructure were determined. SEM studies revealed the presence of gaps between the plugs and support pores, which occur due to shrinking of the plug on drying. Development of a novel liquid deposition method to seal these defects constituted the last part of this work. Post sealing, excess silica was removed by etching with hydrofluoric acid. Membrane quality was evaluated at each step using SEM and gas permeation measurements. After surfactant removal by liquid extraction, the membranes exhibited an O2 permeance of 1.65x10-6mol/m2.Pa.s and He/O2 selectivity of 3.30. The successful synthesis of this membrane is an exciting new development in the area of ordered mesoporous membrane technology.

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2011

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Enhancement of polymer-mediated transgene expression using chemotherapeutic modulators of intracellular trafficking and cell-cycle progression

Description

Gene therapy is a promising technology for the treatment of various nonheritable and genetically acquired diseases. It involves delivery of a therapeutic gene into target cells to induce cellular responses against diseases. Successful gene therapy requires an efficient gene delivery

Gene therapy is a promising technology for the treatment of various nonheritable and genetically acquired diseases. It involves delivery of a therapeutic gene into target cells to induce cellular responses against diseases. Successful gene therapy requires an efficient gene delivery vector to deliver genetic materials into target cells. There are two major classes of gene delivery vectors: viral and non-viral vectors. Recently, non-viral vectors such as cationic polymers have attracted more attention than viral vectors because they are versatile and non-immunogenic. However, cationic polymers suffer from poor gene delivery efficiency due to biological barriers. The objective of this research is to develop strategies to overcome the barriers and enhance polymer-mediated transgene expression. This study aimed to (i) develop new polymer vectors for gene delivery, (ii) investigate the intracellular barriers in polymer-mediated gene delivery, and (iii) explore new approaches to overcome the barriers. A cationic polymer library was developed by employing a parallel synthesis and high-throughput screening method. Lead polymers from the library were identified from the library based on relative levels of transgene expression and toxicity in PC3-PSMA prostate cancer cells. However, transgene expression levels were found to depend on intracellular localization of polymer-gene complexes (polyplexes). Transgene expression was higher when polyplexes were dispersed rather than localized in the cytoplasm. Combination treatments using small molecule chemotherapeutic drugs, e.g. histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) or Aurora kinase inhibitor (AKI) increased dispersion of polyplexes in the cytoplasm and significantly enhanced transgene expression. The combination treatment using polymer-mediated delivery of p53 tumor-suppressor gene and AKI increased p53 expression in PC3-PSMA cells, inhibited the cell proliferation by ~80% and induced apoptosis. Polymer-mediated p53 gene delivery in combination with AKI offers a promising treatment strategy for in vivo and clinical studies of cancer gene therapy.

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2011

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Thermo-mechanical analysis of temporary bonding systems for flexible microelectronics fabrication applications

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Temporary bonding-debonding of flexible plastic substrates to rigid carriers may facilitate effective substrate handling by automated tools for manufacture of flexible microelectronics. The primary challenges in implementing practical temporary bond-debond technology originate from the stress that is developed during high

Temporary bonding-debonding of flexible plastic substrates to rigid carriers may facilitate effective substrate handling by automated tools for manufacture of flexible microelectronics. The primary challenges in implementing practical temporary bond-debond technology originate from the stress that is developed during high temperature processing predominately through thermal-mechanical property mismatches between carrier, adhesive and substrate. These stresses are relaxed through bowing of the bonded system (substrate-adhesive-carrier), which causes wafer handling problems, or through delamination of substrate from rigid carrier. Another challenge inherent to flexible plastic substrates and linked to stress is their dimensional instability, which may manifest itself in irreversible deformation upon heating and cooling cycles. Dimensional stability is critical to ensure precise registration of different layers during photolithography. The global objective of this work is to determine comprehensive experimental characterization and develop underlying fundamental engineering concept that could enable widespread adoption and scale-up of temporary bonding processing protocols for flexible microelectronics manufacturing. A series of carriers with different coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), modulus and thickness were investigated to correlate the thermo-mechanical properties of carrier with deformation behavior of bonded systems. The observed magnitude of system bow scaled with properties of carriers according to well-established Stoney's equation. In addition, rheology of adhesive impacted the deformation of bonded system. In particular, distortion-bowing behavior correlated directly with the relative loss factor of adhesive and flexible plastic substrate. Higher loss factor of adhesive compared to that of substrate allowed the stress to be relaxed with less bow, but led to significantly greater dimensional distortion. Conversely, lower loss factor of adhesive allowed less distortion but led to larger wafer bow. A finite element model using ANSYS was developed to predict the trend in bow-distortion of bonded systems as a function of the viscoelastic properties of adhesive. Inclusion of the viscoelasticity of flexible plastic substrate itself was critical to achieving good agreement between simulation and experiment. Simulation results showed that there is a limited range within which tuning the rheology of adhesive can control the stress-distortion. Therefore, this model can aid in design of new adhesive formulations compatible with different processing requirements of various flexible microelectronics applications.

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2011

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Toxicity study in Alzheimer's disease cell model

Description

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, affecting one in nine people age 65 and older. One of the most important neuropathological characteristics of Alzheimer's disease is the aggregation and deposition of the protein beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloid is

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, affecting one in nine people age 65 and older. One of the most important neuropathological characteristics of Alzheimer's disease is the aggregation and deposition of the protein beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloid is produced by proteolytic processing of the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP). Production of beta-amyloid from APP is increased when cells are subject to stress since both APP and beta-secretase are upregulated by stress. An increased beta-amyloid level promotes aggregation of beta-amyloid into toxic species which cause an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a decrease in cell viability. Therefore reducing beta-amyloid generation is a promising method to control cell damage following stress. The goal of this thesis was to test the effect of inhibiting beta-amyloid production inside stressed AD cell model. Hydrogen peroxide was used as stressing agent. Two treatments were used to inhibit beta-amyloid production, including iBSec1, an scFv designed to block beta-secretase site of APP, and DIA10D, a bispecific tandem scFv engineered to cleave alpha-secretase site of APP and block beta-secretase site of APP. iBSec1 treatment was added extracellularly while DIA10D was stably expressed inside cell using PSECTAG vector. Increase in reactive oxygen species and decrease in cell viability were observed after addition of hydrogen peroxide to AD cell model. The increase in stress induced toxicity caused by addition of hydrogen peroxide was dramatically decreased by simultaneously treating the cells with iBSec1 or DIA10D to block the increase in beta-amyloid levels resulting from the upregulation of APP and beta-secretase.

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2014

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Heating glass-forming materials by time dependent electric fields

Description

The disordered nature of glass-forming melts results in two features for its dynamics i.e. non-Arrhenius and non-exponential behavior. Their macroscopic properties are studied through observing spatial heterogeneity of the molecular relaxation. Experiments performed in a low-frequency range tracks the flow

The disordered nature of glass-forming melts results in two features for its dynamics i.e. non-Arrhenius and non-exponential behavior. Their macroscopic properties are studied through observing spatial heterogeneity of the molecular relaxation. Experiments performed in a low-frequency range tracks the flow of energy in time on slow degrees of freedom and transfer to the vibrational heat bath of the liquid, as is the case for microwave heating. High field measurements on supercooled liquids result in generation of fictive temperatures of the absorbing modes which eventually result in elevated true bath temperatures. The absorbed energy allows us to quantify the changes in the 'configurational', real sample, and electrode temperatures. The slow modes absorb energy on the structural relaxation time scale causing the increase of configurational temperature resulting in the rise of dielectric loss. Time-resolved high field dielectric relaxation experiments show the impact of 'configurational heating' for low frequencies of the electric field and samples that are thermally clamped to a thermostat. Relevant thermal behavior of monohydroxy alcohols is considerably different from the cases of simple non-associating liquids, due to their distinct origins of the prominent dielectric loss. Monohydroxy alcohols display very small changes due to observed nonthermal effects without increasing sample temperature. These changes have been reflected in polymers in our measurements.

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2012

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Engineering of Arson Forensics and Fire Debris Investigation: The Scientific, Social, and Curricular Impact

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Arson and intentional fires account for significant property losses and over 400 civilian deaths yearly in the United States. However, clearance rates for arson offenses remain low relative to other crimes. This issue can be attributed in part to the

Arson and intentional fires account for significant property losses and over 400 civilian deaths yearly in the United States. However, clearance rates for arson offenses remain low relative to other crimes. This issue can be attributed in part to the challenges associated with performing an arson investigation, in particular the collection and interpretation of reliable data. PLOT-cryoadsorption, a dynamic headspace sampling technique developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, was proposed as an alternate technique for extracting ignitable liquid residues for analysis. The method was generally shown to be robust, flexible, precise, and accurate for a variety of applications. The possibility of using a real-time in situ monitor for screening samples was also discussed. This work, conducted by an undergraduate researcher, has implications in educational curricula as well as in the field of forensic science.

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2013-05

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Synthesis and Properties of Asymmetric Polystyrene/PNIPAM-Gold Composite Particles

Description

Asymmetric polystyrene-gold composite particles are successfully synthesized alongside core-shell composite particles via a one-step Pickering emulsion polymerization method. Unlike core-shell particles which form in the droplet phase of a stabilized Pickering emulsion, asymmetric particles form via a seeded growth mechanism.

Asymmetric polystyrene-gold composite particles are successfully synthesized alongside core-shell composite particles via a one-step Pickering emulsion polymerization method. Unlike core-shell particles which form in the droplet phase of a stabilized Pickering emulsion, asymmetric particles form via a seeded growth mechanism. These composite particles act as catalysts with higher recyclability than pure gold nanoparticles due to reduced agglomeration. With the addition of N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAM) monomers, temperature-responsive asymmetric and core-shell polystyrene/poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-gold composite particles are also synthesized via Pickering emulsion polymerization. The asymmetric particles have a greater thermo-responsiveness than the core-shell particles due to the increased presence of NIPAAM monomers in the seeded-growth formation. Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM)-containing asymmetric particles have tunable rheological and optical properties due to their significant size decrease above the lower critical solution temperature (LCST).

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2014-05