Matching Items (7)

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Graphene Growth and Transfer on Ultrathin Platinum Films

Description

Graphene is a very strong two-dimensional material with a lot of potential applications in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). In this research, graphene is being optimized for use in a 5 m

Graphene is a very strong two-dimensional material with a lot of potential applications in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). In this research, graphene is being optimized for use in a 5 m x 5 m graphene resonator. To work properly, this graphene resonator must have a uniform strain across all manufactured devices. To reduce strain induced in graphene sheets grown for use in these resonators, evaporated platinum has been used in this investigation due to its relatively lower surface roughness compared to copper films. The final goal is to have the layer of ultrathin platinum (<=200 nm) deposited on the MEMS graphene resonator and used to grow graphene directly onto the devices to remove the manual transfer step due to its inscalability. After growth, graphene is coated with polymer and the platinum is then etched. This investigation concentrated on the transfer process of graphene onto Si/SiO2 substrate from the platinum films. It was determined that the ideal platinum etchant was aqua regia at a volumetric ratio of 6:3:1 (H2O:HCl:HNO3). This concentration was dilute enough to preserve the polymer and graphene layer, but strong enough to etch within a day. Type and thickness of polymer support layers were also investigated. PMMA at a thickness of 200 nm was ideal because it was easy to remove with acetone and strong enough to support the graphene during the etch process. A reference growth recipe was used in this investigation, but now that the transfer has been demonstrated, growth can be optimized for even thinner films.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Investigating geopolymer-mediated adsorption of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus cells and secreted proteins

Description

The rise in community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections and the ability of the organism to develop resistance to antibiotics necessitate new treatment methods for MRSA. Geopolymers (GPs) are cheap,

The rise in community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections and the ability of the organism to develop resistance to antibiotics necessitate new treatment methods for MRSA. Geopolymers (GPs) are cheap, porous materials that have demonstrated adsorptive capabilities. In this study, GPs were investigated for their ability to adsorb whole MRSA cells and MRSA secreted proteins [culture filtrate proteins (CFPs)] as a complementary method of controlling MRSA infections. GPs have been synthesized with variable pore sizes (meso/macro scale) and further modified with stearic acid (SA) to increase surface hydrophobicity. Four GPs (SA-macroGP, macroGP, SA-mesoGP, and mesoGP) were incubated with whole cells and with CFPs to quantify GP adsorption capabilities. Following MRSA culture incubation with GPs, unbound MRSA cells were filtered and plated to determine cell counts. Following CFP incubation with GPs, unbound CFPs were separated via SDS-PAGE, stained with SYPRO Ruby, and analyzed using densitometry. Results indicate that macroGP was the most effective at adsorbing whole MRSA cells. Visual banding patterns and densitometry quantitation indicate that SA-mesoGP was the most effective at adsorbing CFP. Ultimately, GP-based products may be further developed as nonselective or selective adsorbents and integrated into fibrous materials for topical applications.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Composite Bricks from Fungus Mycelium and Nanomaterials for Sustainable Applications

Description

Plastics make up a large proportion of solid waste that ends up in landfills and pollute ecosystems, and do not readily decompose. Composites from fungus mycelium are a recent and

Plastics make up a large proportion of solid waste that ends up in landfills and pollute ecosystems, and do not readily decompose. Composites from fungus mycelium are a recent and promising alternative to replace plastics. Mycelium is the root-like fibers from fungi that grow underground. When fed with woody biomass, the mycelium becomes a dense mass. From there, the mycelium is placed in mold to take its shape and grow. Once the growth process is done, the mycelium is baked to end the growth, thus making a mycelium brick. The woody biomass fed into the mycelium can include materials such as sawdust and pistachio shells, which are all cheap feedstock. In comparison to plastics, mycelium bricks are mostly biodegradable and eco-friendly. Mycelium bricks are resistant to water, fire, and mold and are also lightweight, sustainable, and affordable. Mycelium based materials are a viable option to replace less eco-friendly materials. This project aims to explore growth factors of mycelium and incorporate nanomaterials into mycelium bricks to achieve strong and sustainable materials, specifically for packaging materials. The purpose of integrating nanomaterials into mycelium bricks is to add further functionality such as conductivity, and to enhance properties such as mechanical strength.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Synthesis and Characterization of Zinc Oxide Nanowire-Reinforced Shear Thickening Fluids for Enhanced Soft-Body Armor Applications

Description

The development of stab-resistant Kevlar armor has been an ongoing field of research
since the late 1990s, with the ultimate goal of improving the multi-threat capabilities of
traditional soft-body armor

The development of stab-resistant Kevlar armor has been an ongoing field of research
since the late 1990s, with the ultimate goal of improving the multi-threat capabilities of
traditional soft-body armor while significantly improving its protective efficiency - the amount
of layers of armor material required to defeat threats. To create a novel, superior materials
system to reinforce Kevlar armor for the Norica Capstone project, this thesis set out to
synthesize, recover, and characterize zinc oxide nanowire colloids.

The materials synthesized were successfully utilized in the wider Capstone effort to
dramatically enhance the protective abilities of Kevlar, while the data obtained on the 14
hydrothermal synthesis attempts and numerous challenges at recovery provided critical
information on the synthesis parameters involved in the reliable, scalable mass production of the
nanomaterial additive. Additionally, recovery was unconventionally facilitated in the absence of
a vacuum filtration apparatus with nanoscale filters by intentionally inducing electrostatic
agglomeration of the nanowires during standard gravity filtration. The subsequent application of
these nanowires constituted a pioneering use in the production of nanowire-reinforced
STF-based Kevlar coatings, and support the future development and, ultimately, the
commercialization of lighter and more-protective soft armor systems.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Electrospun polymeric nanocomposites for aqueous inorganic and organic pollutant removal

Description

Electrospinning is a means of fabricating micron-scale diameter fiber networks with enmeshed nanomaterials. Polymeric nanocomposites for water treatment require the manipulation of fiber morphology to expose nanomaterial surface area while

Electrospinning is a means of fabricating micron-scale diameter fiber networks with enmeshed nanomaterials. Polymeric nanocomposites for water treatment require the manipulation of fiber morphology to expose nanomaterial surface area while anchoring the nanomaterials and maintaining fiber integrity; that is the overarching goal of this dissertation. The first investigation studied the effect of metal oxide nanomaterial loadings on electrospinning process parameters such as critical voltage, viscosity, fiber diameter, and nanomaterial distribution. Increases in nanomaterial loading below 5% (w/v) were not found to affect critical voltage or fiber diameter. Nanomaterial dispersion was conserved throughout the process. Arsenic adsorption tests determined that the fibers were non-porous. Next, the morphologies of fibers made with carbonaceous materials and the effect of final fiber assembly on adsorption kinetics of a model organic contaminant (phenanthrene, PNT) was investigated. Superfine powdered activated carbon (SPAC), C60 fullerenes, multi-walled carbon nanotubes, and graphene platelets were added to PS and electrospun. SPAC maintained its internal pore structure and created porous fibers which had 30% greater PNT sorption than PS alone and a sevenfold increase in surface area. Carbon-based nanomaterial-PS fibers were thicker but less capacious than neat polystyrene electrospun fibers. The surface areas of the carbonaceous nanomaterial-polystyrene composites decreased compared to neat PS, and PNT adsorption experiments yielded decreased capacity for two out of three carbonaceous nanomaterials. Finally, the morphology and arsenic adsorption capacity of a porous TiO2-PS porous fiber was investigated. Porous fiber was made using polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) as a porogen. PVP, PS, and TiO2 were co-spun and the PVP was subsequently eliminated, leaving behind a porous fiber morphology which increased the surface area of the fiber sevenfold and exposed the nanoscale TiO2 enmeshed inside the PS. TiO2-PS fibers had comparable arsenic adsorption performance to non-embedded TiO2 despite containing less TiO2 mass. The use of a sacrificial polymer as a porogen facilitates the creation of a fiber morphology which provides access points between the target pollutant in an aqueous matrix and the sorptive nanomaterials enmeshed inside the fiber while anchoring the nanomaterials, thus preventing release.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Passive and active surfaces to reduce fouling of membranes and membane modules

Description

This dissertation investigates the mechanisms that lead to fouling, as well as how an understanding of how these mechanisms can be leveraged to mitigate fouling.

To limit fouling on feed

This dissertation investigates the mechanisms that lead to fouling, as well as how an understanding of how these mechanisms can be leveraged to mitigate fouling.

To limit fouling on feed spacers, various coatings were applied. The results showed silver-coated biocidal spacers outperformed other spacers by all measures. The control polypropylene spacers performed in-line with, or better than, the other coatings. Polypropylene’s relative anti-adhesiveness is due to its surface free energy (SFE; 30.0 +/- 2.8 mN/m), which, according to previously generated models, is near the ideal SFE for resisting adhesion of bacteria and organics (~25 mN/m).

Previous research has indicated that electrochemical surfaces can be used to remove biofilms. To better elucidate the conditions and kinetics of biofilm removal, optical coherence tomography microscopy was used to visualize the biofouling and subsequent cleaning of the surface. The 50.0 mA cm-2 and 87.5 mA cm-2 current densities proved most effective in removing the biofilm. The 50.0 mA cm-2 condition offers the best balance between performance and energy use for anodic operation.

To test the potential to incorporate electrochemical coatings into infrastructure, membranes were coated with carbon nanotubes (CNTs), rendering the membranes electrochemically active. These membranes were biofouled and subsequently cleaned via electrochemical reactions. P. aeruginosa was given 72h to develop a biofilm on the CNT-coated membranes in a synthetic medium simulating desalination brines. Cathodic reactions, which generate H2 gas, produce vigorous bubbling at a current density of 12.5 mA cm-2 and higher, leading to a rapid and complete displacement of the biofilm from the CNT-functionalized membrane surface. In comparison, anodic reactions were unable to disperse the biofilms from the surface at similar current densities.

The scaling behavior of a nanophotonics-enabled solar membrane distillation (NESMD) system was investigated. The results showed the NESMD system to be resistant to scaling. The system operated without any decline in flux up to concentrations 6x higher than the initial salt concentration (8,439 mg/L), whereas in traditional membrane distillation (MD), flux essentially stopped at a salt concentration factor of 2x. Microscope and analytical analyses showed more fouling on the membranes from the MD system.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Fate of engineered nanomaterials in wastewater treatment plants

Description

As the use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in consumer products becomes more common, the amount of ENMs entering wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) increases. Investigating the fate of ENMs in WWTPs

As the use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in consumer products becomes more common, the amount of ENMs entering wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) increases. Investigating the fate of ENMs in WWTPs is critical for risk assessment and pollution control. The objectives of this dissertation were to (1) quantify and characterize titanium (Ti) in full-scale wastewater treatment plants, (2) quantify sorption of different ENMs to wastewater biomass in laboratory-scale batch reactors, (3) evaluate the use of a standard, soluble-pollutant sorption test method for quantifying ENM interaction with wastewater biomass, and (4) develop a mechanistic model of a biological wastewater treatment reactor to serve as the basis for modeling nanomaterial fate in WWTPs. Using titanium (Ti) as a model material for the fate of ENMs in WWTPs, Ti concentrations were measured in 10 municipal WWTPs. Ti concentrations in pant influent ranged from 181 to 3000 µg/L, and more than 96% of Ti was removed, with effluent Ti concentrations being less than 25 µg/L. Ti removed from wastewater accumulated in solids at concentrations ranging from 1 to 6 µg Ti/mg solids. Using transmission electron microscopy, spherical titanium oxide nanoparticles with diameters ranging from 4 to 30 nm were found in WWTP effluents, evidence that some nanoscale particles will pass through WWTPs and enter aquatic systems. Batch experiments were conducted to quantify sorption of different ENM types to activated sludge. Percentages of sorption to 400 mg TSS/L biomass ranged from about 10 to 90%, depending on the ENM material and functionalization. Natural organic matter, surfactants, and proteins had a stabilizing effect on most of the ENMs tested. The United States Environmental Protection Agency's standard sorption testing method (OPPTS 835.1110) used for soluble compounds was found to be inapplicable to ENMs, as freeze-dried activated sludge transforms ENMs into stable particles in suspension. In conjunction with experiments, we created a mechanistic model of the microbiological processes in membrane bioreactors to predict MBR, extended and modified this model to predict the fate of soluble micropollutants, and then discussed how the micropollutant fate model could be used to predict the fate of nanomaterials in wastewater treatment plants.

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Date Created
  • 2011