Matching Items (13)

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Combined AFM and Fluorescence Measurements for the Investigation of Nanophotonic Effects on Single Fluorophores

Description

In this project, we introduce a type of microscopy which produces correlated topography and fluorescence lifetime images with nanometer resolution. This technique combines atomic force microscopy (AFM) and time resolved

In this project, we introduce a type of microscopy which produces correlated topography and fluorescence lifetime images with nanometer resolution. This technique combines atomic force microscopy (AFM) and time resolved confocal fluorescence microscopy to conduct biological and materials research. This method is used to investigate nanophotonic effects on single fluorophores, including quantum dots and fluorescent molecules. For single fluorescent molecules, we investigate the effects of quenching of fluorescence with the probe of an atomic force microscope which is combined and synchronized with a confocal fluorescence lifetime microscope. For quantum dots, we investigate the correlation between the topographic and fluorescence data. With this method of combining an atomic force microscope with a confocal microscope, it is anticipated that there will be applications in nanomaterial characterization and life sciences; such as the determination of the structure of small molecular systems on surfaces, molecular interactions, as well as the structure and properties of fluorescent nanomaterials.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Photoreactive and Electrochemical Properties of Vesicle Encapsulated Nanoparticles: Implications for Application in Retinal Stimulation

Description

Electrical stimulation has previously been effective in neural cells activation within retinas affected by degenerative retinal disease. However current technology has at most allowed blind individuals to perceive light without

Electrical stimulation has previously been effective in neural cells activation within retinas affected by degenerative retinal disease. However current technology has at most allowed blind individuals to perceive light without significant resolution, as implants are limited by the spatial constraints of the eye. Photoreactive nanoparticles may provide a solution to this issue, as their small size would allow for the incorporation of higher numbers of stimulatory elements, thus increasing visual resolution. Semiconductive nanocrystal quantum dots (QDs) and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) both exhibit photoreactive properties which may result in sufficient electrical stimulation to activate neural cells in the retina. This study investigated the electrochemistry and photoreactivity of QDs and AuNPs encapsulated within the hydrophobic region of small unilamellar lipid vesicles (SUVs) to evaluate their potential for application in retinal stimulation. Absorbance of the constructs was evaluated on the day of fabrication and 24 hours later to determine the ability of the particles to react to light while encapsulated, as well as to evaluate stability of the construct over time. Electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) was conducted at both time points to determine the electrochemical character of the bilayer and further evaluate construct stability. Although quantum dots may increase the stability of the bilayer over time and improve its capacitative properties, lipid encapsulation appears to obscure the photoreactive properties of the quantum dots. In the case of gold nanoparticles, the construct is initially stabilized but deteriorates more quickly than those SUVs containing quantum dots, as evidenced by an increase in substrate diffusion. Additionally, although these constructs are more photoreactive than those containing QDs, the increase in absorbance is observed primarily in a range below that of the visible spectrum, a feature which is of limited use for the proposed application. Further studies should investigate alternative methods of nanoparticle capping to improve stability and absorbance in this system.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Photoluminescence enhancement of Ge quantum dots by exploiting the localized surface plasmon of epitaxial Ag islands

Description

This dissertation presents research findings regarding the exploitation of localized surface plasmon (LSP) of epitaxial Ag islands as a means to enhance the photoluminescence (PL) of Germanium (Ge) quantum dots

This dissertation presents research findings regarding the exploitation of localized surface plasmon (LSP) of epitaxial Ag islands as a means to enhance the photoluminescence (PL) of Germanium (Ge) quantum dots (QDs). The first step of this project was to investigate the growth of Ag islands on Si(100). Two distinct families of Ag islands have been observed. “Big islands” are clearly faceted and have basal dimensions in the few hundred nm to μm range with a variety of basal shapes. “Small islands” are not clearly faceted and have basal diameters in the 10s of nm range. Big islands form via a nucleation and growth mechanism, and small islands form via precipitation of Ag contained in a planar layer between the big islands that is thicker than the Stranski-Krastanov layer existing at room-temperature.

The pseudodielectric functions of epitaxial Ag islands on Si(100) substrates were investigated with spectroscopic ellipsometry. Comparing the experimental pseudodielectric functions obtained for Si with and without Ag islands clearly identifies a plasmon mode with its dipole moment perpendicular to the surface. This observation is confirmed using a simulation based on the thin island film (TIF) theory. Another mode parallel to the surface may be identified by comparing the experimental pseudodielectric functions with the simulated ones from TIF theory. Additional results suggest that the LSP energy of Ag islands can be tuned from the ultra-violet to the infrared range by an amorphous Si (α-Si) cap layer.

Heterostructures were grown that incorporated Ge QDs, an epitaxial Si cap layer and Ag islands grown atop the Si cap layer. Optimum growth conditions for distinct Ge dot ensembles and Si cap layers were obtained. The density of Ag islands grown on the Si cap layer depends on its thickness. Factors contributing to this effect may include the average strain and Ge concentration on the surface of the Si cap layer.

The effects of the Ag LSP on the PL of Ge coherent domes were investigated for both α-Si capped and bare Ag islands. For samples with low-doped substrates, the LSPs reduce the Ge dot-related PL when the Si cap layer is below some critical thickness and have no effect on the PL when the Si cap layer is above the critical thickness. For samples grown on highly-doped wafers, the LSP of bare Ag islands enhanced the PL of Ge QDs by ~ 40%.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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A rapid lipid-based approach for normalization of quantum dot-detected biomarker expression on extracellular vesicles in complex biological samples

Description

Extracellular Vesicles (EVs), particularly exosomes, are of considerable interest as tumor biomarkers since tumor-derived EVs contain a broad array of information about tumor pathophysiology including its metabolic and metastatic status.

Extracellular Vesicles (EVs), particularly exosomes, are of considerable interest as tumor biomarkers since tumor-derived EVs contain a broad array of information about tumor pathophysiology including its metabolic and metastatic status. However, current EV based assays cannot distinguish between EV biomarker changes by altered secretion of EVs during diseased conditions like cancer, inflammation, etc. that express a constant level of a given biomarker, stable secretion of EVs with altered biomarker expression, or a combination of these two factors. This issue was addressed by developing a nanoparticle and dye-based fluorescent immunoassay that can distinguish among these possibilities by normalizing EV biomarker level(s) to EV abundance, revealing average expression levels of EV biomarker under observation. In this approach, EVs are captured from complex samples (e.g. serum), stained with a lipophilic dye and hybridized with antibody-conjugated quantum dot probes for specific EV surface biomarkers. EV dye signal is used to quantify EV abundance and normalize EV surface biomarker expression levels. EVs from malignant (PANC-1) and nonmalignant pancreatic cell lines (HPNE) exhibited similar staining, and probe-to-dye ratios did not change with EV abundance, allowing direct analysis of normalized EV biomarker expression without a separate EV quantification step. This EV biomarker normalization approach markedly improved the ability of serum levels of two pancreatic cancer biomarkers, EV EpCAM, and EV EphA2, to discriminate pancreatic cancer patients from nonmalignant control subjects. The streamlined workflow and robust results of this assay are suitable for rapid translation to clinical applications and its flexible design permits it to be rapidly adapted to quantitate other EV biomarkers by the simple swapping of the antibody-conjugated quantum dot probes for those that recognize a different disease-specific EV biomarker utilizing a workflow that is suitable for rapid clinical translation.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Quantum nonlinear dynamics in graphene, optomechanical, and semiconductor superlattice systems

Description

Conductance fluctuations associated with quantum transport through quantumdot systems are currently understood to depend on the nature of the corresponding classical dynamics, i.e., integrable or chaotic. There are a couple

Conductance fluctuations associated with quantum transport through quantumdot systems are currently understood to depend on the nature of the corresponding classical dynamics, i.e., integrable or chaotic. There are a couple of interesting phenomena about conductance fluctuation and quantum tunneling related to geometrical shapes of graphene systems. Firstly, in graphene quantum-dot systems, when a magnetic field is present, as the Fermi energy or the magnetic flux is varied, both regular oscillations and random fluctuations in the conductance can occur, with alternating transitions between the two. Secondly, a scheme based on geometrical rotation of rectangular devices to effectively modulate the conductance fluctuations is presented. Thirdly, when graphene is placed on a substrate of heavy metal, Rashba spin-orbit interaction of substantial strength can occur. In an open system such as a quantum dot, the interaction can induce spin polarization. Finally, a problem using graphene systems with electron-electron interactions described by the Hubbard Hamiltonian in the setting of resonant tunneling is investigated.

Another interesting problem in quantum transport is the effect of disorder or random impurities since it is inevitable in real experiments. At first, for a twodimensional Dirac ring, as the disorder density is systematically increased, the persistent current decreases slowly initially and then plateaus at a finite nonzero value, indicating remarkable robustness of the persistent currents, which cannot be discovered in normal metal and semiconductor rings. In addition, in a Floquet system with a ribbon structure, the conductance can be remarkably enhanced by onsite disorder.

Recent years have witnessed significant interest in nanoscale physical systems, such as semiconductor supperlattices and optomechanical systems, which can exhibit distinct collective dynamical behaviors. Firstly, a system of two optically coupled optomechanical cavities is considered and the phenomenon of synchronization transition associated with quantum entanglement transition is discovered. Another useful issue is nonlinear dynamics in semiconductor superlattices caused by its key potential application lies in generating radiation sources, amplifiers and detectors in the spectral range of terahertz. In such a system, transition to multistability, i.e., the emergence of multistability with chaos as a system parameter passes through a critical point, is found and argued to be abrupt.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Advanced nanostructured concepts in solar cells using III-V and silicon-based materials

Description

As existing solar cell technologies come closer to their theoretical efficiency, new concepts that overcome the Shockley-Queisser limit and exceed 50% efficiency need to be explored. New materials systems are

As existing solar cell technologies come closer to their theoretical efficiency, new concepts that overcome the Shockley-Queisser limit and exceed 50% efficiency need to be explored. New materials systems are often investigated to achieve this, but the use of existing solar cell materials in advanced concept approaches is compelling for multiple theoretical and practical reasons. In order to include advanced concept approaches into existing materials, nanostructures are used as they alter the physical properties of these materials. To explore advanced nanostructured concepts with existing materials such as III-V alloys, silicon and/or silicon/germanium and associated alloys, fundamental aspects of using these materials in advanced concept nanostructured solar cells must be understood. Chief among these is the determination and predication of optimum electronic band structures, including effects such as strain on the band structure, and the material's opto-electronic properties. Nanostructures have a large impact on band structure and electronic properties through quantum confinement. An additional large effect is the change in band structure due to elastic strain caused by lattice mismatch between the barrier and nanostructured (usually self-assembled QDs) materials. To develop a material model for advanced concept solar cells, the band structure is calculated for single as well as vertical array of quantum dots with the realistic effects such as strain, associated with the epitaxial growth of these materials. The results show significant effect of strain in band structure. More importantly, the band diagram of a vertical array of QDs with different spacer layer thickness show significant change in band offsets, especially for heavy and light hole valence bands when the spacer layer thickness is reduced. These results, ultimately, have significance to develop a material model for advance concept solar cells that use the QD nanostructures as absorbing medium. The band structure calculations serve as the basis for multiple other calculations. Chief among these is that the model allows the design of a practical QD advanced concept solar cell, which meets key design criteria such as a negligible valence band offset between the QD/barrier materials and close to optimum band gaps, resulting in the predication of optimum material combinations.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Epitaxial growth of high quality InAs/GaAsSb quantum dots for solar cells

Description

The development of high efficiency III-V solar cells is needed to meet the demands of a promising renewable energy source. Intermediate band solar cells (IBSCs) using semiconductor quantum dots (QDs)

The development of high efficiency III-V solar cells is needed to meet the demands of a promising renewable energy source. Intermediate band solar cells (IBSCs) using semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) have been proposed to exceed the Shockley-Queisser efficiency limit [1]. The introduction of an IB in the forbidden gap of host material generates two additional carrier transitions for sub-bandgap photon absorption, leading to increased photocurrent of IBSCs while simultaneously allowing an open-circuit voltage of the highest band gap. To realize a high efficiency IBSC, QD structures should have high crystal quality and optimized electronic properties. This dissertation focuses on the investigation and optimization of the structural and optical properties of InAs/GaAsSb QDs and the development of InAs/GaAsSb QD-based IBSCs.

In the present dissertation, the interband optical transition and carrier lifetime of InAs/GaAsSb QDs with different silicon delta-doping densities have been first studied by time-integrated and time-resolved photoluminescence (PL). It is found that an optimized silicon delta-doping density in the QDs enables to fill the QD electronic states with electrons for sub-bandgap photon absorption and to improve carrier lifetime of the QDs.

After that, the crystal quality and QD morphology of single- and multi-stack InAs/GaAsSb QDs with different Sb compositions have been investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and x-ray diffraction (XRD). The TEM studies reveal that QD morphology of single-stack QDs is affected by Sb composition due to strain reducing effect of Sb incorporation. The XRD studies confirm that the increase of Sb composition increases the lattice mismatch between GaAs matrix and GaAsSb spacers, resulting in increase of the strain relaxation in GaAsSb of the multi-stack QDs. Furthermore, the increase of Sb composition causes a PL redshift and increases carrier lifetime of QDs.

Finally, the spacer layer thickness of multi-stack InAs/GaAsSb QDs is optimized for the growth of InAs/GaAsSb QD solar cells (QDSCs). The InAs/GaAsSb QDSCs with GaP strain compensating layer are grown and their device performances are characterized. The increase of GaP coverage is beneficial to improve the conversion efficiency of the QDSCs. However, the conversion efficiency is reduced when using a relatively large GaP coverage.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Characterization of MBE-grown semiconductor materials for photovoltaic applications

Description

The research described in this dissertation involved the use of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to characterize II-VI and III-V compound semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) and dilute-nitride alloys grown by molecular

The research described in this dissertation involved the use of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to characterize II-VI and III-V compound semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) and dilute-nitride alloys grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) and intended for photovoltaic applications. The morphology of CdTe QDs prepared by the post-annealing MBE method were characterized by various microscopy techniques including high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), and high-angle annular-dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM). Extensive observations revealed that the of QD shapes were not well-defined, and the QD size and spatial distribution were not determined by the amount of CdTe deposition. These results indicated that the formation of II-VI QDs using a post-annealing treatment did not follow the conventional growth mechanism for III-V and IV-IV materials. The structural properties of dilute-nitride GaAsNx films grown using plasma-assisted MBE were characterized by TEM and HAADF-STEM. A significant amount of the nitrogen incorporated into the dilute nitride films was found to be interstitial, and that fluctuations in local nitrogen composition also occurred during growth. Post-growth partial relaxation of strain resulted in the formation of {110}-oriented microcracks in the sample with the largest substitutional nitrogen composition. Single- and multi-layered InAs QDs grown on GaAsSb/GaAs composite substrates were investigated using HR-TEM and HAADF-STEM. Correlation between the structural and optoelectronic properties revealed that the GaAsSb barrier layers had played an important role in tuning the energy-band alignments but without affecting the overall structural morphology. However, according to both XRD measurement and electron microscopy the densities of dislocations increased as the number of QD layers built up. An investigation of near-wetting layer-free InAs QDs incorporated with AlAs/GaAs spacer layers was carried out. The microscopy observations revealed that both embedded and non-embedded near-wetting layer-free InAs QDs did not have well-defined shapes unlike conventional InAs QDs. According to AFM analysis and plan-view TEM characterization, the InAs QDs incorporated with spacer layers had smaller dot density and more symmetrical larger sizes with an apparent bimodal size distribution (two distinct families of large and small dots) in comparison with conventional InAs QDs grown without any spacer layer.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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System reconstruction via compressive sensing, complex-network dynamics and electron transport in graphene systems

Description

Complex dynamical systems consisting interacting dynamical units are ubiquitous in nature and society. Predicting and reconstructing nonlinear dynamics of units and the complex interacting networks among them serves the base

Complex dynamical systems consisting interacting dynamical units are ubiquitous in nature and society. Predicting and reconstructing nonlinear dynamics of units and the complex interacting networks among them serves the base for the understanding of a variety of collective dynamical phenomena. I present a general method to address the two outstanding problems as a whole based solely on time-series measurements. The method is implemented by incorporating compressive sensing approach that enables an accurate reconstruction of complex dynamical systems in terms of both nodal equations that determines the self-dynamics of units and detailed coupling patterns among units. The representative advantages of the approach are (i) the sparse data requirement which allows for a successful reconstruction from limited measurements, and (ii) general applicability to identical and nonidentical nodal dynamics, and to networks with arbitrary interacting structure, strength and sizes. Another two challenging problem of significant interest in nonlinear dynamics: (i) predicting catastrophes in nonlinear dynamical systems in advance of their occurrences and (ii) predicting the future state for time-varying nonlinear dynamical systems, can be formulated and solved in the framework of compressive sensing using only limited measurements. Once the network structure can be inferred, the dynamics behavior on them can be investigated, for example optimize information spreading dynamics, suppress cascading dynamics and traffic congestion, enhance synchronization, game dynamics, etc. The results can yield insights to control strategies design in the real-world social and natural systems. Since 2004, there has been a tremendous amount of interest in graphene. The most amazing feature of graphene is that there exists linear energy-momentum relationship when energy is low. The quasi-particles inside the system can be treated as chiral, massless Dirac fermions obeying relativistic quantum mechanics. Therefore, the graphene provides one perfect test bed to investigate relativistic quantum phenomena, such as relativistic quantum chaotic scattering and abnormal electron paths induced by klein tunneling. This phenomenon has profound implications to the development of graphene based devices that require stable electronic properties.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Path integral Monte Carlo simulations of semiconductor quantum dots and quantum wires

Description

he accurate simulation of many-body quantum systems is a challenge for computational physics. Quantum Monte Carlo methods are a class of algorithms that can be used to solve the many-body

he accurate simulation of many-body quantum systems is a challenge for computational physics. Quantum Monte Carlo methods are a class of algorithms that can be used to solve the many-body problem. I study many-body quantum systems with Path Integral Monte Carlo techniques in three related areas of semiconductor physics: (1) the role of correlation in exchange coupling of spins in double quantum dots, (2) the degree of correlation and hyperpolarizability in Stark shifts in InGaAs/GaAs dots, and (3) van der Waals interactions between 1-D metallic quantum wires at finite temperature. The two-site model is one of the simplest quantum problems, yet the quantitative mapping from a three-dimensional model of a quantum double dot to an effective two-site model has many subtleties requiring careful treatment of exchange and correlation. I calculate exchange coupling of a pair of spins in a double dot from the permutations in a bosonic path integral, using Monte Carlo method. I also map this problem to a Hubbard model and find that exchange and correlation renormalizes the model parameters, dramatically decreasing the effective on-site repulsion at larger separations. Next, I investigated the energy, dipole moment, polarizability and hyperpolarizability of excitonic system in InGaAs/GaAs quantum dots of different shapes and successfully give the photoluminescence spectra for different dots with electric fields in both the growth and transverse direction. I also showed that my method can deal with the higher-order hyperpolarizability, which is most relevant for fields directed in the lateral direction of large dots. Finally, I show how van der Waals interactions between two metallic quantum wires change with respect to the distance between them. Comparing the results from quantum Monte Carlo and the random phase approximation, I find similar power law dependance. My results for the calculation in quasi-1D and exact 1D wires include the effect of temperature, which has not previously been studied.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011