Matching Items (13)

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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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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Comparison of SPR and Edge Tracking as a Measure of Binding Kinetics in Whole Cells

Description

Most drugs work by binding to receptors on the cell surface. These receptors can then carry the message into the cell and have a wide array of results. However, studying

Most drugs work by binding to receptors on the cell surface. These receptors can then carry the message into the cell and have a wide array of results. However, studying how fast the binding is can be difficult. Current methods involve extracting the receptor and labeling them, but both these steps have issues. Previous works found that binding on the cell surface is accompanied with a small change in cell size, generally an increase. They have also developed an algorithm that can track these small changes without a label using a simple bright field microscope. Here, this relationship is further explored by comparing edge tracking results to a more widely used method, surface plasmon resonance. The kinetic constants found from the two methods are in agreement. No corrections or manipulations were needed to create agreement. The Bland-Altman plots shows that the error between the two methods is about 0.009 s-1. This is about the same error between cells, making it a non-dominant source of error.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Surface plasmon-polariton enhanced lasing: numerical studies

Description

The study of subwavelength behavior of light and nanoscale lasing has broad

potential applications in various forms of computation i.e. optical and quantum, as well as

in energy engineering. Although

The study of subwavelength behavior of light and nanoscale lasing has broad

potential applications in various forms of computation i.e. optical and quantum, as well as

in energy engineering. Although this field has been under active research, there has been

little work done on describing the behaviors of threshold and saturation. Particularly, how

the gain-molecule behavior affects the lasing behavior has yet to be investigated.

In this work, the interaction of surface-plasmon-polaritons (SPPs) and molecules is

observed in lasing. Various phenomenologies are observed related to the appearance of the

threshold and saturation regions. The lasing profile, as a visual delimiter of lasing threshold

and saturation, is introduced and used to study various parametrical dependencies of lasing,

including the number-density of molecules, the molecular thickness and the frequency

detuning between the molecular transition frequency and the SPP resonant frequency. The

molecular population distributions are studied in terminal and dynamical methods and are

found to contain unexpected and theoretically challenging properties. Using an average

dynamical analysis, the simulated spontaneous emission cascade can be clearly seen.

Finally, theoretical derivations of simple 1D strands of dipoles are presented in both

the exact and mean-field approximation, within the density matrix formalism. Some

preliminary findings are presented, detailing the observed behaviors of some simple

systems.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Optical methods for studying cell mechanics

Description

Mechanical properties of cells are important in maintaining physiological functions of biological systems. Quantitative measurement and analysis of mechanical properties can help understand cellular mechanics and its functional relevance and

Mechanical properties of cells are important in maintaining physiological functions of biological systems. Quantitative measurement and analysis of mechanical properties can help understand cellular mechanics and its functional relevance and discover physical biomarkers for diseases monitoring and therapeutics.

This dissertation presents a work to develop optical methods for studying cell mechanics which encompasses four applications. Surface plasmon resonance microscopy based optical method has been applied to image intracellular motions and cell mechanical motion. This label-free technique enables ultrafast imaging with extremely high sensitivity in detecting cell deformation. The technique was first applied to study intracellular transportation. Organelle transportation process and displacement steps of motor protein can be tracked using this method. The second application is to study heterogeneous subcellular membrane displacement induced by membrane potential (de)polarization. The application can map the amplitude and direction of cell deformation. The electromechanical coupling of mammalian cells was also observed. The third application is for imaging electrical activity in single cells with sub-millisecond resolution. This technique can fast record actions potentials and also resolve the fast initiation and propagation of electromechanical signals within single neurons. Bright-field optical imaging approach has been applied to the mechanical wave visualization that associated with action potential in the fourth application. Neuron-to-neuron viability of membrane displacement was revealed and heterogeneous subcellular response was observed.

All these works shed light on the possibility of using optical approaches to study millisecond-scale and sub-nanometer-scale mechanical motions. These studies revealed ultrafast and ultra-small mechanical motions at the cellular level, including motor protein-driven motions and electromechanical coupled motions. The observations will help understand cell mechanics and its biological functions. These optical approaches will also become powerful tools for elucidating the interplay between biological and physical functions.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) bio-sensors to detect target molecules in undiluted human serum

Description

Biosensors aiming at detection of target analytes, such as proteins, microbes, virus, and toxins, are widely needed for various applications including detection of chemical and biological warfare (CBW) agents, biomedicine,

Biosensors aiming at detection of target analytes, such as proteins, microbes, virus, and toxins, are widely needed for various applications including detection of chemical and biological warfare (CBW) agents, biomedicine, environmental monitoring, and drug screening. Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR), as a surface-sensitive analytical tool, can very sensitively respond to minute changes of refractive index occurring adjacent to a metal film, offering detection limits up to a few ppt (pg/mL). Through SPR, the process of protein adsorption may be monitored in real-time, and transduced into an SPR angle shift. This unique technique bypasses the time-consuming, labor-intensive labeling processes, such as radioisotope and fluorescence labeling. More importantly, the method avoids the modification of the biomarker’s characteristics and behaviors by labeling that often occurs in traditional biosensors. While many transducers, including SPR, offer high sensitivity, selectivity is determined by the bio-receptors. In traditional biosensors, the selectivity is provided by bio-receptors possessing highly specific binding affinity to capture target analytes, yet their use in biosensors are often limited by their relatively-weak binding affinity with analyte, non-specific adsorption, need for optimization conditions, low reproducibility, and difficulties integrating onto the surface of transducers. In order to circumvent the use of bio-receptors, the competitive adsorption of proteins, termed the Vroman effect, is utilized in this work. The Vroman effect was first reported by Vroman and Adams in 1969. The competitive adsorption targeted here occurs among different proteins competing to adsorb to a surface, when more than one type of protein is present. When lower-affinity proteins are adsorbed on the surface first, they can be displaced by higher-affinity proteins arriving at the surface at a later point in time. Moreover, only low-affinity proteins can be displaced by high-affinity proteins, typically possessing higher molecular weight, yet the reverse sequence does not occur. The SPR biosensor based on competitive adsorption is successfully demonstrated to detect fibrinogen and thyroglobulin (Tg) in undiluted human serum and copper ions in drinking water through the denatured albumin.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Small molecule detection by surface plasmon resonance: improvements in sensitivity and kinetic measurement

Description

Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) has emerged as a popular technique for elucidating subtle signals from biological events in a label-free, high throughput environment. The efficacy of conventional SPR sensors, whose

Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) has emerged as a popular technique for elucidating subtle signals from biological events in a label-free, high throughput environment. The efficacy of conventional SPR sensors, whose signals are mass-sensitive, diminishes rapidly with the size of the observed target molecules. The following work advances the current SPR sensor paradigm for the purpose of small molecule detection. The detection limits of two orthogonal components of SPR measurement are targeted: speed and sensitivity. In the context of this report, speed refers to the dynamic range of measured kinetic rate constants, while sensitivity refers to the target molecule mass limitation of conventional SPR measurement. A simple device for high-speed microfluidic delivery of liquid samples to a sensor surface is presented to address the temporal limitations of conventional SPR measurement. The time scale of buffer/sample switching is on the order of milliseconds, thereby minimizing the opportunity for sample plug dispersion. The high rates of mass transport to and from the central microfluidic sensing region allow for SPR-based kinetic analysis of binding events with dissociation rate constants (kd) up to 130 s-1. The required sample volume is only 1 μL, allowing for minimal sample consumption during high-speed kinetic binding measurement. Charge-based detection of small molecules is demonstrated by plasmonic-based electrochemical impedance microscopy (P-EIM). The dependence of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) on surface charge density is used to detect small molecules (60-120 Da) printed on a dextran-modified sensor surface. The SPR response to an applied ac potential is a function of the surface charge density. This optical signal is comprised of a dc and an ac component, and is measured with high spatial resolution. The amplitude and phase of local surface impedance is provided by the ac component. The phase signal of the small molecules is a function of their charge status, which is manipulated by the pH of a solution. This technique is used to detect and distinguish small molecules based on their charge status, thereby circumventing the mass limitation (~100 Da) of conventional SPR measurement.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Bleomycin, from start to finish: total synthesis of novel analogues to in vitro fluorescence microscopy imaging

Description

The bleomycins are a family of glycopeptide-derived antibiotics isolated from various Streptomyces species and have been the subject of much attention from the scientific community as a consequence of their

The bleomycins are a family of glycopeptide-derived antibiotics isolated from various Streptomyces species and have been the subject of much attention from the scientific community as a consequence of their antitumor activity. Bleomycin clinically and is an integral part of a number of combination chemotherapy regimens. It has previously been shown that bleomycin has the ability to selectively target tumor cells over their non-malignant counterparts. Pyrimidoblamic acid, the N-terminal metal ion binding domain of bleomycin is known to be the moiety that is responsible for O2 activation and the subsequent chemistry leading to DNA strand scission and overall antitumor activity. Chapter 1 describes bleomycin and related DNA targeting antitumor agents as well as the specific structural domains of bleomycin. Various structural analogues of pyrimidoblamic acid were synthesized and subsequently incorporated into their corresponding full deglycoBLM A6 derivatives by utilizing a solid support. Their activity was measured using a pSP64 DNA plasmid relaxation assay and is summarized in Chapter 2. The specifics of bleomycin—DNA interaction and kinetics were studied via surface plasmon resonance and are presented in Chapter 3. By utilizing carefully selected 64-nucleotide DNA hairpins with variable 16-mer regions whose sequences showed strong binding in past selection studies, a kinetic profile was obtained for several BLMs for the first time since bleomycin was discovered in 1966. The disaccharide moiety of bleomycin has been previously shown to be a specific tumor cell targeting element comprised of L-gulose-D-mannose, especially between MCF-7 (breast cancer cells) and MCF-10A ("normal" breast cells). This phenomenon was further investigated via fluorescence microscopy using multiple cancerous cell lines with matched "normal" counterparts and is fully described in Chapter 4.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Plasmonic nanoparticles and their suspensions for solar energy conversion

Description

Plasmon resonance in nanoscale metallic structures has shown its ability to concentrate electromagnetic energy into sub-wavelength volumes. Metal nanostructures exhibit a high extinction coefficient in the visible and near infrared

Plasmon resonance in nanoscale metallic structures has shown its ability to concentrate electromagnetic energy into sub-wavelength volumes. Metal nanostructures exhibit a high extinction coefficient in the visible and near infrared spectrum due to their large absorption and scattering cross sections corresponding to their surface plasmon resonance. Hence, they can serve as an attractive candidate for solar energy conversion. Recent papers have showed that dielectric core/metallic shell nanoparticles yielded a plasmon resonance wavelength tunable from visible to infrared by changing the ratio of core radius to the total radius. Therefore it is interesting to develop a dispersion of core-shell multifunctional nanoparticles capable of dynamically changing their volume ratio and thus their spectral radiative properties. Nanoparticle suspensions (nanofluids) are known to offer a variety of benefits for thermal transport and energy conversion. Nanofluids have been proven to increase the efficiency of the photo-thermal energy conversion process in direct solar absorption collectors (DAC). Combining these two cutting-edge technologies enables the use of core-shell nanoparticles to control the spectral and radiative properties of plasmonic nanofluids in order to efficiently harvest and convert solar energy. Plasmonic nanofluids that have strong energy concentrating capacity and spectral selectivity can be used in many high-temperature energy systems where radiative heat transport is essential. In this thesis,the surface plasmon resonance effect and the wavelength tuning ranges for different metallic shell nanoparticles are investigated, the solar-weighted efficiencies of corresponding core-shell nanoparticle suspensions are explored, and a quantitative study of core-shell nanoparticle suspensions in a DAC system is provided. Using core-shell nanoparticle dispersions, it is possible to create efficient spectral solar absorption fluids and design materials for applications which require variable spectral absorption or scattering.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Large-Scale Kinetic Analyses of Protein-Protein Interactions: Advancing the Understanding of Post Translational Modifications in Biological Regulation

Description

Signal transduction networks comprising protein-protein interactions (PPIs) mediate homeostatic, diseased, and therapeutic cellular responses. Mapping these networks has primarily focused on identifying interactors, but less is known about the interaction

Signal transduction networks comprising protein-protein interactions (PPIs) mediate homeostatic, diseased, and therapeutic cellular responses. Mapping these networks has primarily focused on identifying interactors, but less is known about the interaction affinity, rates of interaction or their regulation. To better understand the extent of the annotated human interactome, I first examined > 2500 protein interactions within the B cell receptor (BCR) signaling pathway using a current, cutting-edge bioluminescence-based platform called “NanoBRET” that is capable of analyzing transient and stable interactions in high throughput. Eighty-three percent (83%) of the detected interactions have not been previously reported, indicating that much of the BCR pathway is still unexplored. Unfortunately, NanoBRET, as with all other high throughput methods, cannot determine binding kinetics or affinities. To address this shortcoming, I developed a hybrid platform that characterizes > 400 PPIs quantitatively and simultaneously in < 1 hour by combining the high throughput and flexible nature of nucleic programmable protein arrays (NAPPA) with the quantitative abilities of surface plasmon resonance imaging (SPRi). NAPPA-SPRi was then used to study the kinetics and affinities of > 12,000 PPIs in the BCR signaling pathway, revealing unique kinetic mechanisms that are employed by proteins, phosphorylation and activation states to regulate PPIs. In one example, activation of the GTPase RAC1 with nonhydrolyzable GTP-γS minimally affected its binding affinities with phosphorylated proteins but increased, on average, its on- and off-rates by 4 orders of magnitude for one-third of its interactions. In contrast, this phenomenon occurred with virtually all unphosphorylated proteins. The majority of the interactions (85%) were novel, sharing 40% of the same interactions as NanoBRET as well as detecting 55% more interactions than NanoBRET. In addition, I further validated four novel interactions identified by NAPPA-SPRi using SDS-PAGE migration and Western blot analyses. In one case, we have the first evidence of a direct enzyme-substrate interaction between two well-known proto-oncogenes that are abnormally regulated in > 30% of cancers, PI3K and MYC. Herein, PI3K is demonstrated to phosphorylate MYC at serine 62, a phosphosite that increases the stability of MYC. This study provides valuable insight into how PPIs, phosphorylation, and GTPase activation regulate the BCR signal transduction pathway. In addition, these methods could be applied toward understanding other signaling pathways, pathogen-host interactions, and the effect of protein mutations on protein interactions.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Novel Plasmonic Imaging Techniques for Measuring Protein Kinetics

Description

Proteins play a central role to human body and biological activities. As powerful tools for protein detections, many surface plasmon resonance based techniques have been developed to enhance the sensitivity.

Proteins play a central role to human body and biological activities. As powerful tools for protein detections, many surface plasmon resonance based techniques have been developed to enhance the sensitivity. However, sensitivity is not the only final goal. As a biosensor, four things really matter: sensitivity, specificity, resolution (temporal/spatial) and throughput.

This dissertation presents several works on developing novel plasmonic based techniques for protein detections on the last two aspects to extend the application field. A fast electrochemically controlled plasmonic detection technique is first developed with the capability of monitoring electrochemical signal with nanosecond response time. The study reveals that the conformational gating of electron transfer in a redox protein (cytochrome c) takes place over a broad range of time scales (sub-µs to ms). The second platform integrates ultra-low volume piezoelectric liquid dispensing and plasmonic imaging detection to monitor different protein binding processes simultaneously with low sample cost. Experiment demonstrates the system can observe binding kinetics in 10×10 microarray of 6 nL droplet, with variations of kinetic rate constants among spots less than ±5%. A focused plasmonic imaging system with bi-cell algorithm is also proposed for spatial resolution enhancement. The two operation modes, scanning mode and focus mode, can be applied for different purposes. Measurement of bacterial aggregation demonstrates the higher spatial resolution. Detections of polystyrene beads binding and 50 nm gold nanoparticles oscillation show a high signal to noise ratio of the system.

The real properties of protein rely on its dynamic personalities. The above works shed light upon fast and high throughput detection of protein kinetics, and enable more applications for plasmonic imaging techniques. It is anticipated that such methods will help to invoke a new surge to unveil the mysteries of biological activities and chemical process.

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Date Created
  • 2018