Matching Items (8)

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Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopic characterization of nanomaterials and biopolymers

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Nanomaterials have attracted considerable attention in recent research due to their wide applications in various fields such as material science, physical science, electrical engineering, and biomedical engineering. Researchers have developed

Nanomaterials have attracted considerable attention in recent research due to their wide applications in various fields such as material science, physical science, electrical engineering, and biomedical engineering. Researchers have developed many methods for synthesizing different types of nanostructures and have further applied them in various applications. However, in many cases, a molecular level understanding of nanoparticles and their associated surface chemistry is lacking investigation. Understanding the surface chemistry of nanomaterials is of great significance for obtaining a better understanding of the properties and functions of the nanomaterials. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy can provide a familiar means of looking at the molecular structure of molecules bound to surfaces of nanomaterials as well as a method to determine the size of nanoparticles in solution. Here, a combination of NMR spectroscopic techniques including one- and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopies was used to investigate the surface chemistry and physical properties of some common nanomaterials, including for example, thiol-protected gold nanostructures and biomolecule-capped silica nanoparticles.

Silk is a natural protein fiber that features unique properties such as excellent mechanical properties, biocompatibility, and non-linear optical properties. These appealing physical properties originate from the silk structure, and therefore, the structural analysis of silk is of great importance for revealing the mystery of these impressive properties and developing novel silk-based biomaterials as well. Here, solid-state NMR spectroscopy was used to elucidate the secondary structure of silk proteins in N. clavipes spider dragline silk and B. mori silkworm silk. It is found that the Gly-Gly-X (X=Leu, Tyr, Gln) motif in spider dragline silk is not in a β-sheet or α-helix structure and is very likely to be present in a disordered structure with evidence for 31-helix confirmation. In addition, the conformations of the Ala, Ser, and Tyr residues in silk fibroin of B. mori were investigated and it indicates that the Ala, Ser, and Tyr residues are all present in disordered structures in silk I (before spinning), while show different conformations in silk II (after spinning). Specifically, in silk II, the Ala and Tyr residues are present in both disordered structures and β-sheet structures, and the Ser residues are present primarily in β-sheet structures.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Electrolyte- and transport-enhanced thermogalvanic energy conversion

Description

Waste heat energy conversion remains an inviting subject for research, given the renewed emphasis on energy efficiency and carbon emissions reduction. Solid-state thermoelectric devices have been widely investigated, but

Waste heat energy conversion remains an inviting subject for research, given the renewed emphasis on energy efficiency and carbon emissions reduction. Solid-state thermoelectric devices have been widely investigated, but their practical application remains challenging because of cost and the inability to fabricate them in geometries that are easily compatible with heat sources. An intriguing alternative to solid-state thermoelectric devices is thermogalvanic cells, which include a generally liquid electrolyte that permits the transport of ions. Thermogalvanic cells have long been known in the electrochemistry community, but have not received much attention from the thermal transport community. This is surprising given that their performance is highly dependent on controlling both thermal and mass (ionic) transport. This research will focus on a research project, which is an interdisciplinary collaboration between mechanical engineering (i.e. thermal transport) and chemistry, and is a largely experimental effort aimed at improving fundamental understanding of thermogalvanic systems. The first part will discuss how a simple utilization of natural convection within the cell doubles the maximum power output of the cell. In the second part of the research, some of the results from the previous part will be applied in a feasibility study of incorporating thermogalvanic waste heat recovery systems into automobiles. Finally, a new approach to enhance Seebeck coefficient by tuning the configurational entropy of a mixed-ligand complex formation of copper sulfate aqueous electrolytes will be presented. Ultimately, a summary of these results as well as possible future work that can be formed from these efforts is discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Ultrafine dielectrophoresis-based technique for virus and biofluid manipulation

Description

Microfluidics has shown great potential in rapid isolation, sorting, and concentration of bioparticles upon its discovery. Over the past decades, significant improvements have been made in device fabrication techniques and

Microfluidics has shown great potential in rapid isolation, sorting, and concentration of bioparticles upon its discovery. Over the past decades, significant improvements have been made in device fabrication techniques and microfluidic methodologies. As a result, considerable microfluidic-based isolation and concentration techniques have been developed, particularly for rapid pathogen detection. Among all microfluidic techniques, dielectrophoresis (DEP) is one of the most effective and efficient techniques to quickly isolate and separate polarizable particles under inhomogeneous electric field. To date, extensive studies have demonstrated that DEP devices are able to precisely manipulate cells ranging from over 10 μm (mammalian cells) down to about 1 μm (small bacteria). However, very limited DEP studies on manipulating submicron bioparticles, such as viruses, have been reported.

In this dissertation, rapid capture and concentration of two different and representative types of virus particles (Sindbis virus and bacteriophage M13) with gradient insulator-based DEP (g-iDEP) has been demonstrated. Sindbis virus has a near-spherical shape with a diameter ~68 nm, while bacteriophage M13 has a filamentous shape with a length ~900 nm and a diameter ~6 nm. Under specific g-iDEP experimental conditions, the concentration of Sindbis virus can be increased two to six times within only a few seconds, using easily accessible voltages as low as 70 V. A similar phenomenon is also observed with bacteriophage M13. Meanwhile, their different DEP behavior predicts the potential of separating viruses with carefully designed microchannels and choices of experimental condition.

DEP-based microfluidics also shows great potential in manipulating blood samples, specifically rapid separations of blood cells and proteins. To investigate the ability of g-iDEP device in blood sample manipulation, some proofs of principle work was accomplished including separating two cardiac disease-related proteins (myoglobin and heart-type fatty acid binding protein) and red blood cells (RBCs). Consistent separation was observed, showing retention of RBCs and passage of the two spiked protein biomarkers. The numerical concentration of RBCs was reduced (~70 percent after one minute) with the purified proteins available for detection or further processing. This study explores and extends the use of the device from differentiating similar particles to acting as a sample pretreatment step.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Magnesium battery electrolytes in ionic liquids

Description

A lack of adequate energy storage technologies is arguably the greatest hindrance to a modern sustainable energy infrastructure. Chemical energy storage, in the form of batteries, is an obvious solution

A lack of adequate energy storage technologies is arguably the greatest hindrance to a modern sustainable energy infrastructure. Chemical energy storage, in the form of batteries, is an obvious solution to the problem. Unfortunately, today’s state of the art battery technologies fail to meet the desired metrics for full scale electric grid and/or electric vehicle role out. Considerable effort from scientists and engineers has gone into the pursuit of battery chemistries theoretically capable of far outperforming leading technologies like Li-ion cells. For instance, an anode of the relatively abundant and cheap metal, magnesium, would boost the specific energy by over 4.6 times that of the current Li-ion anode (LiC6).

The work presented here explores the compatibility of magnesium electrolytes in TFSI–-based ionic liquids with a Mg anode (TFSI = bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide). Correlations are made between the Mg2+ speciation conditions in bulk solutions (as determined via Raman spectroscopy) and the corresponding electrochemical behavior of the electrolytes. It was found that by creating specific chelating conditions, with an appropriate Mg salt, the desired electrochemical behavior could be obtained, i.e. reversible electrodeposition and dissolution. Removal of TFSI– contact ion pairs from the Mg2+ solvation shell was found to be essential for reversible electrodeposition. Ionic liquids with polyethylene glycol chains pendent from a parent pyrrolidinium cation were synthesized and used to create the necessary complexes with Mg2+, from Mg(BH4)2, so that reversible electrodeposition from a purely ionic liquid medium was achieved.

The following document discusses findings from several electrochemical experiments on magnesium electrolytes in ionic liquids. Explanations for the failure of many of these systems to produce reversible Mg electrodeposition are provided. The key characteristics of ionic liquid systems that are capable of achieving reversible Mg electrodeposition are also given.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Synthesis, characterization and electrochemical hydrogen insertion in ATP capped palladium nanoparticles

Description

Water-soluble, adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-stabilized palladium nanoparticles have been synthesized by reduction of palladium salt in the presence of excess ATP. They have been characterized by electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray

Water-soluble, adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-stabilized palladium nanoparticles have been synthesized by reduction of palladium salt in the presence of excess ATP. They have been characterized by electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction in order to determine particle size, shape, composition and crystal structure. The particles were then subsequently attached to a glassy carbon electrode (GCE) in order to explore their electrochemical properties with regard to hydrogen insertion in 1 M sodium hydroxide. The particles were found to be in the size range 2.5 to 4 nm with good size dispersion. The ATP capping ligand allowed the particles to be air-stable and re-dissolved without agglomeration. It was found that the NPs could be firmly attached to the working electrode via cycling the voltage repeatedly in a NP/phosphate solution. Further electrochemical experiments were conducted to investigate the adsorption and absorption of hydrogen in the NPs in 1 M sodium hydroxide. Results for cyclic voltammetry experiments were consistent with those for nanostructured and thin-film palladium in basic solution. Absorbed hydrogen content was analyzed as a function of potential. The maximum hydrogen:Pd ratio was found to be ~0.7, close the theoretical maximum value for β phase palladium hydride.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Optical properties and electrochemical dealloying of gold-silver alloy nanoparticles immobilized on composite thin-tilm electrodes

Description

Gold-silver alloy nanoparticles (NPs) capped with adenosine 5'-triphosphate were synthesized by borohydride reduction of dilute aqueous metal precursors. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy showed the as-synthesized particles to be spherical with

Gold-silver alloy nanoparticles (NPs) capped with adenosine 5'-triphosphate were synthesized by borohydride reduction of dilute aqueous metal precursors. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy showed the as-synthesized particles to be spherical with average diameters ~4 nm. Optical properties were measured by UV-Visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis), and the formation of alloy NPs was verified across all gold:silver ratios by a linear shift in the plasmon band maxima against alloy composition. The molar absorptivities of the NPs decreased non-linearly with increasing gold content from 2.0 x 108 M-1 cm-1 (fÉmax = 404 nm) for pure silver to 4.1 x 107 M-1 cm-1 (fÉmax = 511 nm) for pure gold. The NPs were immobilized onto transparent indium-tin oxide composite electrodes using layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition with poly(diallyldimethylammonium) acting as a cationic binder. The UV-Vis absorbance of the LbL film was used to calculate the surface coverage of alloy NPs on the electrode. Typical preparations had average NP surface coverages of 2.8 x 10-13 mol NPs/cm2 (~5% of cubic closest packing) with saturated films reaching ~20% of ccp for single-layer preparations (1.0 ~ 10-12 mol NPs/cm2). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirmed the presence of alloy NPs in the LbL film and showed silver enrichment of the NP surfaces by ~9%. Irreversible oxidative dissolution (dealloying) of the less noble silver atoms from the NPs on LbL electrodes was performed by cyclic voltammetry (CV) in sulfuric acid. Alloy NPs with higher gold content required larger overpotentials for silver dealloying. Dealloying of the more-noble gold atoms from the alloy NPs was also achieved by CV in sodium chloride. The silver was oxidized first to cohesive silver chloride, and then gold dealloyed to soluble HAuCl4- at higher potentials. Silver oxidation was inhibited during the first oxidative scan, but subsequent cycles showed typical, reversible silver-to-silver chloride voltammetry. The potentials for both silver oxidation and gold dealloying also shifted to more oxidizing potentials with increasing gold content, and both processes converged for alloy NPs with >60% gold content. Charge-mediated electrochemistry of silver NPs immobilized in LbL films, using Fc(meOH) as the charge carrier, showed that 67% of the NPs were electrochemically inactive.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Mechanistic studies of one-electron reduced bipyridine reactions relevant to carbon dioxide sequestration

Description

Increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will inevitably lead to long-term changes in climate that can have serious consequences. Controlling anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,

Increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will inevitably lead to long-term changes in climate that can have serious consequences. Controlling anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, however, represents a significant technological challenge. Various chemical approaches have been suggested, perhaps the most promising of these is based on electrochemical trapping of carbon dioxide using pyridine and derivatives. Optimization of this process requires a detailed understanding of the mechanisms of the reactions of reduced pyridines with carbon dioxide, which are not currently well known. This thesis describes a detailed mechanistic study of the nucleophilic and Bronsted basic properties of the radical anion of bipyridine as a model pyridine derivative, formed by one-electron reduction, with particular emphasis on the reactions with carbon dioxide. A time-resolved spectroscopic method was used to characterize the key intermediates and determine the kinetics of the reactions of the radical anion and its protonated radical form. Using a pulsed nanosecond laser, the bipyridine radical anion could be generated in-situ in less than 100 ns, which allows fast reactions to be monitored in real time. The bipyridine radical anion was found to be a very powerful one-electron donor, Bronsted base and nucleophile. It reacts by addition to the C=O bonds of ketones with a bimolecular rate constant around 1* 107 M-1 s-1. These are among the fastest nucleophilic additions that have been reported in literature. Temperature dependence studies demonstrate very low activation energies and large Arrhenius pre-exponential parameters, consistent with very high reactivity. The kinetics of E2 elimination, where the radical anion acts as a base, and SN2 substitution, where the radical anion acts as a nucleophile, are also characterized by large bimolecular rate constants in the range ca. 106 - 107 M-1 s-1. The pKa of the bipyridine radical anion was measured using a kinetic method and analysis of the data using a Marcus theory model for proton transfer. The bipyridine radical anion is found to have a pKa of 40±5 in DMSO. The reorganization energy for the proton transfer reaction was found to be 70±5 kJ/mol. The bipyridine radical anion was found to react very rapidly with carbon dioxide, with a bimolecular rate constant of 1* 108 M-1 s-1 and a small activation energy, whereas the protonated radical reacted with carbon dioxide with a rate constant that was too small to measure. The kinetic and thermodynamic data obtained in this work can be used to understand the mechanisms of the reactions of pyridines with carbon dioxide under reducing conditions.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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A new class of solid state, single-ion conductors (H+ and Li+): silicon-based plastic crystals

Description

Plastic crystals as a class are of much interest in applications as solid state electrolytes for electrochemical energy conversion devices. A subclass exhibit very high protonic conductivity and its members

Plastic crystals as a class are of much interest in applications as solid state electrolytes for electrochemical energy conversion devices. A subclass exhibit very high protonic conductivity and its members have been investigated as possible fuel cell electrolytes, as first demonstrated by Haile’s group in 2001 with CsHSO4. To date these have been inorganic compounds with tetrahedral oxyanions carrying one or more protons, charge-balanced by large alkali cations. Above the rotator phase transition, the HXO4- anions re-orient at a rate dependent on temperature while the centers of mass remain ordered. The transition is accompanied by a conductivity "jump" (as much as four orders of magnitude, to ~ 10 mScm-1 in the now-classic case of CsHSO4) due to mobile protons. These superprotonic plastic crystals bring a “true solid state” alternative to polymer electrolytes, operating at mild temperatures (150-200ºC) without the requirement of humidification. This work describes a new class of solid acids based on silicon, which are of general interest. Its members have extraordinary conductivities, as high as 21.5 mS/cm at room temperature, orders of magnitude above any previous reported case. Three fuel cells are demonstrated, delivering current densities as high as 225 mA/cm2 at short-circuit at 130ºC in one example and 640 mA/cm2 at 87ºC in another. The new compounds are insoluble in water, and their remarkably high conductivities over a wide temperature range allow for lower temperature operations, thus reducing the risk of hydrogen sulfide formation and dehydration reactions. Additionally, plastic crystals have highly advantageous properties that permit their application as solid state electrolytes in lithium batteries. So far only doped materials have been presented. This work presents for the first time non-doped plastic crystals in which the lithium ions are integral part of the structure, as a solid state electrolyte. The new electrolytes have conductivities of 3 to 10 mS/cm at room temperature, and in one example maintain a highly conductive state at temperatures as low as -30oC. The malleability of the materials and single ion conducting properties make these materials highly interesting candidates as a novel class of solid state lithium conductors.

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Date Created
  • 2016