Matching Items (8)

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Synthesis, Characterization, and In Vitro Drug Delivery Capabilities of (Zn, Al)-Based Layered Double Hydroxide Nanoparticles

Description

There is an urgent need for the development of alternative strategies for effective drug delivery to improve the outcome of patients suffering from deadly diseases such as cancer. Nanoparticles, in

There is an urgent need for the development of alternative strategies for effective drug delivery to improve the outcome of patients suffering from deadly diseases such as cancer. Nanoparticles, in particular layered double hydroxide (LDH) nanoparticles, have great potential as nanocarriers of chemotherapeutic molecules. In this study, we synthesized (Zn, Al)-LDH nanoparticles and report their enhanced pH-dependent stability in comparison to the commonly used (Mg, Al)-LDH nanoparticles. Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) and valproate (VP) were intercalated into (Zn, Al)-LDH nanoparticles to study cellular uptake, biocompatibility, and drug delivery capabilities using cultured pancreatic adenocarcinoma BxPC3 cells. Fluorescence measurements indicated that FITC-intercalated LDH nanoparticles showed a greater degree of energy-dependent uptake rather than passive uptake by BxPC3 cells, especially at high concentrations of nanoparticles. Tetrazolium-based colorimetric assays indicated that BxPC3 cells treated with VP-intercalated LDH nanoparticles showed a significant reduction in cell viability along with about 30-fold reduction in IC[subscript 50] compared to the drug alone. In contrast, the non-drug-intercalated LDH nanoparticles did not affect the cell viability indicating very low innate cytotoxicity. Our research indicates that the superior properties of (Zn, Al)-LDH nanoparticles make them ideal candidates for further development as in vivo chemotherapy drug delivery agents.

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Date Created
  • 2015-09-27

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Applications of biogenic silica nanostructures from diatoms

Description

Biogenic silica nanostructures, derived from diatoms, possess highly ordered porous hierarchical nanostructures and afford flexibility in design in large part due to the availability of a great variety of shapes,

Biogenic silica nanostructures, derived from diatoms, possess highly ordered porous hierarchical nanostructures and afford flexibility in design in large part due to the availability of a great variety of shapes, sizes, and symmetries. These advantages have been exploited for study of transport phenomena of ions and molecules towards the goal of developing ultrasensitive and selective filters and biosensors. Diatom frustules give researchers many inspiration and ideas for the design and production of novel nanostructured materials. In this doctoral research will focus on the following three aspects of biogenic silica: 1) Using diatom frustule as protein sensor. 2) Using diatom nanostructures as template to fabricate nano metal materials. 3) Using diatom nanostructures to fabricate hybrid platform.

Nanoscale confinement biogenetic silica template-based electrical biosensor assay offers the user the ability to detect and quantify the biomolecules. Diatoms have been demonstrated as part of a sensor. The sensor works on the principle of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. When specific protein biomarkers from a test sample bind to corresponding antibodies conjugated to the surface of the gold surface at the base of each nanowell, a perturbation of electrical double layer occurs resulting in a change in the impedance.

Diatoms are also a new source of inspiration for the design and fabrication of nanostructured materials. Template-directed deposition within cylindrical nanopores of a porous membrane represents an attractive and reproducible approach for preparing metal nanopatterns or nanorods of a variety of aspect ratios. The nanopatterns fabricated from diatom have the potential of the metal-enhanced fluorescence to detect dye-conjugated molecules.

Another approach presents a platform integrating biogenic silica nanostructures with micromachined silicon substrates in a micro
ano hybrid device. In this study, one can take advantages of the unique properties of a marine diatom that exhibits nanopores on the order of 40 nm in diameter and a hierarchical structure. This device can be used to several applications, such as nano particles separation and detection. This platform is also a good substrate to study cell growth that one can observe the reaction of cell growing on the nanostructure of frustule.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Nano-bilayer lipid membranes hosted on biogenic nanoporous substrates

Description

Engineered nanoporous substrates made using materials such as silicon nitride or silica have been demonstrated to work as particle counters or as hosts for nano-lipid bilayer membrane formation. These mechanically

Engineered nanoporous substrates made using materials such as silicon nitride or silica have been demonstrated to work as particle counters or as hosts for nano-lipid bilayer membrane formation. These mechanically fabricated porous structures have thicknesses of several hundred nanometers up to several micrometers to ensure mechanical stability of the membrane. However, it is desirable to have a three-dimensional structure to ensure increased mechanical stability. In this study, circular silica shells used from Coscinodiscus wailesii, a species of diatoms (unicellular marine algae) were immobilized on a silicon chip with a micrometer-sized aperture using a UV curable polyurethane adhesive. The current conducted by a single nanopore of 40 nm diameter and 50 nm length, during the translocation of a 27 nm polystyrene sphere was simulated using COMSOL multiphysics and tested experimentally. The current conducted by a single 40 nm diameter nanopore of the diatom shell during the translocation of a 27 nm polystyrene sphere was simulated using COMSOL Multiphysics (28.36 pA) and was compared to the experimental measurement (28.69 pA) and Coulter Counting theory (29.95 pA).In addition, a mobility of 1.11 x 10-8 m2s-1V-1 for the 27 nm polystyrene spheres was used to convert the simulated current from spatial dependence to time dependence.

To achieve a sensing diameter of 1-2 nanometers, the diatom shells were used as substrates to perform ion-channel reconstitution experiments. The immobilized diatom shell was functionalized using silane chemistry and lipid bilayer membranes were formed. Functionalization of the diatom shell surface improves bilayer formation probability from 1 out of 10 to 10 out of 10 as monitored by impedance spectroscopy. Self-insertion of outer membrane protein OmpF of E.Coli into the lipid membranes could be confirmed using single channel recordings, indicating that nano-BLMs had formed which allow for fully functional porin activity. The results indicate that biogenic silica nanoporous substrates can be simulated using a simplified two dimensional geometry to predict the current when a nanoparticle translocates through a single aperture. With their tiered three-dimensional structure, diatom shells can be used in to form nano-lipid bilayer membranes and can be used in ion-channel reconstitution experiments similar to synthetic nanoporous membranes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Inorganic and Organic Photovoltaic Materials for Powering Electrochromic Systems

Description

ABSTRACT

Autonomous smart windows may be integrated with a stack of active components, such as electrochromic devices, to modulate the opacity/transparency by an applied voltage. Here, we describe the processing

ABSTRACT

Autonomous smart windows may be integrated with a stack of active components, such as electrochromic devices, to modulate the opacity/transparency by an applied voltage. Here, we describe the processing and performance of two classes of visibly-transparent photovoltaic materials, namely inorganic (ZnO thin film) and fully organic (PCDTBT:PC70BM), for integration with electrochromic stacks.

Sputtered ZnO (2% Mn) films on ITO, with transparency in the visible range, were used to fabricate metal-semiconductor (MS), metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS), and p-i-n heterojunction devices, and their photovoltaic conversion under ultraviolet (UV) illumination was evaluated with and without oxygen plasma-treated surface electrodes (Au, Ag, Al, and Ti/Ag). The MS Schottky parameters were fitted against the generalized Bardeen model to obtain the density of interface states (Dit ≈ 8.0×1011 eV−1cm−2) and neutral level (Eo ≈ -5.2 eV). These devices exhibited photoconductive behavior at λ = 365 nm, and low-noise Ag-ZnO detectors exhibited responsivity (R) and photoconductive gain (G) of 1.93×10−4 A/W and 6.57×10−4, respectively. Confirmed via matched-pair analysis, post-metallization, oxygen plasma treatment of Ag and Ti/Ag electrodes resulted in increased Schottky barrier heights, which maximized with a 2 nm SiO2 electron blocking layer (EBL), coupled with the suppression of recombination at the metal/semiconductor interface and blocking of majority carriers. For interdigitated devices under monochromatic UV-C illumination, the open-circuit voltage (Voc) was 1.2 V and short circuit current density (Jsc), due to minority carrier tunneling, was 0.68 mA/cm2.

A fully organic bulk heterojunction photovoltaic device, composed of poly[N-9’-heptadecanyl-2,7-carbazole-alt-5,5-(4’,7’-di-2-thienyli2’,1’,3’-benzothiadiazole)]:phenyl-C71-butyric-acidmethyl (PCDTBT:PC70BM), with corresponding electron and hole transport layers, i.e., LiF with Al contact and conducting
on-conducting (nc) PEDOT:PSS (with ITO/PET or Ag nanowire/PDMS contacts; the illuminating side), respectively, was developed. The PCDTBT/PC70BM/PEDOT:PSS(nc)/ITO/PET stack exhibited the highest performance: power conversion efficiency (PCE) ≈ 3%, Voc = 0.9V, and Jsc ≈ 10-15 mA/cm2. These stacks exhibited high visible range transparency, and provided the requisite power for a switchable electrochromic stack having an inkjet-printed, optically-active layer of tungsten trioxide (WO3), peroxo-tungstic acid dihydrate, and titania (TiO2) nano-particle-based blend. The electrochromic stacks (i.e., PET/ITO/LiClO4/WO3 on ITO/PET and Ag nanowire/PDMS substrates) exhibited optical switching under external bias from the PV stack (or an electrical outlet), with 7 s coloration time, 8 s bleaching time, and 0.36-0.75 optical modulation at λ = 525 nm. The devices were paired using an Internet of Things controller that enabled wireless switching.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Photoinduced charge transfer at metal oxide/oxide interfaces prepared with plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition

Description

LiNbO3 and ZnO have shown great potential for photochemical surface reactions and specific photocatalytic processes. However, the efficiency of LiNbO3 is limited due to recombination or back reactions and ZnO

LiNbO3 and ZnO have shown great potential for photochemical surface reactions and specific photocatalytic processes. However, the efficiency of LiNbO3 is limited due to recombination or back reactions and ZnO exhibits a chemical instability in a liquid cell. In this dissertation, both materials were coated with precise thickness of metal oxide layers to passivate the surfaces and to enhance their photocatalytic efficiency. LiNbO3 was coated with plasma enhanced atomic layer deposited (PEALD) ZnO and Al2O3, and molecular beam deposited TiO2 and VO2. On the other hand, PEALD ZnO and single crystal ZnO were passivated with PEALD SiO2 and Al2O3.

Metal oxide/LiNbO3 heterostructures were immersed in aqueous AgNO3 solutions and illuminated with ultraviolet (UV) light to form Ag nanoparticle patterns. Alternatively, Al2O3 and SiO2/ZnO heterostructures were immersed in K3PO4 buffer solutions and studied for photoelectrochemical reactions. A fundamental aspect of the heterostructures is the band alignment and band bending, which was deduced from in situ photoemission measurements.

This research has provided insight to three aspects of the heterostructures. First, the band alignment at the interface of metal oxides/LiNbO3, and Al2O3 or SiO2/ZnO were used to explain the possible charge transfer processes and the direction of carrier flow in the heterostructures. Second, the effect of metal oxide coatings on the LiNbO3 with different internal carrier concentrations was related to the surface photochemical reactions. Third is the surface passivation and degradation mechanism of Al2O3 and SiO2 on ZnO was established. The heterostructures were characterized after stability tests using atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and cross-section transmission electron microscopy (TEM).

The results indicate that limited thicknesses of ZnO or TiO2 on polarity patterned LiNbO3 (PPLN) enhances the Ag+ photoinduced reduction process. ZnO seems more efficient than TiO2 possibly due to a higher carrier mobility. However, an increase of the ZnO thickness (≥ 4 nm) reduced the effect of the PPLN substrate on the Ag nanoparticle pattern. For the case of Al2O3 and SiO2/ZnO heterostructures, SiO2 remains intact through 1 h stability tests. Unlike SiO2, Al2O3 shows surface degradation after a short stability test of a few minutes. Thus, SiO2 provides improved passivation over Al2O3. A detailed microscopy analysis indicates the underneath ZnO photocorrodes in the SiO2/ZnO samples, which is possibly due to transport of ions through the SiO2 protective layer.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Physicochemical characterization of PZT-based ultrasonic transducer stacks

Description

A piezoelectric transducer, comprised of electroded and active pad PZT layer atop a backing PZT layer and protected with an acoustic matching layer, and operating under a pulse-echo technique for

A piezoelectric transducer, comprised of electroded and active pad PZT layer atop a backing PZT layer and protected with an acoustic matching layer, and operating under a pulse-echo technique for longitudinal ultrasonic imaging, acts as both source and detector.

Ultrasonic transducer stacks (modules), which had failed or passed during pulse-echo sensitivity testing, were received from Consortium X. With limited background information on these stacks, the central theme was to determine the origin(s) of failure via the use of thermal and physicochemical characterization techniques.

The optical and scanning electron microscopy revealed that contact electrode layers are discontinuous in all samples, while delaminations between electrodes and pad layer were observed in failed samples. The X-ray diffraction data on the pad PZT revealed an overall c/a ratio of 1.022 ratio and morphotropic boundary composition, with significant variations of the Zr to Ti ratio within a sample and between samples. Electron probe microanalysis confirmed that the overall Zr to Ti ratio of the pad PZT was 52/48, and higher amounts of excess PbO in failed samples, whereas, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry revealed the presence of Mn, Al, and Sb (dopants) and presence of Cu (sintering aid) in in this hard (pad) PZT. Additionally, three exothermic peaks during thermal analysis was indicative of incomplete calcination of pad PZT. Moreover, transmission electron microscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of parylene at the Ag-pad PZT interface and within the pores of pad PZT (in failed samples subjected to electric fields). This further dilutes the electrical, mechanical, and electromechanical properties of the pad PZT, which in turn detrimentally influences the pulse echo sensitivity.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Microstructural explicit simulation of grain boundary diffusion in depleted UO₂

Description

ABSTRACT The behavior of the fission products, as they are released from fission events during nuclear reaction, plays an important role in nuclear fuel performance. Fission product release can occur

ABSTRACT The behavior of the fission products, as they are released from fission events during nuclear reaction, plays an important role in nuclear fuel performance. Fission product release can occur through grain boundary (GB) at low burnups; therefore, this study simulates the mass transport of fission gases in a 2-D GB network to look into the effects of GB characteristics on this phenomenon, with emphasis on conditions that can lead to percolation. A finite element model was created based on the microstructure of a depleted UO2 sample characterized by Electron Backscattering Diffraction (EBSD). The GBs were categorized into high (D2), low (D1) and bulk diffusivity (Dbulk) based on their misorientation angles and Coincident Site Lattice (CSL) types. The simulation was run using different diffusivity ratios (D2/Dbulk) ranging from 1 to 10^8. The model was set up in three ways: constant temperature case, temperature gradient effects and window methods that mimic the environments in a Light Water Reactor (LWR). In general, the formation of percolation paths was observed at a ratio higher than 10^4 in the measured GB network, which had a 68% fraction of high diffusivity GBs. The presence of temperature gradient created an uneven concentration distribution and decreased the overall mass flux. Finally, radial temperature and fission gas concentration profiles were obtained for a fuel pellet in operation using an approximate 1-D model. The 100 µm long microstructurally explicit model was used to simulate, to the scale of a real UO2 pellet, the mass transport at different radial positions, with boundary conditions obtained from the profiles. Stronger percolation effects were observed at the intermediate and periphery position of the pellet. The results also showed that highest mass flux happens at the edge of a pellet at steady state to accommodate for the sharp concentration drop.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Synthesis and in situ environmental transmission electron microscopy investigations of ceria-based oxides for solid oxide fuel cell anodes

Description

The behavior of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cermet (ceramic-metal composite) anode under reaction conditions depends significantly on the structure, morphology and atomic scale interactions between the metal and

The behavior of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cermet (ceramic-metal composite) anode under reaction conditions depends significantly on the structure, morphology and atomic scale interactions between the metal and the ceramic components. In situ environmental transmission electron microscope (ETEM) is an important tool which not only allows us to perform the basic nanoscale characterization of the anode materials, but also to observe in real-time, the dynamic changes in the anode material under near-reaction conditions. The earlier part of this dissertation is focused on the synthesis and characterization of Pr- and Gd-doped cerium oxide anode materials. A novel spray drying set-up was designed and constructed for preparing nanoparticles of these mixed-oxides and nickel oxide for anode fabrication. X-ray powder diffraction was used to investigate the crystal structure and lattice parameters of the synthesized materials. Particle size distribution, morphology and chemical composition were investigated using transmission electron microscope (TEM). The nanoparticles were found to possess pit-like defects of average size 2 nm after subjecting the spray-dried material to heat treatment at 700 °C for 2 h in air. A novel electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) quantification technique for determining the Pr and Gd concentrations in the mixed oxides was developed. Nano-scale compositional heterogeneity was observed in these materials. The later part of the dissertation focuses mainly on in situ investigations of the anode materials under a H2 environment in the ETEM. Nano-scale changes in the stand-alone ceramic components of the cermet anode were first investigated. Particle size and composition of the individual nanoparticles of Pr-doped ceria (PDC) were found to affect their reducibility in H2 gas. Upon reduction, amorphization of the nanoparticles was observed and was linked to the presence of pit-like defects in the spray-dried material. Investigation of metal-ceramic interactions in the Ni-loaded PDC nanoparticles indicated a localized reduction of Ce in the vicinity of the Ni/PDC interface at 420 °C. Formation of a reduction zone around the interface was attributed to H spillover which was observed directly in the ETEM. Preliminary results on the fabrication of model SOFCs and in situ behavior of Ni/Gd-doped ceria anodes have been presented.

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Date Created
  • 2011