Matching Items (20)

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Damage-Free Vibrational Spectroscopy of Biological Materials in the Electron Microscope

Description

Vibrational spectroscopy in the electron microscope would be transformative in the study of biological samples, provided that radiation damage could be prevented. However, electron beams typically create high-energy excitations that severely accelerate sample degradation. Here this major difficulty is overcome

Vibrational spectroscopy in the electron microscope would be transformative in the study of biological samples, provided that radiation damage could be prevented. However, electron beams typically create high-energy excitations that severely accelerate sample degradation. Here this major difficulty is overcome using an ‘aloof’ electron beam, positioned tens of nanometres away from the sample: high-energy excitations are suppressed, while vibrational modes of energies <1 eV can be ‘safely’ investigated. To demonstrate the potential of aloof spectroscopy, we record electron energy loss spectra from biogenic guanine crystals in their native state, resolving their characteristic C–H, N–H and C=O vibrational signatures with no observable radiation damage. The technique opens up the possibility of non-damaging compositional analyses of organic functional groups, including non-crystalline biological materials, at a spatial resolution of ∼10 nm, simultaneously combined with imaging in the electron microscope.

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2016-03-10

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Effect of Defects on Calculation of Electron Energy Loss Spectra of Ceria and Titania

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Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing today's society.Since the late 19th century, the global average temperature has been rising. In order to minimize the temperature increase of the earth, it is necessary to develop alternative energy technologies

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing today's society.Since the late 19th century, the global average temperature has been rising. In order to minimize the temperature increase of the earth, it is necessary to develop alternative energy technologies that do not depend on fossil fuels. Solar fuels are one potential energy source for the future. Solar fuel technologies use catalysts to convert low energy molecules into fuels via artificial photosynthesis. TiO2, or titania, is an important model photocatalyst for studying these reactions. It is also important to use remaining fossil fuel resources efficiently and with the lowest possible greenhouse gas emissions. Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that aim to accomplish this goal and CeO2, or ceria, is an important material used in these devices. One way to observe the atomic structure of a material is with a transmission electron microscope (TEM). A traditional transmission electron microscope employs a beam of fast electrons to form atomic resolution images of a material. While imaging gives information about the positions of the atoms in the material, spectroscopy gives information about the composition and bonding of the material. A type of spectroscopy that can be performed inside the transmission electron microscope is electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), which provides a fundamental understanding of the electronic structure of a material. The energy loss spectrum also contains information on the chemical bonding in the material, and theoretical calculations that model the spectra are essential to correctly interpreting this bonding information. FEFF is a software that performs EELS calculations. Calculations of the oxygen K edges of TiO2 and CeO2 were made using FEFF in order to understand the changes that occur in the spectrum when oxygen vacancies are introduced as well as the changes near a grain boundary.

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2013-12

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Determination of Renal Stone Composition with Dual-Energy CT

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This research evaluates the capabilities of typical radiological measures and dual-energy systems to differentiate common kidney stones materials: uric acid, oxalates, phosphates, struvite, and cystine. Two different X-ray spectra (80 kV and 120 kV) were applied and the dual-energy ratio

This research evaluates the capabilities of typical radiological measures and dual-energy systems to differentiate common kidney stones materials: uric acid, oxalates, phosphates, struvite, and cystine. Two different X-ray spectra (80 kV and 120 kV) were applied and the dual-energy ratio of individual kidney stones was used to figure out the discriminability of different materials. A CT cross-section with a prospective kidney stone was analyzed to see the capabilities of such a technique. Typical radiological measures suggested that phosphates and oxalate stones can be distinguished from uric acid stones while dual-energy seemed to prove similar effectiveness.

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2020-05

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Nano-bonding of silicon oxides-based surfaces at low temperature: bonding interphase modeling via molecular dynamics and characterization of bonding surfaces topography, hydro-affinity and free energy

Description

In this work, a new method, "Nanobonding" [1,2] is conceived and researched to bond Si-based surfaces, via nucleation and growth of a 2 D silicon oxide SiOxHx interphase connecting the surfaces at the nanoscale across macroscopic domains. Nanobonding cross-bridges two

In this work, a new method, "Nanobonding" [1,2] is conceived and researched to bond Si-based surfaces, via nucleation and growth of a 2 D silicon oxide SiOxHx interphase connecting the surfaces at the nanoscale across macroscopic domains. Nanobonding cross-bridges two smooth surfaces put into mechanical contact in an O2/H2O mixed ambient below T <200 °C via arrays of SiOxHx molecules connecting into a continuous macroscopic bonding interphase. Nano-scale surface planarization via wet chemical processing and new spin technology are compared via Tapping Mode Atomic Force Microscopy (TMAFM) , before and after nano-bonding. Nanobonding uses precursor phases, 2D nano-films of beta-cristobalite (beta-c) SiO2, nucleated on Si(100) via the Herbots-Atluri (H-A) method [1]. beta-c SiO2 on Si(100) is ordered and flat with atomic terraces over 20 nm wide, well above 2 nm found in native oxides. When contacted with SiO2 this ultra-smooth nanophase can nucleate and grow domains with cross-bridging molecular strands of hydroxylated SiOx, instead of point contacts. The high density of molecular bonds across extended terraces forms a strong bond between Si-based substrates, nano- bonding [2] the Si and silica. A new model of beta-cristobalite SiO2 with its <110> axis aligned along Si[100] direction is simulated via ab-initio methods in a nano-bonded stack with beta-c SiO2 in contact with amorphous SiO2 (a-SiO2), modelling cross-bridging molecular bonds between beta-c SiO2 on Si(100) and a-SiO2 as during nanobonding. Computed total energies are compared with those found for Si(100) and a-SiO2 and show that the presence of two lattice cells of !-c SiO2 on Si(100) and a-SiO2 lowers energy when compared to Si(100)/ a-SiO2 Shadow cone calculations on three models of beta-c SiO2 on Si(100) are compared with Ion Beam Analysis of H-A processed Si(100). Total surface energy measurements via 3 liquid contact angle analysis of Si(100) after H-A method processing are also compared. By combining nanobonding experiments, TMAFM results, surface energy data, and ab-initio calculations, an atomistic model is derived and nanobonding is optimized. [1] US Patent 6,613,677 (9/2/03), 7,851,365 (12/14/10), [2] Patent Filed: 4/30/09, 10/1/2011

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Date Created
2011

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Raman spectroscopy characterization of anharmonicity and alloying effects in semiconductor materials

Description

The chemical sensitivity and spatial resolution of Raman spectroscopy, combined with the sensitivity of modern systems that can easily detect single atomic layers, have made this technique a preferred choice for the strain characterization of complex systems such as nanoscale

The chemical sensitivity and spatial resolution of Raman spectroscopy, combined with the sensitivity of modern systems that can easily detect single atomic layers, have made this technique a preferred choice for the strain characterization of complex systems such as nanoscale complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor - CMOS - devices. A disadvantage of Raman spectroscopy, however, is that the shifts associated with strain are not related to the geometrical deformations in any obvious way, so that careful calibrations are needed to determine the anharmonic coefficients (p, q and r) that relate strain to Raman shifts. A new set of measurements of the Raman shift in strained Ge films grown on relaxed SiGe buffer layers deposited on Si substrates is presented, and thereby, a new consistent set of values for the parameters p and q for Ge has been proposed. In this dissertation the study of the vibrational properties of Ge1-xSnx alloys has also been reported. The temperature dependence of the Raman spectrum of Ge-rich Ge1-x Snx and Ge1-x-ySi xSny alloys has been determined in the 10 K - 450 K range. The Raman line shift and width changes as a function of temperature are found to be virtually identical to those observed in bulk Ge. This result shows that the anharmonic decay process responsible for the temperature dependence is extremely robust against the alloy perturbation.

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Date Created
2011

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Models for amorphous calcium carbonate

Description

Many species e.g. sea urchin form amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) precursor phases that subsequently transform into crystalline CaCO3. It is certainly possible that the biogenic ACC might have more than 10 wt% Mg and ∼ 3 wt% of water. The

Many species e.g. sea urchin form amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) precursor phases that subsequently transform into crystalline CaCO3. It is certainly possible that the biogenic ACC might have more than 10 wt% Mg and ∼ 3 wt% of water. The structure of ACC and the mechanisms by which it transforms to crystalline phase are still poorly understood. In this dissertation our goal is to determine an atomic structure model that is consistent with diffraction and IR measurements of ACC. For this purpose a calcite supercell with 24 formula units, containing 120 atoms, was constructed. Various configurations with substitution of Ca by 6 Mg ions (6 wt.%) and insertion of 3-5 H2O molecules (2.25-3.75 wt.%) in the interstitial positions of the supercell, were relaxed using a robust density function code VASP. The most noticeable effects were the tilts of CO3 groups and the distortion of Ca sub-lattice, especially in the hydrated case. The distributions of Ca-Ca nearest neighbor distance and CO3 tilts were extracted from various configurations. The same methods were also applied to aragonite. Sampling from the calculated distortion distributions, we built models for amorphous calcite/aragonite of size ∼ 1700 nm3 based on a multi-scale modeling scheme. We used these models to generate diffraction patterns and profiles with our diffraction code. We found that the induced distortions were not enough to generate a diffraction profile typical of an amorphous material. We then studied the diffraction profiles from several nano-crystallites as recent studies suggest that ACC might be a random array of nanocryatallites. It was found that the generated diffraction profile from a nano-crystallite of size ∼ 2 nm3 is similar to that from the ACC.

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Date Created
2012

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The effect of material properties on energy resolution in gamma-ray detectors

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Nuclear proliferation concerns have resulted in a desire for radiation detectors with superior energy resolution. In this dissertation a Monte Carlo code is developed for calculating energy resolution in gamma-ray detector materials. The effects of basic material properties such

Nuclear proliferation concerns have resulted in a desire for radiation detectors with superior energy resolution. In this dissertation a Monte Carlo code is developed for calculating energy resolution in gamma-ray detector materials. The effects of basic material properties such as the bandgap and plasmon resonance energy are studied using a model for inelastic electron scattering based on electron energy-loss spectra. From a simplified "toy model" for a generic material, energy resolution is found to oscillate as the plasmon resonance energy is increased, and energy resolution can also depend on the valence band width. By incorporating the model developed here as an extension of the radiation transport code Penelope, photon processes are also included. The enhanced version of Penelope is used to calculate the Fano factor and average electron-hole pair energy in semiconductors silicon, gallium arsenide, zinc telluride, and scintillators cerium fluoride and lutetium oxyorthosilicate (LSO). If the effects of the valence band density-of-states and phonon scattering are removed, the calculated energy-resolution for these materials is fairly close to that for a toy model with a uniform electron energy-loss probability density function. This implies that the details of the electron cascade may in some cases have only a marginal effect on energy resolution.

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Date Created
2011

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Emergence of biological phenotypes with subcellular based modeling: from cells to tissues

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This dissertation features a compilation of studies concerning the biophysics of multicellular systems. I explore eukaryotic systems across length scales of the cell cytoskeleton to macroscopic scales of tissues. I begin with a general overview of the natural phenomena of

This dissertation features a compilation of studies concerning the biophysics of multicellular systems. I explore eukaryotic systems across length scales of the cell cytoskeleton to macroscopic scales of tissues. I begin with a general overview of the natural phenomena of life and a philosophy of investigating developmental systems in biology. The topics covered throughout this dissertation require a background in eukaryotic cell physiology, viscoelasticity, and processes of embryonic tissue morphogenesis. Following a brief background on these topics, I present an overview of the Subcellular Element Model (ScEM). This is a modeling framework which allows one to compute the dynamics of large numbers of three-dimensional deformable cells in multi-cellular systems. A primary focus of the work presented here is implementing cellular function within the framework of this model to produce biologically meaningful phenotypes. In this way, it is hoped that this modeling may inform biological understanding of the underlying mechanisms which manifest into a given cell or tissue scale phenomenon. Thus, all theoretical investigations presented here are motivated by and compared to experimental observations. With the ScEM modeling framework I first explore the passive properties of viscoelastic networks. Then as a direct extension of this work, I consider the active properties of cells, which result in biological behavior and the emergence of non-trivial biological phenotypes in cells and tissues. I then explore the possible role of chemotaxis as a mechanism of orchestrating large scale tissue morphogenesis in the early embryonic stages of amniotes. Finally I discuss the cross-sectional topology of proliferating epithelial tissues. I show how the Subcellular Element Model (ScEM) is a phenomenological model of finite elements whose interactions can be calibrated to describe the viscoelastic properties of biological materials. I further show that implementing mechanisms of cytoskeletal remodeling yields cellular and tissue phenotypes that are more and more biologically realistic. Particularly I show that structural remodeling of the cell cytoskeleton is crucial for large scale cell deformations. I provide supporting evidence that a chemotactic dipole mechanism is able to orchestrate the type of large scale collective cell movement observed in the chick epiblast during gastrulation and primitive streak formation. Finally, I show that cell neighbor histograms provide a potentially unique signature measurement of tissue topology; such measurements may find use in identifying cellular level phenotypes from a single snapshot micrograph.

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2011

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Zeolites: structural properties and benchmarks of feasibility

Description

Zeolites are a class of microporous materials that are immensely useful as molecular sieves and catalysts. While there exist millions of hypothetical zeolite topologies, only 206 have been recognized to exist in nature, and the question remains: What distinguishes known

Zeolites are a class of microporous materials that are immensely useful as molecular sieves and catalysts. While there exist millions of hypothetical zeolite topologies, only 206 have been recognized to exist in nature, and the question remains: What distinguishes known zeolite topologies from their hypothetical counterparts? It has been found that all 206 of the known zeolites can be represented as networks of rigid perfect tetrahedra that hinge freely at the connected corners. The range of configurations over which the corresponding geometric constraints can be met has been termed the "flexibility window". Only a small percentage of hypothetical types exhibit a flexibility window, and it is thus proposed that this simple geometric property, the existence of a flexibility window, provides a reliable benchmark for distinguishing potentially realizable hypothetical structures from their infeasible counterparts. As a first approximation of the behavior of real zeolite materials, the flexibility window provides additional useful insights into structure and composition. In this thesis, various methods for locating and exploring the flexibility window are discussed. Also examined is the assumption that the tetrahedral corners are force-free. This is a reasonable approximation in silicates for Si-O-Si angles above ~135°. However, the approximation is poor for germanates, where Ge-O-Ge angles are constrained to the range ~120°-145°. Lastly, a class of interesting low-density hypothetical zeolites is evaluated based on the feasibility criteria introduced.

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Date Created
2013

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A system for in situ UV-visible illumination of transmission electron microscope samples

Description

A system for illuminating a sample in situ with visible and UV light inside a transmission electron microscope was devised to study photocatalysts. There are many factors which must be considered when designing and building such a system. These include

A system for illuminating a sample in situ with visible and UV light inside a transmission electron microscope was devised to study photocatalysts. There are many factors which must be considered when designing and building such a system. These include both mechanical, optical, and electron optical considerations. Some of the restrictions posed by the electron microscope column are significant, and care must be taken not to degrade the microscope's electron optical performance, or to unduly restrict the other current capabilities of the microscope. The nature of these various design considerations is discussed in detail. A description of the system that has been added to the microscope at ASU, an FEI Tecnai F20 environmental transmission electron microscope is also given. The system includes a high brightness broadband light source with optical filters, a fiber to guide the light to the sample, and a system for precisely aligning the fiber tip. The spatial distribution and spectrum of the light reaching the sample has been characterized, and is described in detail.

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Date Created
2012