Matching Items (18)

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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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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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The role of mutations in protein structural dynamics and function: a multi-scale computational approach

Description

Proteins are a fundamental unit in biology. Although proteins have been extensively studied, there is still much to investigate. The mechanism by which proteins fold into their native state, how

Proteins are a fundamental unit in biology. Although proteins have been extensively studied, there is still much to investigate. The mechanism by which proteins fold into their native state, how evolution shapes structural dynamics, and the dynamic mechanisms of many diseases are not well understood. In this thesis, protein folding is explored using a multi-scale modeling method including (i) geometric constraint based simulations that efficiently search for native like topologies and (ii) reservoir replica exchange molecular dynamics, which identify the low free energy structures and refines these structures toward the native conformation. A test set of eight proteins and three ancestral steroid receptor proteins are folded to 2.7Å all-atom RMSD from their experimental crystal structures. Protein evolution and disease associated mutations (DAMs) are most commonly studied by in silico multiple sequence alignment methods. Here, however, the structural dynamics are incorporated to give insight into the evolution of three ancestral proteins and the mechanism of several diseases in human ferritin protein. The differences in conformational dynamics of these evolutionary related, functionally diverged ancestral steroid receptor proteins are investigated by obtaining the most collective motion through essential dynamics. Strikingly, this analysis shows that evolutionary diverged proteins of the same family do not share the same dynamic subspace. Rather, those sharing the same function are simultaneously clustered together and distant from those functionally diverged homologs. This dynamics analysis also identifies 77% of mutations (functional and permissive) necessary to evolve new function. In silico methods for prediction of DAMs rely on differences in evolution rate due to purifying selection and therefore the accuracy of DAM prediction decreases at fast and slow evolvable sites. Here, we investigate structural dynamics through computing the contribution of each residue to the biologically relevant fluctuations and from this define a metric: the dynamic stability index (DSI). Using DSI we study the mechanism for three diseases observed in the human ferritin protein. The T30I and R40G DAMs show a loss of dynamic stability at the C-terminus helix and nearby regulatory loop, agreeing with experimental results implicating the same regulatory loop as a cause in cataracts syndrome.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Spin orbit interactions in nulcear matter with auxiliary field diffusion Monte Carlo

Description

Spin-orbit interactions are important in determining nuclear structure. They lead to a shift in the energy levels in the nuclear shell model, which could explain the sequence of magic numbers

Spin-orbit interactions are important in determining nuclear structure. They lead to a shift in the energy levels in the nuclear shell model, which could explain the sequence of magic numbers in nuclei. Also in nucleon-nucleon scattering, the large nucleon polarization observed perpendicular to the plane of scattering needs to be explained by adding the spin-orbit interactions in the potential. Their effects change the equation of state and other properties of nuclear matter. Therefore, the simulation of spin-orbit interactions is necessary in nuclear matter.

The auxiliary field diffusion Monte Carlo is an effective and accurate method for calculating the ground state and low-lying exited states in nuclei and nuclear matter. It has successfully employed the Argonne v6' two-body potential to calculate the equation of state in nuclear matter, and has been applied to light nuclei with reasonable agreement with experimental results. However, the spin-orbit interactions were not included in the previous simulations, because the isospin-dependent spin-orbit potential is difficult in the quantum Monte Carlo method. This work develops a new method using extra auxiliary fields to break up the interactions between nucleons, so that the spin-orbit interaction with isospin can be included in the Hamiltonian, and ground-state energy and other properties can be obtained.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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TEM characterization of electrically stressed high electron mobility transistors

Description

High electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) based on Group III-nitride heterostructures have been characterized by advanced electron microscopy methods including off-axis electron holography, nanoscale chemical analysis, and electrical measurements, as well

High electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) based on Group III-nitride heterostructures have been characterized by advanced electron microscopy methods including off-axis electron holography, nanoscale chemical analysis, and electrical measurements, as well as other techniques. The dissertation was organized primarily into three topical areas: (1) characterization of near-gate defects in electrically stressed AlGaN/GaN HEMTs, (2) microstructural and chemical analysis of the gate/buffer interface of AlN/GaN HEMTs, and (3) studies of the impact of laser-liftoff processing on AlGaN/GaN HEMTs. The electrical performance of stressed AlGaN/GaN HEMTs was measured and the devices binned accordingly. Source- and drain-side degraded, undegraded, and unstressed devices were then prepared via focused-ion-beam milling for examination. Defects in the near-gate region were identified and their correlation to electrical measurements analyzed. Increased gate leakage after electrical stressing is typically attributed to "V"-shaped defects at the gate edge. However, strong evidence was found for gate metal diffusion into the barrier layer as another contributing factor. AlN/GaN HEMTs grown on sapphire substrates were found to have high electrical performance which is attributed to the AlN barrier layer, and robust ohmic and gate contact processes. TEM analysis identified oxidation at the gate metal/AlN buffer layer interface. This thin a-oxide gate insulator was further characterized by energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy and energy-filtered TEM. Attributed to this previously unidentified layer, high reverse gate bias up to −30 V was demonstrated and drain-induced gate leakage was suppressed to values of less than 10−6 A/mm. In addition, extrinsic gm and ft * LG were improved to the highest reported values for AlN/GaN HEMTs fabricated on sapphire substrates. Laser-liftoff (LLO) processing was used to separate the active layers from sapphire substrates for several GaN-based HEMT devices, including AlGaN/GaN and InAlN/GaN heterostructures. Warpage of the LLO samples resulted from relaxation of the as-grown strain and strain arising from dielectric and metal depositions, and this strain was quantified by both Newton's rings and Raman spectroscopy methods. TEM analysis demonstrated that the LLO processing produced no detrimental effects on the quality of the epitaxial layers. TEM micrographs showed no evidence of either damage to the ~2 μm GaN epilayer generated threading defects.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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The optical properties of nitride semiconductors for visible light emission

Description

Nitride semiconductors have wide applications in electronics and optoelectronics technologies. Understanding the nature of the optical recombination process and its effects on luminescence efficiency is important for the development of

Nitride semiconductors have wide applications in electronics and optoelectronics technologies. Understanding the nature of the optical recombination process and its effects on luminescence efficiency is important for the development of novel devices. This dissertation deals with the optical properties of nitride semiconductors, including GaN epitaxial layers and more complex heterostructures. The emission characteristics are examined by cathodoluminescence spectroscopy and imaging, and are correlated with the structural and electrical properties studied by transmission electron microscopy and electron holography. Four major areas are covered in this dissertation, which are described next. The effect of strain on the emission characteristics in wurtzite GaN has been studied. The values of the residual strain in GaN epilayers with different dislocation densities are determined by x-ray diffraction, and the relationship between exciton emission energy and the in-plane residual strain is demonstrated. It shows that the emission energy increases withthe magnitude of the in-plane compressive strain. The temperature dependence of the emission characteristics in cubic GaN has been studied. It is observed that the exciton emission and donor-acceptor pair recombination behave differently with temperature. The donor-bound exciton binding energy has been measured to be 13 meV from the temperature dependence of the emission spectrum. It is also found that the ionization energies for both acceptors and donors are smaller in cubic compared with hexagonal structures, which should contribute to higher doping efficiencies. A comprehensive study on the structural and optical properties is presented for InGaN/GaN quantum wells emitting in the blue, green, and yellow regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Transmission electron microscopy images indicate the presence of indium inhomogeneties which should be responsible for carrier localization. The temperature dependence of emission luminescence shows that the carrier localization effects become more significant with increasing emission wavelength. On the other hand, the effect of non-radiative recombination on luminescence efficiency also varies with the emission wavelength. The fast increase of the non-radiative recombination rate with temperature in the green emitting QWs contributes to the lower efficiency compared with the blue emitting QWs. The possible saturation of non-radiative recombination above 100 K may explain the unexpected high emission efficiency for the yellow emitting QWs Finally, the effects of InGaN underlayers on the electronic and optical properties of InGaN/GaN quantum wells emitting in visible spectral regions have been studied. A significant improvement of the emission efficiency is observed, which is associated with a blue shift in the emission energy, a reduced recombination lifetime, an increased spatial homogeneity in the luminescence, and a weaker internal field across the quantum wells. These are explained by a partial strain relaxation introduced by the InGaN underlayer, which is measured by reciprocal space mapping of the x-ray diffraction intensity.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Quantum Monte Carlo calculations of light nuclei with non-local potentials

Description

Monte Carlo methods often used in nuclear physics, such as auxiliary field diffusion Monte Carlo and Green's function Monte Carlo, have typically relied on phenomenological local real-space potentials containing as

Monte Carlo methods often used in nuclear physics, such as auxiliary field diffusion Monte Carlo and Green's function Monte Carlo, have typically relied on phenomenological local real-space potentials containing as few derivatives as possible, such as the Argonne-Urbana family of interactions, to make sampling simple and efficient. Basis set methods such as no-core shell model or coupled-cluster techniques typically use softer non-local potentials because of their more rapid convergence with basis set size. These non-local potentials are typically defined in momentum space and are often based on effective field theory. Comparisons of the results of the two types of methods are complicated by the use of different potentials. This thesis discusses progress made in using such non-local potentials in quantum Monte Carlo calculations of light nuclei. In particular, it shows methods for evaluating the real-space, imaginary-time propagators needed to perform quantum Monte Carlo calculations using non-local potentials and universality properties of these propagators, how to formulate a good trial wave function for non-local potentials, and how to perform a "one-step" Green's function Monte Carlo calculation for non-local potentials.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Electronic and ionic transport in carbon nanotubes and other nanostructures

Description

This thesis describes several experiments based on carbon nanotube nanofludic devices and field-effect transistors. The first experiment detected ion and molecule translocation through one single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) that spans

This thesis describes several experiments based on carbon nanotube nanofludic devices and field-effect transistors. The first experiment detected ion and molecule translocation through one single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) that spans a barrier between two fluid reservoirs. The electrical ionic current is measured. Translocation of small single stranded DNA oligomers is marked by large transient increases in current through the tube and confirmed by a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) analysis. Carbon nanotubes simplify the construction of nanopores, permit new types of electrical measurement, and open new avenues for control of DNA translocation. The second experiment constructed devices in which the interior of a single-walled carbon nanotube field-effect transistor (CNT-FET) acts as a nanofluidic channel that connects two fluid reservoirs, permitting measurement of the electronic properties of the SWCNT as it is wetted by an analyte. Wetting of the inside of the SWCNT by water turns the transistor on, while wetting of the outside has little effect. This finding may provide a new method to investigate water behavior at nanoscale. This also opens a new avenue for building sensors in which the SWCNT functions as an electronic detector. This thesis also presents some experiments that related to nanofabrication, such as construction of FET with tin sulfide (SnS) quantum ribbon. This work demonstrates the application of solution processed IV-VI semiconductor nanostructures in nanoscale devices.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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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.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Polarization effects in group III-nitride materials and devices

Description

Group III-nitride semiconductors have wide application in optoelectronic devices. Spontaneous and piezoelectric polarization effects have been found to be critical for electric and optical properties of group III-nitrides. In this

Group III-nitride semiconductors have wide application in optoelectronic devices. Spontaneous and piezoelectric polarization effects have been found to be critical for electric and optical properties of group III-nitrides. In this dissertation, firstly, the crystal orientation dependence of the polarization is calculated and in-plane polarization is revealed. The in-plane polarization is sensitive to the lateral characteristic dimension determined by the microstructure. Specific semi-polar plane growth is suggested for reducing quantum-confined Stark effect. The macroscopic electrostatic field from the polarization discontinuity in the heterostructures is discussed, b ased on that, the band diagram of InGaN/GaN quantum well/barrier and AlGaN/GaN heterojunction is obtained from the self-consistent solution of Schrodinger and Poisson equations. New device design such as triangular quantum well with the quenched polarization field is proposed. Electron holography in the transmission electron microscopy is used to examine the electrostatic potential under polarization effects. The measured potential energy profiles of heterostructure are compared with the band simulation, and evidences of two-dimensional hole gas (2DHG) in a wurtzite AlGaN/ AlN/ GaN superlattice, as well as quasi two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) in a zinc-blende AlGaN/GaN are found. The large polarization discontinuity of AlN/GaN is the main source of the 2DHG of wurtzite nitrides, while the impurity introduced during the growth of AlGaN layer provides the donor states that to a great extent balance the free electrons in zinc-blende nitrides. It is also found that the quasi-2DEG concentration in zinc-blende AlGaN/GaN is about one order of magnitude lower than the wurtzite AlGaN/GaN, due to the absence of polarization. Finally, the InAlN/GaN lattice-matched epitaxy, which ideally has a zero piezoelectric polarization and strong spontaneous polarization, is experimentally studied. The breakdown in compositional homogeneity is triggered by threading dislocations with a screw component propagating from the GaN underlayer, which tend to open up into V-grooves at a certain thickness of the InxAl1-xN layer. The V-grooves coalesce at 200 nm and are filled with material that exhibits a significant drop in indium content and a broad luminescence peak. The structural breakdown is due to heterogeneous nucleation and growth at the facets of the V-grooves.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Carbon nanotube based nanofluidic devices

Description

Nanofluidic devices in which one single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) spans a barrier between two fluid reservoirs were constructed, enabling direct electrical measurement of the transport of ions and molecules. Ion

Nanofluidic devices in which one single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) spans a barrier between two fluid reservoirs were constructed, enabling direct electrical measurement of the transport of ions and molecules. Ion current through these devices is about 2 orders of magnitude larger than that predicted from the bulk resistivity of the electrolyte. Electroosmosis drives excess current, carried by cations, and is found to be the origin of giant ionic current through SWCNT as shown by building an ionic field-effect transistor with a gate electrode embedded in the fluid barrier. Wetting of inside of the semi-conducting SWCNT by water showed the change of its electronic property, turning the electronic SWCNT field-effect transistor to "on" state. These findings provide a new method to investigate and control the ion and molecule behavior at nanoscale.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011