Hamlett, Christopher A. E. (2008)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The application of nanoscience in various scientific fields is introduced in Chapter 1 by outlining some of the major drivers of this rapidly evolving field. Methods of nanoscale fabrication, utilizing both 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' approaches, are also introduced in this chapter. Nanoscale characterization techniques that allow the visualization of the 'nanoworld' are introduced in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 is concerned with the modification of Si\(_3\)N\(_4\) substrates with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of 3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane (APTMS) via a vapour deposition method. This investigation was carried out by forming APTMS SAMs, from the solution phase, on both SiO\(_2\) and Si\(_3\)N\(_4\) substrates and comparing them to provide a model with which to compare SAMs formed by a novel vapour phase methodology. Chapter 4 further develops the work from Chapter 3 by chemically modifying Si\(_3\)N\(_4\) resonators with APTMS SAMs via vapour deposition. The chemically modified resonators were then used for the mass detection of citrate passivated Au nanoparticles and the results were compared to AFM and XPS studies of the same system but on planar substrates. Chapter 5 is concerned with the fabrication of a bioarray for the patterned immobilization of human spermatozoa cells. Such arrays would allow for the investigation of specific individual sperm cells. This could have a use in the field of artificial insemination. Chapter 6 utilizes citrate passivated Au nanoparticles to prepare composite PEO/Au nanoparticle solutions for the formation of sub-micron diameter electrospinning. Such fibres are electrospun from solutions of 4 different concentrations of PEO and then subsequently characterized by optical microscopy, AFM, TEM and DSC.
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