Now showing items 1-20 of 18587

    • Light based underwater wireless communications

      Oubei, Hassan M.; Shen, Chao; Kammoun, Abla; Zedini, Emna; Park, Kihong; Sun, Xiaobin; Liu, Guangyu; Kang, Chun Hong; Ng, Tien Khee; Alouini, Mohamed-Slim; Ooi, Boon S. (IOP Science, 2018-07-17)
      Underwater wireless optical communication (UWOC) is a wireless communication technology that uses visible light to transmit data in underwater environment. Compared to radio-frequency (RF) and acoustic underwater techniques, UWOC has many advantages including large information bandwidth, unlicensed spectrum and low power requirements. This review paper provides an overview of the latest UWOC research. Additionally, we present a detailed description of transmitter and receiver technologies which are key components of UWOC systems. Moreover, studies investigating underwater optical channel models for both simple attenuation and the impact of turbulence including air bubbles and inhomogeneous salinity and temperature are also described. Future research challenges are identified and outlined.
    • Unleashing the potential of molecular beam epitaxy grown AlGaN-based ultraviolet-spectrum nanowires devices

      Min, Jungwook; Priante, Davide; Tangi, Malleswararao; Liu, Guangyu; Kang, Chun Hong; Prabaswara, Aditya; Zhao, Chao; Al-Maghrabi, Latifah; Alaskar, Yazeed; Albadri, Abdulrahman M.; Alyamani, Ahmed Y.; Ng, Tien Khee; Ooi, Boon S. (SPIE, 2018-07-12)
      There have been recent research advances in AlGaN-based self-assembled nanowires (NWs) as building blocks for ultraviolet (UV) optoelectronics grown by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy. We review the basic growth kinetics on various foundry-compatible-metal/silicon-based substrates and the epistructure design for UV devices. We highlight the use of diffusion-barrier-metal thin film on silicon substrate as a solution to enhance device performance. NWs offer the opportunity to mitigate the detrimental quantum-confined Stark effect (QCSE), which lowers the recombination rate thereby reducing the device efficiency. On the other hand, the polarization-induced doping from the graded composition along NWs can be advantageous for eluding the inefficient doping in AlGaN-based UV devices. Sidewall surface states and the associate passivation treatment, as well as the use of ultrafast electron-microscopy characterization, are crucial investigations in shedding light on device performance under the influence of surface dangling bonds. For investigating the electrical performance of individual NWs and NWs light-emitting diode as a single entity, recent reports based on conductive atomic force microscopy measurements provide fast-prototyping in-process pass-fail evaluation and a means of improving growth for high-performance devices. Stress tests of NWs devices, crucial for reliable operation, are also discussed. Beyond applications in LEDs, an AlGaN-based NWs solar-blind photodetector demonstrated leveraging on the dislocation-free active region, reduced QCSE, enhanced light absorption, and tunable-composition features. The review opens pathways and offers insights for practical realization of AlGaN-based axial NWs devices on scalable and low-cost silicon substrates.
    • Paving the Way for Efficient Content Delivery in Mobile Networks

      Lau, Chun Pong (2018-07-10)
      The flexibility of future mobile networks exploiting modern technologies such as cloud-optimized radio access and software-defined networks opens a gateway to deploying dynamic strategies for live and on-demand content delivery. Traditional live broadcasting systems are spectral inefficient. It takes up a lot more radio spectrum than that of mobile networks, to cover the same size of an area. Furthermore, content caching at base stations reduces network traffic in core networks. However, numerous duplicated copies of contents are still transmitted in the unicast fashion in radio access networks. It consumes valuable radio spectrum and unnecessary energy. Finally, due to the present of numerous mobile receivers with a wide diversity of wireless channels in a base station coverage area, it is a challenge to select a proper modulation scheme for video broadcasting to optimize the quality of services for users. In this thesis, the challenges and the problems in the current strategies for content delivery are addressed. A holistic novel solution is proposed that considers user preferences, user mobility, device-to-device communication, physical-layer resource allocation, and video quality prediction. First, a system-level scheduling framework is introduced to increase the spectral efficiency on broadcasting live contents onto mobile networks. It considers the audience preferences for allocating radio resources spatially and temporally. Second, to reduce the redundant transmissions in radio access networks, a content distribution system that exploits user mobility is proposed that utilizes the urban-scale user mobility and broadcasting nature of wireless communication for delay-tolerant large size content. Third, to further reduce the energy consumption in network infrastructure, a content distribution system that relies on both user mobility, and device-to-device communication is proposed. It leverages the mobile users as content carriers to offload the heavy mobile traffic from network-level onto device-level. Fourth, to mitigate the multi-user channel diversity problem, a cross-layer approach is deployed to increase the video quality for users especially for those who have a low signal-to-noise ratio signal. Finally, data mining techniques are employed to predict video qualities of wireless transmissions over mobile networks. The holistic solution has been empirically developed and evaluated. It achieves high spectral and energy efficiency and mitigates the video quality degradation in mobile networks.
    • Diode junction temperature in ultraviolet AlGaN quantum-disks-in-nanowires

      Priante, Davide; Elafandy, Rami T.; Prabaswara, Aditya; Janjua, Bilal; Zhao, Chao; Alias, Mohd Sharizal; Tangi, Malleswararao; Alaskar, Yazeed; Albadri, Abdulrahman M.; Alyamani, Ahmed Y.; Ng, Tien Khee; Ooi, Boon S. (AIP, 2018-07-05)
      The diode junction temperature (Tj) of light emitting devices is a key parameter affecting the efficiency, output power, and reliability. Herein, we present experimental measurements of the Tj on ultraviolet (UV) AlGaN nanowire (NW) light emitting diodes (LEDs), grown on a thin metal-film and silicon substrate using the diode forward voltage and electroluminescence peak-shift methods. The forward-voltage vs temperature curves show temperature coefficient dVF/dT values of −6.3 mV/°C and −5.2 mV/°C, respectively. The significantly smaller Tj of ∼61 °C is measured for the sample on the metal substrate, as compared to that of the sample on silicon (∼105 °C), at 50 mA, which results from the better electrical-to-optical energy conversion and the absence of the thermally insulating SiNx at the NWs/silicon interface. In contrast to the reported higher Tj values for AlGaN planar LEDs exhibiting low lateral and vertical heat dissipation, we obtained a relatively lower Tj at similar values of injection current. Lower temperatures are also achieved using an Infrared camera, confirming that the Tj reaches higher values than the overall device temperature. Furthermore, the heat source density is simulated and compared to experimental data. This work provides insight into addressing the high junction temperature limitations in light-emitters, by using a highly conductive thin metal substrate, and it aims to realize UV AlGaN NWs for high power and reliable emitting devices.
    • Experimental Investigation on The Influence of Liquid Fuels Composition on The Operational Characteristics of The Liquid Fueled Resonant Pulse Combustor

      Qatomah, Mohammad (2018-07)
      In this study, the response of a liquid-fueled resonant pulse combustor to changes in liquid fuel composition was investigated. Experiments were performed with gasoline- ethanol, gasoline-diesel, and gasoline-heptane mixtures selected to produce meaningful variations in the ignition delay time. A review of ignition quality tester (IQT) data provided an expected increase in the overall delay for gasoline-ethanol mixtures with increasing ethanol concentrations, and a decrease for gasoline-diesel mixtures with increasing diesel concentrations in the mixture. By taking the phase of the ion signal as an indicator of heat release timing, the experimental results showed an agreement of gasoline-ethanol cases with the IQT data with a near linear increase with increasing ethanol concentrations. However, for gasoline-diesel, there exit no linear relation with the IQT data. For the case of gasoline-heptane mixtures, the results showed a linear decrease in delay with increasing heptane concentrations. Furthermore, it was shown that small changes in the physical properties of the fuel can significantly in sequence the cold-start operation of the combustor and alter the coupling between the unsteady heat release and resonant acoustic pressure wave during resonant operation. Dynamic combustion chamber pressure, stagnation temperature and pressure are recorded after a fixed warm-up time to characterize the performance and operation of the device. Results are interpreted in the context of fuel sensitivity and performance optimization of a resonant pulse combustor for pressure gain turbine applications.
    • Ecology of the Mangrove Microbiome

      Booth, Jenny (2018-07)
      Plants and animals have evolved unique morpho-physiological adaptions to cope with the harsh and steep environmental gradients that characterise the mangrove ecosystem. However, the capacity of these two main components of the system to thrive, and the extraordinary productivity of mangrove forests in extreme conditions, has been overlooked in terms of the role of the microbiome. By combining approaches that included molecular microbial ecology, biogeochemical analyses, microscopy, raman spectroscopy and microsensor measurements, this thesis aimed to investigate the potential role of bacterial symbiosis in the adaptation of mangrove crabs to their environment and subsequently how these different animals modify their environment. Finally, with a field-based approach monitoring microbial communities, sediment metabolism and plant performance, the thesis aimed to investigate the plant/animal/bacterial dynamics in relation to seasonal environmental changes to contribute to understand the mangrove plant productivity paradox of high productivity under conditions of limited nutrents. Crab species were associated with distinct gill-bacteria communities, that produced carotenoids, according with their level of terrestrial adaptation. These carotenoids may be involved in protecting the gills from oxidative stress during air exposure. The main groups of ecosystem engineering crabs in mangroves had significant but diverse effects on the sediment environment and microbiome predominantly related to their ecology (i.e. filter feeder vs herbivore). Burrows increase aerobic microbial activity in the immediate burrow wall with a cascade effect on sediment microbial communities and nutrient distribution observed consistently across mangroves in different locations and with diverse environmental conditions. Microorganisms play an important role in adapting crabs on their evolutionary path to land and could contribute to the success of their colonization. At high population densities, of more than 50 individuals per square meter in some mangroves, these crabs deeply impact the functioning of the mangrove ecosystem, affecting microbial networks and nutrient recycling in the sediment, which may ameliorate conditions for plant growth. The microbiome is an understudied component of mangroves that lies at the basis of the functioning of these systems, influencing the success of the animal inhabitants (ecosystem engineers) that deeply modify the sediment microbiome, therefore influencing ecosystem functioning and resilience and, potentially, the success of the plants themselves (ecosystem architects).
    • Scalable Discovery and Analytics on Web Linked Data

      Abdelaziz, Ibrahim (2018-07)
      Resource Description Framework (RDF) provides a simple way for expressing facts across the web, leading to Web linked data. Several distributed and federated RDF systems have emerged to handle the massive amounts of RDF data available nowadays. Distributed systems are optimized to query massive datasets that appear as a single graph, while federated systems are designed to query hundreds of decentralized and interlinked graphs. This thesis starts with a comprehensive experimental study of the state-of-the-art RDF systems. It identifies a set of research problems for improving the state-of-the-art, including: supporting the emerging RDF analytics required by many modern applications, querying linked data at scale, and enabling discovery on linked data. Addressing these problems is the focus of this thesis. First, we propose Spartex; a versatile framework for complex RDF analytics. Spartex extends SPARQL to seamlessly combine generic graph algorithms with SPARQL queries. Spartex implements a generic SPARQL operator as a vertex-centric program that interprets SPARQL queries and executes them efficiently using a built-in optimizer. We demonstrate that Spartex scales to datasets with billions of edges, and is at least as fast as the state-of-the-art specialized RDF engines. For analytical tasks, Spartex is an order of magnitude faster than existing alternatives. To address the scalability limitation of federated RDF engines, we propose Lusail; a scalable system for querying geo-distributed RDF graphs. Lusail follows a two-tier strategy: (i) locality-aware decomposition of the query into subqueries to maximize the computations at the endpoints and minimize intermediary results, and (ii) selectivity-aware execution to reduce network latency and increase parallelism. Our experiments on billions of triples show that Lusail outperforms existing systems by orders of magnitude in scalability and response time. Finally, enabling discovery on linked data is challenging due to the prior knowledge required to formulate SPARQL queries. To address these challenges; we develop novel techniques to (i) predict semantically equivalent SPARQL queries from a set of keywords by leveraging word embeddings, and (ii) generate fine-grained and non-blocking query plans to get fast and early results.
    • Indoor Localization Using Three dimensional Multi-PDs Receiver Based on RSS

      Liu, Yinghao (2018-07)
      In modern life, there are many applications where positioning plays an important role. People have developed the global positioning system (GPS) to locate world wide position with error in decameter scales, which brings people much convenience. However, the accuracy of GPS is too low for indoor localization. The signals will drop down due to the signal attenuation caused by construction materials. With the well-developed GPS being indispensable for outdoor activities, many researchers have been also devoted to seeking an indoor positioning system to realize indoor localization with acceptable error. Indoor localization can be very useful in different situations, like locating, tracking, navigation and identification. For example, in the mall, locating the exact goods for customers can provide much convenience and benefits. Locating and tracking in the airport can greatly help passengers save their time and energy in reaching the destination. In another general scenario of identification, the population of observed targets is usually larger than just one. Hence, only with small error, indoor localization system (ILS) can be able to identify the targets despite the neighbors. Due to the emerging and urging demands of increasing the accuracy of indoor localization, we propose a novel design of three dimensional (3-D). optical receiver for visible light communication (VLC) indoor positioning system. First, we model the optical wireless channel. Then we utilize modified triangulation method to obtain more robust receiver position by using at least two light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and one receiver consisting of nine photodetectors (PDs). Finally, the improved algorithm is implemented and the results are shown under our three dimensional multiple photodetectors (multi-PDs) structure receiver. In the simulation, we take the parameters of Lambertian radiation pattern, LEDs and PDs as those shown in [1] . To be noticed, our design of multi-PDs receiver is fully expanded into three dimensions compared with the pyramid receiver (PR), which allows indoor positioning with our receiver structure to be more robust to the higher or corner positions. The details will be explained in the following sections. Based on Multiple-Photodiodebased Indoor Positioning algorithm [1], the indoor positioning algorithm is improved by redefining the optimization problem of obtaining the direction from receiver to LED and using weighted triangulation method to locate receiver position. We admit the solution under the redefined problem is not optimal to the actual problem. Yet, our given solution is better to that in [1] due to the existence of noise, which is reasonable and has been verified.
    • Diversity, ecology, and biotechnological potential of microorganisms naturally associated with plants in arid lands

      Mosqueira Santillán, María José (2018-07)
      Plants naturally host complex microbial communities in which the plant and the symbiotic partners act as an integrated metaorganism. These communities include beneficial (i.e. plant growth promoting, PGP) microorganisms which provide fundamental ecological services able to enhance host plant fitness and stress tolerance. PGP microorganisms represent a potential bioresource for agricultural applications, especially for desert farming under the harsh environmental conditions occurring in hot/arid regions (i.e. drought and salinity). In this context, understanding the ecological aspects of the associated microorganisms is crucial to take advantage of their ecological services. Here, hot/desert ecosystems were selected and two contrasting plant categories were used as models: (i) wild plants (i.e. speargrasses) growing in hot-desert sand dunes and (ii) the main crop cultivated in desert ecosystems, the date palm. By using highthroughput DNA sequencing and microscopy, the ecology and functionality of the microbial communities associated with these plants were characterized. Additionally, the PGP services of bacteria isolated from date palm were explored. I found that the harsh conditions of the desert strongly affect the selection and assembly of microbial communities associated with three different speargrass species, determining a plant species-independent core microbiome always present among the three plant species and carrying important PGP traits. On the contrary, in agroecosystems where desert farming practices are used, the plant species, i.e. date palm exerts a stronger selective pressure than the environmental and edaphic factors favoring the recruitment of conserved microbial assemblages, independent of the differences in the soil and environmental conditions among the studied oases. Such selective pressure also favors the recruitment of conserved PGP microorganisms (i.e. Pseudomonas sp. bacterial strains) able to protect their host from salinity stress through the induction of root architectural changes regulated by the modification of the root system auxin homeostasis. Overall, we found that deserts are unique ecosystems that challenge the paradigm of microbial community assembly, as it was defined from studies in non-arid ecosystems. The understanding of the ecological features regulating the ecological properties of such unique microbial community assembly will be a key-step to improve the chances of successful application of ‘PGP microorganisms’ in arid agroecosystems.
    • Single molecule analysis of the diffusion and conformational dynamics

      Abadi, Maram (2018-07)
      Spatial and temporal dynamics of polymer chains play critical roles in their rheological properties, which have a significant influence on polymer processing and fabrication of polymer-based (nano) materials. Many theoretical and experimental studies have aimed at understanding polymer dynamics at the molecular level that give rise to its bulk phase properties. While much progress has been made in the field over the past ~60 years, many aspects of polymers are still not understood, especially in complicated systems such as entangled fluids and polymers of different topologies. In addition, the physical properties of biological macromolecules, i.e. DNA, are expected to affect the spatial organization of chromosome in a cell, which has the potential impact on a broad epigenetics research. Here, we propose new methods for simultaneous visualization of diffusive motion and conformational dynamics of individual polymer chains, two most important factors that characterize polymer dynamics, based on a new single-molecule tracking technique, cumulative-area (CA) tracking method. We demonstrate the applicability of the CA tracking to the quantitative characterization of the motion and relaxation of individual topological polymer molecules under entangled conditions, which is possible only by using the newly-developed CA tracking, using fluorescently-labeled linear and cyclic dsDNA as model systems. We further extend the technique to multi-color CA tracking that allows for the direct visualization and characterization of motion and conformation of interacting molecules. We also develop a new imaging method based on recently developed 3D super-resolution fluorescence microscopy technique, which allows direct visualization of nanoscale motion and conformation of the single molecules that is not possible by any other methods. Using these techniques, we investigate spatial and temporal dynamics of polymers at the single-molecule level, with special emphasis on the effect of topological forms of the molecules and the confined geometry on their spatiotemporal dynamics. Our results demonstrate that the new methods developed in this thesis provide an experimental platform to address key questions in the entangled topological polymer dynamics. The research will provide a platform for developing new polymer-based materials and open the possibility of studying spatial organization of DNA in a confined geometry from physics point of view.
    • Entropy Stability of Finite Difference Schemes for the Compressible Navier-Stokes Equations

      AlSayyari, Mohammed (2018-07)
      In this thesis, we study the entropy stability of the compressible Navier-Stokes model along with a modification of the model. We use the discretization of the inviscid terms with the Ismail-Roe entropy conservative flux. Then, we study entropy stability of the augmentation of viscous, heat and mass diffusion finite difference approximations to the entropy conservative flux. Additionally, we look at different choices of the diffusion coefficient that arise from combining the viscous, heat and mass diffusion terms. Lastly, we present numerical results of the discretizations comparing the effects of the viscous terms on the oscillations near the shock and show that they preserve entropy stability.
    • Supplementary Material for: Observations and cloud-resolving modeling of haboob dust storms over the Arabian Peninsula

      Anisimov, Anatolii; Axisa, Duncan; Kucera, Paul A.; Mostamandi, Suleiman; Stenchikov, Georgiy L. (2018-06-28)
    • Fabrication and Characterization of Geometrically Confined Fe3Sn2 Skyrmion-based Devices

      GONG, CHEN (2018-06-27)
      Skyrmion is a topologically protected nanometer-sized spin configuration, which makes it a promising candidate for future memory devices. All skyrmion applications are based on the formation and manipulation of spin textures in nanostructured elements. Therefore, fabrication of geometrically confined skyrmion-based nanodevices is an essential step in the investigation of skyrmion properties. In this study, my research mainly focuses on the fabrication of high-quality Fe3Sn2 nanostripes with different geometric parameters for Lorentz transmission electron microscopy (LTEM) by a focused ion beam (FIB) system. The observation of the skyrmions using LTEM was mainly performed by Dr. Qiang Zhang, although I have deeply involved the discussion on new samples to be fabricated based on the results obtained from LTEM and also performed some LTEM experiments. To investigate the formation process and thermal stability of skyrmions in a geometrically confined environment, I have fabricated more than fifty high-quality nanostripes with a width of 265-4,000 nm. Studying with LTEM, a distinct evolutionary path of stripe-skyrmion transformation is observed after gradually increasing the magnetic field (out-of-plane direction) and the critical magnetic field of skyrmion is found to decrease with an increasing strength of confinements. Moreover, a series of racetrack devices with controlled thicknesses (125-404 nm) is fabricated to study the effect of thickness in skyrmion formation. Overall, in order to obtain less damaged, flat skyrmion-based devices by FIB system, experimental parameters are optimized and fabrication skills are improved. This method develops the possible application of centrosymmetric frustrated magnet Fe3Sn2 in skyrmion-based racetrack devices.
    • Investigation of Self-injection Locked Visible Laser Diodes for High Bit-rate Visible Light Communication

      Shamim, Md. Hosne Mobarok; Shemis, Mohamed; Shen, Chao; Oubei, Hassan M.; Ng, Tien Khee; Ooi, Boon S.; Khan, Mohammed Zahed Mustafa (IEEE, 2018-06-22)
      We report on self-injection locking in InGaN/GaN (blue/green) and InGaP/AlGaInP (red) visible-light laser diodes. The free-space optical feedback path was accomplished via an external mirror. The effect of injection current, optical power injection ratio, and external cavity length on the spectral linewidth and modulation bandwidth of the lasers are investigated. Our results show that the laser performance was substantially improved. In particular, we achieved a significant increase of ~57% (1.53 GHz - 2.41 GHz) and ~ 31 % (1.72 GHz - 2.26 GHz) in the modulation bandwidth, and ~9 (1.0 nm to 0.11 nm) and ~ 9 (0.63 nm to 0.07nm) times reduction in spectral linewidth of the green and blue lasers, respectively. Consequently, side-mode-suppression-ratio was considerably increased in all the cases, reaching as high as ~20 dB in self-injection locked blue laser diode, thus enabling a close to single mode operation. This work paves the way for attaining high speed optical wireless communications by overcoming the challenges of limited modulation bandwidth and multimode operation of visible laser diodes with this simple scheme.
    • Decision and Inhibitory Trees for Decision Tables with Many-Valued Decisions

      Azad, Mohammad (2018-06-06)
      Decision trees are one of the most commonly used tools in decision analysis, knowledge representation, machine learning, etc., for its simplicity and interpretability. We consider an extension of dynamic programming approach to process the whole set of decision trees for the given decision table which was previously only attainable by brute-force algorithms. We study decision tables with many-valued decisions (each row may contain multiple decisions) because they are more reasonable models of data in many cases. To address this problem in a broad sense, we consider not only decision trees but also inhibitory trees where terminal nodes are labeled with “̸= decision”. Inhibitory trees can sometimes describe more knowledge from datasets than decision trees. As for cost functions, we consider depth or average depth to minimize time complexity of trees, and the number of nodes or the number of the terminal, or nonterminal nodes to minimize the space complexity of trees. We investigate the multi-stage optimization of trees relative to some cost functions, and also the possibility to describe the whole set of strictly optimal trees. Furthermore, we study the bi-criteria optimization cost vs. cost and cost vs. uncertainty for decision trees, and cost vs. cost and cost vs. completeness for inhibitory trees. The most interesting application of the developed technique is the creation of multi-pruning and restricted multi-pruning approaches which are useful for knowledge representation and prediction. The experimental results show that decision trees constructed by these approaches can often outperform the decision trees constructed by the CART algorithm. Another application includes the comparison of 12 greedy heuristics for single- and bi-criteria optimization (cost vs. cost) of trees. We also study the three approaches (decision tables with many-valued decisions, decision tables with most common decisions, and decision tables with generalized decisions) to handle inconsistency of decision tables. We also analyze the time complexity of decision and inhibitory trees over arbitrary sets of attributes represented by information systems in the frameworks of local (when we can use in trees only attributes from problem description) and global (when we can use in trees arbitrary attributes from the information system) approaches.
    • Numerical Computation of Detonation Stability

      Kabanov, Dmitry (2018-06-03)
      Detonation is a supersonic mode of combustion that is modeled by a system of conservation laws of compressible fluid mechanics coupled with the equations describing thermodynamic and chemical properties of the fluid. Mathematically, these governing equations admit steady-state travelling-wave solutions consisting of a leading shock wave followed by a reaction zone. However, such solutions are often unstable to perturbations and rarely observed in laboratory experiments. The goal of this work is to study the stability of travelling-wave solutions of detonation models by the following novel approach. We linearize the governing equations about a base travelling-wave solution and solve the resultant linearized problem using high-order numerical methods. The results of these computations are postprocessed using dynamic mode decomposition to extract growth rates and frequencies of the perturbations and predict stability of travelling-wave solutions to infinitesimal perturbations. We apply this approach to two models based on the reactive Euler equations for perfect gases. For the first model with a one-step reaction mechanism, we find agreement of our results with the results of normal-mode analysis. For the second model with a two-step mechanism, we find that both types of admissible travelling-wave solutions exhibit the same stability spectra. Then we investigate the Fickett’s detonation analogue coupled with a particular reaction-rate expression. In addition to the linear stability analysis of this model, we demonstrate that it exhibits rich nonlinear dynamics with multiple bifurcations and chaotic behavior.
    • Constructing robust and highly-selective hydrogel membranes by bioadhesion-inspired method for CO 2 separation

      Wu, Yingzhen; Zhou, Tiantian; Wu, Hong; Fu, Weixian; Wang, Xinru; Wang, Shaofei; Yang, Leixin; Wu, Xingyu; Ren, Yanxiong; Jiang, Zhongyi; Wang, Baoyi (Elsevier BV, 2018-06-01)
      Water-swollen hydrogel membranes are good candidates for CO2 separations due to the favorable solubility of CO2 in water. However, the excessive amount of water often causes the poor mechanical property and low selectivity. Herein, we propose a bioadhesion-inspired method to construct robust and high-performance CO2 separation membranes via in situ generation of polydopamine (PDA) nanoaggregates within poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) matrix. PDA nanoaggregates entangled with PVA chains and formed hydrogen bonding with hydroxyl groups from PVA chains. Physical cross-linking occurred between PVA chains and PDA nanoaggregates. Compared with the PVA membrane, the PVA-PDA hybrid membrane with the dopamine content of 0.5mol% exhibited a 1.7-fold increase in tensile strength and a 2.2-fold increase in the tensile modulus. The membranes were used for CO2/CH4 separation. The physical cross-linking resulted in a PVA chain rigidification region around PDA nanoaggregates, which hindered the penetration of larger-size gas molecules and thus enhancing the CO2/CH4 selectivity. Moreover, the abundant amine groups from PDA nanoaggregates could facilitate CO2 transport. The optimized hybrid hydrogel membrane exhibited CO2/CH4 selectivity of 43.2, which was 43.85% higher than that of the PVA membrane. The bioadhesion-inspired method opens up new opportunities to exploit the potential application of hydrogel membranes.
    • Species delineation and hybrid identification using diagnostic nuclear markers for Plectropomus leopardus and Plectropomus maculatus

      He, Song; Harrison, Hugo B.; Berumen, Michael L. (Elsevier BV, 2018-06-01)
      Diagnostic molecular markers are an essential tool in the study of species’ ecology and evolution, particularly in closely related and sympatric species. Furthermore, the increasing awareness of wild-hybrids has led to a renewed interest in rapid diagnostic assays. Here, we test the ability of two mitochondrial (Cytb and COI) and two nuclear markers (ETS2 and TMO-4c4) to confidently discriminate purebred P. leopardus and P. maculatus and their first-generation hybrids. A sample of 48 purebred individuals and 91 interspecific hybrids were used in this study and their delineation confirmed using a set of microsatellite markers. Our results indicate mitochondrial markers could not distinguish even between species but both nuclear markers confidently identified species and first-generation hybrids. However, later-generation hybrids could not always be confidently identified due to on-going introgression between species. Our findings provide a robust tool to distinguish purebred individuals and interspecific hybrids in a pair of species with an unexpectedly high incidence of hybridization. The quick species discrimination abilities provided by these diagnostic markers are important for stock assessment and recruitment studies of these important fishery species.
    • Numerically investigating the effects of gasoline surrogate physical and chemical properties in a gasoline compression ignition (GCI) engine

      Atef, Nour (2018-06)
      Gasoline compression ignition (GCI) engines show promise in meeting stringent new environmental regulations, as they are characterized by high efficiency and low emissions. Simulations using chemical kinetic models provide an important platform for investigating the behaviors of the fuels inside these engines. However, because real fuels are complex, simulations require surrogate mixtures of small numbers of species that can replicate the properties of real fuels. Accordingly, the development of high fidelity, well-validated kinetic models for surrogates is critical in order to accurately replicate the combustion chemistry of different fuels under engine-related conditions. This work focuses on the development of combustion kinetic models to better understand gasoline fuel combustion in GCI engines. An updated iso-octane detailed kinetic model was developed based on new thermodynamic group values and recently evaluated rate coefficients from literature. The model was validated against a wide range of experimental data and conditions. The iso-octane model was further used in 0D simulations for a homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine. The results showed that the low-temperature heat release in engines increases with engine boosting when the addition of alky radicals to molecular oxygen is more favored. Ethanol addition was also found to act as a radical sink which inhibits the radical pool formation and results in lower reactivity. Although detailed models provide clarification of the combustion chemistry, their high computational cost impedes their utilization in 3-D engine simulations. Hence, a reduced model for toluene primary reference fuels was developed and validated against ignition delay time and flame speed experiments from literature. The model was then used in numerically investigating the effects of the fuel’s physical properties using hollow-cone and multi-hole injectors in a partially premixed compression ignition (PPCI) engine. It was concluded that the effects of physical properties are evident in multi-hole injection cases, which is attributable to the differences in mixture stratification. Finally, reduced models for multi-components surrogates for three full-blend fuels (light naphtha-Haltermann straight-run naphtha and GCI fuels) were developed. The models were validated against ignition delay time experiments from the literature and tested in 3D engine simulations.
    • Monitoring the effects of offshore aquaculture on water quality in the Red Sea

      Dunne, Aislinn (2018-06)
      The Saudi Arabian government has announced an economic development plan (Vision 2030) to invest in a range of industries across the Kingdom, one of which is the development of aquaculture. In the face of a likely increase in Red Sea fish farming, we investigated the impacts of offshore fish farms on the coastal water quality of the Red Sea by a) measuring the environmental impacts of an operational Red Sea fish farm, and b) testing whether an existing aquaculture modeling software can be used as a meaningful planning tool in the development of Red Sea aquaculture. Water quality parameters such as dissolved oxygen, nutrients, particulate matter, chlorophyll, ammonium, and bacterial abundance were measured seasonally over the course of a year around an offshore fish farm along the south-central coast of Saudi Arabia to determine the impacts of fish farm effluent on the surrounding waters. Bacteria, phosphate, inorganic nitrogen, and suspended particulate matter showed patterns of enrichment close to the fish farm. Additionally, dissolved oxygen has slightly lower concentrations close to and down current from the fish farms. Benthic sediments from a nearby coral reef were also assessed for organic enrichment, but concentrations of total organic carbon and total nitrogen were not significantly different from those at an offshore reef. The data from these sampling efforts were then used as input parameters for an aquaculture modeling software (AquaModel.net), however many of the input parameters required to run the model were unavailable and meaningful conclusions could not be drawn from the results. Through field studies and modeling, we assessed the current impact of a Red Sea fish farm on water quality with the goal of predicting the potential impacts of future offshore aquaculture development in Saudi Arabia.