Defense Date

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Engineering

First Advisor

Vamsi Yadavalli

Abstract

Engineering the next generation of smart materials will require new methods of surface characterization, analysis and identification that can be performed not only in three dimensional space but also in the temporal dimension. Of particular interest is the understanding of mechanical properties of complex systems at the micro and nanoscales. Current techniques for such measurements are hampered by challenges including their inability to probe systems in complex microenvironments, non-destructively, or at nanometer resolution. This thesis outlines work in the development of techniques to study diverse systems and determine their mechanical properties using the Atomic Force Microscope as the primary tool. We develop a strategy wherein topography and nanomechanical properties can be simultaneously mapped out to obtain a 3D visualization of a surface at sub micrometer resolutions. A diverse set of applications ranging from polymeric surfaces to protein assembly are studied using this method. In addition to uncovering fundamental surface properties, the groundwork for applying nanomechanical identification for new applications such as forensic identification for bacterial spores are also laid out using this versatile technique.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2013

Available for download on Monday, August 14, 2023

Included in

Engineering Commons

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