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1.  Vesicle biomechanics in a time-varying magnetic field 
BMC Biophysics  2015;8:2.
Cells exhibit distortion when exposed to a strong electric field, suggesting that the field imposes control over cellular biomechanics. Closed pure lipid bilayer membranes (vesicles) have been widely used for the experimental and theoretical studies of cellular biomechanics under this electrodeformation. An alternative method used to generate an electric field is by electromagnetic induction with a time-varying magnetic field. References reporting the magnetic control of cellular mechanics have recently emerged. However, theoretical analysis of the cellular mechanics under a time-varying magnetic field is inadequate.
We developed an analytical theory to investigate the biomechanics of a modeled vesicle under a time-varying magnetic field. Following previous publications and to simplify the calculation, this model treated the inner and suspending media as lossy dielectrics, the membrane thickness set at zero, and the electric resistance of the membrane assumed to be negligible. This work provided the first analytical solutions for the surface charges, electric field, radial pressure, overall translational forces, and rotational torques introduced on a vesicle by the time-varying magnetic field. Frequency responses of these measures were analyzed, particularly the frequency used clinically by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
The induced surface charges interacted with the electric field to produce a biomechanical impact upon the vesicle. The distribution of the induced surface charges depended on the orientation of the coil and field frequency. The densities of these charges were trivial at low frequency ranges, but significant at high frequency ranges. The direction of the radial force on the vesicle was dependent on the conductivity ratio between the vesicle and the medium. At relatively low frequencies (<200 KHz), including the frequency used in TMS, the computed radial pressure and translational forces on the vesicle were both negligible.
This work provides an analytical framework and insight into factors affecting cellular biomechanics under a time-varying magnetic field. Biological effects of clinical TMS are not likely to occur via alteration of the biomechanics of brain cells.
PMCID: PMC4306248  PMID: 25649322
Time varying magnetic field; Vesicle; Biomechanics; Modeling; Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
2.  Field Evaluation of Polymer Capacitive Humidity Sensors for Bowen Ratio Energy Balance Flux Measurements 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2010;10(8):7748-7771.
The possibility of reliable, reasonably accurate and relatively inexpensive estimates of sensible heat and latent energy fluxes was investigated using a commercial combination thin-film polymer capacitive relative humidity and adjacent temperature sensor instrument. Long-term and unattended water vapour pressure profile difference measurements using low-power combination instruments were compared with those from a cooled dewpoint mirror hygrometer, the latter often used with Bowen ratio energy balance (BREB) systems. An error analysis, based on instrument relative humidity and temperature errors, was applied for various capacitive humidity instrument models. The main disadvantage of a combination capacitive humidity instrument is that two measurements, relative humidity and temperature, are required for estimation of water vapour pressure as opposed to one for a dewpoint hygrometer. In a laboratory experiment using an automated procedure, water vapour pressure differences generated using a reference dewpoint generator were measured using a commercial model (Dew-10) dewpoint hygrometer and a combination capacitive humidity instrument. The laboratory measurement comparisons showed that, potentially, an inexpensive model combination capacitive humidity instrument (CS500 or HMP50), or for improved results a slightly more expensive model (HMP35C or HMP45C), could substitute for the more expensive dewpoint hygrometer. In a field study, in a mesic grassland, the water vapour pressure measurement noise for the combination capacitive humidity instruments was greater than that for the dewpoint hygrometer. The average water vapour pressure profile difference measured using a HMP45C was highly correlated with that from a dewpoint hygrometer with a slope less than unity. Water vapour pressure measurements using the capacitive humidity instruments were not as accurate, compared to those obtained using a dewpoint hygrometer, but the resolution magnitudes for the profile difference measurements were less than the minimum of 0.01 kPa required for BREB measurements when averaged over 20 min. Furthermore, the longer-term capacitive humidity measurements are more reliable and not dependent on a sensor bias adjustment as is the case for the dewpoint hygrometer. A field comparison of CS500 and HMP45C profile water vapour pressure differences yielded a slope of close to unity. However, the CS500 exhibited more variable water vapour pressure measurements mainly due to its increased variation in temperature measurements compared to the HMP45C. Comparisons between 20-min BREB sensible heat fluxes obtained using a HMP45C and a dewpoint hygrometer yielded a slope of almost unity. BREB sensible heat fluxes measured using a HMP45C were reasonably well correlated with those obtained using a surface-layer scintillometer and eddy covariance (slope of 0.9629 and 0.9198 respectively). This reasonable agreement showed that a combination capacitive humidity instrument, with similar relative humidity (RH) and temperature error magnitudes of at most 2% RH and 0.3 °C respectively, and similar measurement time response, would be an adequate and less expensive substitute for a dewpoint hygrometer. Furthermore, a combination capacitive humidity instrument requires no servicing compared to a dewpoint hygrometer which requires a bias adjustment and mirror cleaning each week. These findings make unattended BREB measurements of sensible heat flux and evaporation cheaper and more reliable with the system easier to assemble and service and with reduced instrument power.
PMCID: PMC3231178  PMID: 22163625
humidity resolution; energy balance fluxes; humidity measurement; surface-layer scintillometer; eddy covariance
3.  Plasmon-driven surface catalysis in hybridized plasmonic gap modes 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:7087.
Plasmon-driven surface catalytic (PDSC) reaction in Ag/Au nanoparticle monomer or dimer-film gaps are experimentally and theoretically investigated, using surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and finite element method. The variation of SERS spectra in different nano gaps of nanoparticle-film systems indicated the PDSC reaction was largely depended on the number of nanoparticles. The higher Raman intensity of p,p′-dimercaptoazobenzene (DMAB) in dimer-film nanogap was because effective coupling of induced image charge on metal film in hybridized plasmonic gap mode, which was confirmed by the electric field distribution. Furthermore, the influence of material and wavelength was also studied to obtain the optimal experimental condition for best surface catalysis in hybridized plasmonic gap mode. Our studies in this common configuration of plasmonic nanostructure are of great significance not only in the field of catalysis on metal surface but also in other surface plasmon fields such as senor, photon detection, water splitting, etc.
PMCID: PMC4235312  PMID: 25404139
4.  Free-solution electrophoretic separations of DNA–drag-tag conjugates on glass microchips with no polymer network and no loss of resolution at increased electric field strength 
Electrophoresis  2011;32(10):1201-1208.
Here, we demonstrate the potential for high-resolution electrophoretic separations of ssDNA-protein conjugates in borosilicate glass microfluidic chips, with no sieving media and excellent repeatability. Using polynucleotides of two different lengths conjugated to moderately cationic protein polymer drag-tags, we measured separation efficiency as a function of applied electric field. In excellent agreement with prior theoretical predictions of Slater et al., resolution is found to remain constant as applied field is increased up to 700 V/cm, the highest field we were able to apply. This remarkable result illustrates the fundamentally different physical limitations of Free-Solution Conjugate Electrophoresis (FSCE)-based DNA separations relative to matrix-based DNA electrophoresis. Single-stranded DNA separations in “gels” have always shown rapidly declining resolution as the field strength is increased; this is especially true for ssDNA > 400 bases in length. FSCE’s ability to decouple DNA peak resolution from applied electric field suggests the future possibility of ultra-rapid FSCE sequencing on chips. We investigated sources of peak broadening for FSCE separations on borosilicate glass microchips, using six different protein polymer drag-tags. For drag-tags with four or more positive charges, electrostatic and adsorptive interactions with pHEA-coated microchannel walls led to appreciable band-broadening, while much sharper peaks were seen for bioconjugates with nearly charge-neutral protein drag-tags.
PMCID: PMC3416026  PMID: 21500207
Drag-tag; ELFSE; FSCE; Free-solution microchip electrophoresis; Band broadening
5.  Introduction to power-frequency electric and magnetic fields. 
Environmental Health Perspectives  1993;101(Suppl 4):73-81.
This paper introduces the reader to electric and magnetic fields, particularly those fields produced by electric power systems and other sources using frequencies in the power-frequency range. Electric fields are produced by electric charges; a magnetic field also is produced if these charges are in motion. Electric fields exert forces on other charges; if in motion, these charges will experience magnetic forces. Power-frequency electric and magnetic fields induce electric currents in conducting bodies such as living organisms. The current density vector is used to describe the distribution of current within a body. The surface of the human body is an excellent shield for power-frequency electric fields, but power-frequency magnetic fields penetrate without significant attenuation; the electric fields induced inside the body by either exposure are comparable in magnitude. Electric fields induced inside a human by most environmental electric and magnetic fields appear to be small in magnitude compared to levels naturally occurring in living tissues. Detection of such fields thus would seem to require the existence of unknown biological mechanisms. Complete characterization of a power-frequency field requires measurement of the magnitudes and electrical phases of the fundamental and harmonic amplitudes of its three vector components. Most available instrumentation measures only a small subset, or some weighted average, of these quantities. Hand-held survey meters have been used widely to measure power-frequency electric and magnetic fields. Automated data-acquisition systems have come into use more recently to make electric- and magnetic-field recordings, covering periods of hours to days, in residences and other environments.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
PMCID: PMC1519708  PMID: 8206045
6.  Citrate-capped gold nanoparticle electrophoretic heat production in response to a time-varying radiofrequency electric-field 
The evaluation of heat production from gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) irradiated with radiofrequency (RF) energy has been problematic due to Joule heating of their background ionic buffer suspensions. Insights into the physical heating mechanism of nanomaterials under RF excitations must be obtained if they are to have applications in fields such as nanoparticle-targeted hyperthermia for cancer therapy. By developing a purification protocol which allows for highly-stable and concentrated solutions of citrate-capped AuNPs to be suspended in high-resistivity water, we show herein, for the first time, that heat production is only evident for AuNPs of diameters ≤ 10 nm, indicating a unique size-dependent heating behavior not previously observed. Heat production has also shown to be linearly dependent on both AuNP concentration and total surface area, and severely attenuated upon AuNP aggregation. These relationships have been further validated using permittivity analysis across a frequency range of 10 MHz to 3 GHz, as well as static conductivity measurements. Theoretical evaluations suggest that the heating mechanism can be modeled by the electrophoretic oscillation of charged AuNPs across finite length scales in response to a time-varying electric field. It is anticipated these results will assist future development of nanoparticle-assisted heat production by RF fields for applications such as targeted cancer hyperthermia.
PMCID: PMC3686525  PMID: 23795228
Radiofrequency; Gold; Nanoparticles; Heating; Permittivity
7.  Aquatic Eddy Correlation: Quantifying the Artificial Flux Caused by Stirring-Sensitive O2 Sensors 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0116564.
In the last decade, the aquatic eddy correlation (EC) technique has proven to be a powerful approach for non-invasive measurements of oxygen fluxes across the sediment water interface. Fundamental to the EC approach is the correlation of turbulent velocity and oxygen concentration fluctuations measured with high frequencies in the same sampling volume. Oxygen concentrations are commonly measured with fast responding electrochemical microsensors. However, due to their own oxygen consumption, electrochemical microsensors are sensitive to changes of the diffusive boundary layer surrounding the probe and thus to changes in the ambient flow velocity. The so-called stirring sensitivity of microsensors constitutes an inherent correlation of flow velocity and oxygen sensing and thus an artificial flux which can confound the benthic flux determination. To assess the artificial flux we measured the correlation between the turbulent flow velocity and the signal of oxygen microsensors in a sealed annular flume without any oxygen sinks and sources. Experiments revealed significant correlations, even for sensors designed to have low stirring sensitivities of ~0.7%. The artificial fluxes depended on ambient flow conditions and, counter intuitively, increased at higher velocities because of the nonlinear contribution of turbulent velocity fluctuations. The measured artificial fluxes ranged from 2 - 70 mmol m-2 d-1 for weak and very strong turbulent flow, respectively. Further, the stirring sensitivity depended on the sensor orientation towards the flow. For a sensor orientation typically used in field studies, the artificial flux could be predicted using a simplified mathematical model. Optical microsensors (optodes) that should not exhibit a stirring sensitivity were tested in parallel and did not show any significant correlation between O2 signals and turbulent flow. In conclusion, EC data obtained with electrochemical sensors can be affected by artificial flux and we recommend using optical microsensors in future EC-studies.
PMCID: PMC4312034  PMID: 25635679
8.  Monitoring Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy Approach Curves with Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy – Towards a Novel Current-Independent Positioning Mode 
Analytical chemistry  2010;82(8):3132-3138.
Single-bounce attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy in the 3–20 µm range (MIR) has been combined with scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) for in situ spectroscopic detection of electrochemically induced localized surface modifications using an ultramicroelectrode (UME). In this study, a novel current-independent approach for positioning the UME in aqueous electrolyte solution is presented using either changes of IR absorption intensity associated with borosilicate glass (BSG), which is used as shielding material of the UME wire, or by monitoring IR changes of the water spectrum within the penetration depth of the evanescent field due to displacement of water molecules in the volume between the sample surface and the UME within the evanescent field. The experimental results show that the UME penetrates into the exponentially decaying evanescent field in close vicinity (a few µm) to the ATR crystal surface. Hence, the resulting intensity changes of the IR absorption spectra for borosilicate glass (increase) and for water (decrease), can be used to determine the position of the UME relative to the ATR crystal surface independent of the current measured at the UME.
PMCID: PMC2862910  PMID: 20329757
9.  A High-Q Resonant Pressure Microsensor with Through-Glass Electrical Interconnections Based on Wafer-Level MEMS Vacuum Packaging 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2014;14(12):24244-24257.
This paper presents a high-Q resonant pressure microsensor with through-glass electrical interconnections based on wafer-level MEMS vacuum packaging. An approach to maintaining high-vacuum conditions by integrating the MEMS fabrication process with getter material preparation is presented in this paper. In this device, the pressure under measurement causes a deflection of a pressure-sensitive silicon square diaphragm, which is further translated to stress build up in “H” type doubly-clamped micro resonant beams, leading to a resonance frequency shift. The device geometries were optimized using FEM simulation and a 4-inch SOI wafer was used for device fabrication, which required only three photolithographic steps. In the device fabrication, a non-evaporable metal thin film as the getter material was sputtered on a Pyrex 7740 glass wafer, which was then anodically bonded to the patterned SOI wafer for vacuum packaging. Through-glass via holes predefined in the glass wafer functioned as the electrical interconnections between the patterned SOI wafer and the surrounding electrical components. Experimental results recorded that the Q-factor of the resonant beam was beyond 22,000, with a differential sensitivity of 89.86 Hz/kPa, a device resolution of 10 Pa and a nonlinearity of 0.02% F.S with the pressure varying from 50 kPa to 100 kPa. In addition, the temperature drift coefficient was less than −0.01% F.S/°C in the range of −40 °C to 70 °C, the long-term stability error was quantified as 0.01% F.S over a 5-month period and the accuracy of the microsensor was better than 0.01% F.S.
PMCID: PMC4299109  PMID: 25521385
resonant; pressure sensor; through-glass via; anodic bonding; Q-factor; vacuum packaging
1. The cataphoretic P.D. of suspended particles is assumed to be due to an excess in the concentration of one kind of a pair of oppositely charged ions in the film of water enveloping the particles and this excess is generally ascribed to a preferential adsorption of this kind of ions by the particle. The term adsorption fails, however, to distinguish between the two kinds of forces which can bring about such an unequal distribution of ions between the enveloping film and the opposite film of the electrical double layer, namely, forces inherent in the water itself and forces inherent in the particle (e.g. chemical attraction between particle and adsorbed ions). 2. It had been shown in a preceding paper that collodion particles suspended in an aqueous solution of an ordinary electrolyte like NaCl, Na2SO4, Na4Fe(CN)6, CaCl2, HCl, H2SO4, or NaOH are always negatively charged, and that the addition of these electrolytes increases the negative charge as long as their concentration is below M/1,000 until a certain maximal P.D. is reached. Hence no matter whether acid, alkali, or a neutral salt is added, the concentration of anions must always be greater in the film enveloping the collodion particles than in the opposite film of the electrical double layer, and the reverse is true for the concentration of cations. This might suggest that the collodion particles, on account of their chemical constitution, attract anions with a greater force than cations, but such an assumption is rendered difficult in view of the following facts. 3. Experiments with dyes show that at pH 5.8 collodion particles are stained by basic dyes (i.e. dye cations) but not by acid dyes (i.e. dye anions), and that solutions of basic dyes are at pH 5.8 more readily decolorized by particles of collodion than acid dyes. It is also shown in this paper that crystalline egg albumin, gelatin, and Witte's peptone form durable films on collodion only when the protein exists in the form of a cation or when it is isoelectric, but not when it exists in the form of an anion (i.e. on the alkaline side of its isoelectric point). Hence if any ions of dyes or proteins are permanently bound at the surface of collodion particles through forces inherent in the collodion they are cations but not anions. The fact that isoelectric proteins form durable films on collodion particles suggests, that the forces responsible for this combination are not ionic. 4. It is shown that salts of dyes or proteins, the cations of which are capable of forming durable films on the surface of the collodion, influence the cataphoretic P.D. of the collodion particles in a way entirely different from that of any other salts inasmuch as surprisingly low concentrations of salts, the cation of which is a dye or a protein, render the negatively charged collodion particles positive. Crystalline egg albumin and gelatin have such an effect even in concentrations of 1/130,000 or 1/65,000 of 1 per cent, i.e. in a probable molar concentration of about 10–9. 5. Salts in which the dye or protein is an anion have no such effect but act like salts of the type of NaCl or Na2SO4 on the cataphoretic P.D. of collodion particles. 6. Amino-acids do not form durable films on the surface of collodion particles at any pH and the salts of amino-acids influence their cataphoretic P.D. in the same way as NaCl but not in the same way as proteins or dyes, regardless of whether the amino-acid ion is a cation or an anion. 7. Ordinary salts like LaCl3 also fail to form a durable film on the surface of collodion particles. 8. Until evidence to the contrary is furnished, these facts seem to suggest that the increase of the negative charge of the collodion particles caused by the addition of low concentrations of ordinary electrolytes is chiefly if not entirely due to forces inherent in the aqueous solution but to a less extent, if at all, due to an attraction of the anions of the electrolyte by forces inherent in the collodion particles.
PMCID: PMC2140615  PMID: 19872044
11.  Plasmonic and photonic scattering and near fields of nanoparticles 
We theoretically compare the scattering and near field of nanoparticles from different types of materials, each characterized by specific optical properties that determine the interaction with light: metals with their free charge carriers giving rise to plasmon resonances, dielectrics showing zero absorption in wide wavelength ranges, and semiconductors combining the two beforehand mentioned properties plus a band gap. Our simulations are based on Mie theory and on full 3D calculations of Maxwell’s equations with the finite element method. Scattering and absorption cross sections, their division into the different order electric and magnetic modes, electromagnetic near field distributions around the nanoparticles at various wavelengths as well as angular distributions of the scattered light were investigated. The combined information from these calculations will give guidelines for choosing adequate nanoparticles when aiming at certain scattering properties. With a special focus on the integration into thin film solar cells, we will evaluate our results.
PMCID: PMC3915561  PMID: 24475923
Nanoparticles; Plasmonics; Photonics; Scattering; Near field; Mie theory; FEM simulations; Solar cells; 42.70.-a; 78.67.Bf; 73.20.Mf
12.  Sol-Gel Zinc Oxide Humidity Sensors Integrated with a Ring Oscillator Circuit On-a-Chip 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2014;14(11):20360-20371.
The study develops an integrated humidity microsensor fabricated using the commercial 0.18 μm complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process. The integrated humidity sensor consists of a humidity sensor and a ring oscillator circuit on-a-chip. The humidity sensor is composed of a sensitive film and branch interdigitated electrodes. The sensitive film is zinc oxide prepared by sol-gel method. After completion of the CMOS process, the sensor requires a post-process to remove the sacrificial oxide layer and to coat the zinc oxide film on the interdigitated electrodes. The capacitance of the sensor changes when the sensitive film adsorbs water vapor. The circuit is used to convert the capacitance of the humidity sensor into the oscillation frequency output. Experimental results show that the output frequency of the sensor changes from 84.3 to 73.4 MHz at 30 °C as the humidity increases 40 to 90 %RH.
PMCID: PMC4279487  PMID: 25353984
humidity sensor; ring oscillator circuit; zinc oxide nanowire
13.  Risk assessment of desert pollution on composite high voltage insulators 
Journal of Advanced Research  2013;5(5):569-576.
Transmission lines located in the desert are subjected to desert climate, one of whose features is sandstorms. With long accumulation of sand and with the advent of moisture from rain, ambient humidity and dew, a conductive layer forms and the subsequent leakage current may lead to surface discharge, which may shorten the insulator life or lead to flashover thus interrupting the power supply. Strategically erected power lines in the Egyptian Sinai desert are typically subject to such a risk, where sandstorms are known to be common especially in the spring. In view of the very high cost of insulator cleaning operation, composite (silicon rubber) insulators are nominated to replace ceramic insulators on transmission lines in Sinai. This paper examines the flow of leakage current on sand-polluted composite insulators, which in turn enables a risk assessment of insulator failure. The study uses realistic data compiled and reported in an earlier research project about Sinai, which primarily included grain sizes of polluting sand as well as their salinity content. The paper also uses as a case study an ABB-designed composite insulator. A three-dimensional finite element technique is used to simulate the insulator and seek the potential and electric field distribution as well as the resulting leakage current flow on its polluted surface. A novel method is used to derive the probabilistic features of the insulator’s leakage current, which in turn enables a risk assessment of insulator failure. This study is expected to help in critically assessing – and thus justifying – the use of this type of insulators in Sinai and similar critical areas.
PMCID: PMC4294315
Composite insulators; Desert pollution; Power Lines; Insulator leakage current
14.  Electrohydrodynamics of Charge Separation in Droplet-Based Ion Sources with Time-Varying Electrical and Mechanical Actuation 
Charge transport and separation in mechanically-driven, droplet-based ion sources are investigated using computational analysis and supporting experiments. A first-principles model of electrohydrodynamics (EHD) and charge migration is formulated and implemented using FLUENT CFD software for jet/droplet formation. For validation, classical experiments of electrospraying from a thin capillary are simulated, specifically, the transient EHD cone-jet formation of a fluid with finite electrical conductivity, and the Taylor cone formation in a perfectly electrically-conducting fluid. The model is also used to investigate the microscopic physics of droplet charging in mechanically-driven droplet-based ion sources, such as AMUSE (Array of Micromachined UltraSonic Electrospray). Here, AMUSE is subject to DC and AC electric fields of varying amplitude and phase, with respect to a time-varying mechanical force driving the droplet formation. For the DC-charging case, a linear relationship is demonstrated between the charge carried by each droplet and an applied electric field magnitude, in agreement with previously reported experiments. For the AC-charging case, a judiciously-chosen phase-shift in the time-varying mechanical (driving ejection) and electrical (driving charge transport) signals allows for a significantly increased amount of charge, of desired polarity, to be pumped into a droplet upon ejection. Complementary experimental measurements of electrospray electrical current and charge-per-droplet, produced by the AMUSE ion source, are performed and support theoretical predictions for both DC and AC-charging cases. The theoretical model and simulation tools provide a versatile and general analytical framework for fundamental investigations of coupled electrohydrodynamics and charge transport. The model also allows for the exploration of different configurations and operating modes to optimize charge separation in atmospheric pressure electrohydrodynamic ion sources under static and dynamic electrical and mechanical fields.
PMCID: PMC2847640  PMID: 20149681
The Journal of General Physiology  1946;29(6):441-469.
Analytical methods which are accurate to about 1 per cent have been developed for the determination of small amounts (ca. 500 γ) of bis(β-chloroethyl)-sulfide (H), ethyl-bis(β-chloroethyl)amine (EBA), tris(β-chloroethyl)amine (TBA), β-chloroethyl-benzylsulfide (benzyl-H), and β-chloroethyl-ethylsulfide (ethyl-H). The determinations are made by micro titration of the HCl liberated upon complete hydrolysis of the vesicants. A description is given of an apparatus suitable for applying vapors of vesicants to unit areas of skin. A very precise and reproducible micropipetting technique is described for the introduction of the vesicants into the penetration apparatus. By means of this penetration apparatus studies have been made of several factors which may influence the rate at which vesicant vapors penetrate into skin. Model experiments have been performed in which H was allowed to vaporize and the vapor was absorbed on a surface such as that of diethylene glycol or vaseline. It has been found that if the surface of liquid H is increased by spreading the agent on filter paper, the rate of evaporation is markedly increased. Furthermore, if the vapor is agitated by means of a magnetically driven fan, the rate of absorption by diethylene glycol is greatly accelerated. With vaseline as the absorbing surface it has been found that the area of the absorbing surface has an effect on the rate of absorption of H vapor. More H is absorbed by vaseline spread on filter paper to give a rough surface than is absorbed by a smooth film of vaseline. Measurements of the rate of penetration into human skin of H, EBA, TBA, benzyl-H, and ethyl-H vapors have been performed at 21–23°C. and 30–31°C. by means of the penetration apparatus described in this paper. The measurements were carred out on human volunteers under conditions of controlled temperature and humidity. When human skin is exposed to air saturated with H vapor, the H penetrates the skin of the forearm at a rate of about 1.4 γ per cm.2 per minute (temperature 21–23°C.; relative humidity 46 per cent). This value was found to hold in experiments in which H vapor was applied for 3 to 30 minute intervals, thus indicating that the permeability of the skin to H vapor is not altered during a 30 minute exposure. Agitation of the H vapor by fanning did not result in any measurable increase in the rate of penetration. Two of the volunteers were Negroes; the permeability of their skin to H vapor did not differ appreciably from that found for the other subjects. When human skin is exposed to air saturated with EBA vapor, the vesicant penetrates at the rate of 2.8 γ per cm.2 per minute (temperature 22°C., relative humidity 50 to 52 per cent). The amount of EBA penetrated is linear with exposure time for exposure periods of 5 to 20 minutes. Under similar conditions, it was found that TBA penetrates at a rate of about 0.18 γ per cm.2 per minute (temperature 22–23°C.; relative humidity 45 to 48 per cent). This value was found to hold in experiments in which TBA vapor was applied for 30 to 60 minute intervals. The amount of TBA penetrated is linear with exposure time. In the case of benzyl-H, a linear relationship between the amount lost from the penetration cup and exposure time was also observed but the plot did not pass through the origin. It is suggested that this anomaly is due to retention on the skin surface of an appreciable quantity of benzyl-H as a result of rapid physical adsorption or chemical combination with a constituent of the skin. The rate of penetration of benzyl-H may be calculated from the slope of the plot and is found to be 0.35 γ per cm.2 per minute (temperature 22°C., relative humidity 55 to 60 per cent). The results with ethyl-H showed great variation among individual subjects and no satisfactory value for the rate of penetration can be given as yet. Measurements were also made of the rate of penetration of H, EBA, and TBA vapors at 30–31°C. (relative humidity 47 to 49 per cent). At this temperature, a linear relationship was observed between the amount penetrated and the time of exposure. H vapor penetrated at a rate of 2.7 γ per cm.2 per minute, EBA vapor at 5.1 γ per cm.2 per minute, and TBA vapor at 0.29 γ per cm.2 per minute. Three of the subjects in the EBA measurements were Negroes. The permeability of their skin to EBA vapor did not differ from that found for the white subjects. Despite this fact, their skin failed to vesicate after an exposure period twice that which caused 50 per cent vesication in the white subjects. Calculation of the precision of the data showed that the average deviation, standard deviation, and standard error were not appreciably different for the data obtained with human subjects as compared with data for control experiments in which human skin was not involved. Consequently, no significant differences in the rate of penetration into the skin of individual subjects can be discerned from the data presented in this communication. The increase in the rate of penetration of H, EBA, and TBA vapors from 21–23°C. to 30–31°C. is approximately proportional to the increase in volatility of each agent. These results indicate that at the same gas concentration in milligrams per liter, H, EBA, and TBA vapors would all penetrate at about the same rate. The data presented above permit a determination of the approximate amount of each vesicant which must penetrate to cause vesication in about 50 per cent of the exposed sites. This amount has been designated by the symbol V50. The V50 for H and TBA at 21–23°C. is the same, being about 6γ; at 30–31°C., the V50 is 4 to 5 γ. On the other hand, the V50 for EBA at 22°C. and 30–31°C. is about 26 to 28 γ. Thus, per gamma penetrated, H and TBA vapors are about equally effective in producing vesication while EBA vapor is only ⅕ to ⅛ as effective.
PMCID: PMC2142809  PMID: 19873472
16.  The effect of ambient humidity on the electrical properties of graphene oxide films 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2012;7(1):363.
We investigate the effect of water adsorption on the electrical properties of graphene oxide (GO) films using the direct current (DC) measurement and alternating current (AC) complex impedance spectroscopy. GO suspension synthesized by a modified Hummer's method is deposited on Au interdigitated electrodes. The strong electrical interaction of water molecules with GO films was observed through electrical characterizations. The DC measurement results show that the electrical properties of GO films are humidity- and applied voltage amplitude-dependent. The AC complex impedance spectroscopy method is used to analyze the mechanism of electrical interaction between water molecules and GO films in detail. At low humidity, GO films exhibit poor conductivity and can be seen as an insulator. However, at high humidity, the conductivity of GO films increases due to the enhancement of ion conduction. Our systematic research on this effect provides the fundamental supports for the development of graphene devices originating from solution-processed graphene oxide.
PMCID: PMC3467191  PMID: 22748079
Graphene oxide; Humidity sensing; Complex impedance spectroscopy; Nano device
17.  Spatial variation of permittivity of an electrolyte solution in contact with a charged metal surface: a mini review 
Contact between a charged metal surface and an electrolyte implies a particular ion distribution near the charged surface, i.e. the electrical double layer. In this mini review, different mean-field models of relative (effective) permittivity are described within a simple lattice model, where the orientational ordering of water dipoles in the saturation regime is taken into account. The Langevin-Poisson-Boltzmann (LPB) model of spatial variation of the relative permittivity for point-like ions is described and compared to a more general Langevin-Bikerman (LB) model of spatial variation of permittivity for finite-sized ions. The Bikerman model and the Poisson-Boltzmann model are derived as limiting cases. It is shown that near the charged surface, the relative permittivity decreases due to depletion of water molecules (volume-excluded effect) and orientational ordering of water dipoles (saturation effect). At the end, the LPB and LB models are generalised by also taking into account the cavity field.
PMCID: PMC3664910  PMID: 22263808
charged metal surface; relative permittivity; electric double layer; finite element method; metallic electrode; water ordering; finite-sized ions; saturation effect; excluded volume effect
18.  Theoretical Treatment and Numerical Simulation of Potential and Concentration Profiles in Extremely Thin Non-Electroneutral Membranes Used for Ion-Selective Electrodes 
The applicability of extremely thin non-electroneutral membranes for ion-selective electrodes (ISEs) is investigated. A theoretical treatment of potential and concentration profiles in space-charge membranes of << 1 μm thickness is presented. The theory is based on the Nernst-Planck equation for ion fluxes, which reduces to Boltzmann’s formula at equilibrium, and on the Poisson relationship between space-charge density and electric field gradient. A general solution in integral form is obtained for the potential function and the corresponding ion profiles at equilibrium. A series of explicit sub-solutions is derived for particular cases. Membrane systems with up to three different ion species are discussed, including trapped ionic sites and co-extracted ions. Solid-contacted thin membranes (without formation of aqueous films at the inner interface) are shown to exhibit a sub-Nernstian response. The theoretical results are confirmed by numerical simulations using a simplified finite-difference procedure based on the Nernst-Planck-Poisson model, which are shown to be in excellent agreement.
PMCID: PMC3523753  PMID: 23255874
Ion-selective electrodes; Thin membranes; Space charge; Potential; Concentration profiles; Theory; Numerical simulation; Nernst-Planck-Poisson model
19.  Fabrication and Characterization of Polyaniline/PVA Humidity Microsensors 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2011;11(8):8143-8151.
This study presents the fabrication and characterization of a humidity microsensor that consists of interdigitated electrodes and a sensitive film. The area of the humidity microsensor is about 2 mm2. The sensitive film is polyaniline doping polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) that is prepared by the sol-gel method, and the film has nanofiber and porous structures that help increase the sensing reaction. The commercial 0.35 μm Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) process is used to fabricate the humidity microsensor. The sensor needs a post-CMOS process to etch the sacrificial layer and to coat the sensitive film on the interdigitated electrodes. The sensor produces a change in resistance as the polyaniline/PVA film absorbs or desorbs vapor. Experimental results show that the sensitivity of the humidity sensor is about 12.6 kΩ/%RH at 25 °C.
PMCID: PMC3231745  PMID: 22164067
humidity microsensors; polyaniline; polyvinyl alcohol; MEMS
20.  Incorporating Phase-Dependent Polarizability in Non-Additive Electrostatic Models for Molecular Dynamics Simulations of the Aqueous Liquid-Vapor Interface 
We discuss a new classical water force field that explicitly accounts for differences in polarizability between liquid and vapor phases. The TIP4P-QDP (4-point transferable intermolecular potential with charge dependent-polarizability) force field is a modification of the original TIP4P-FQ fluctuating charge water force field of Rick et al.1 that self-consistently adjusts its atomic hardness parameters via a scaling function dependent on the M-site charge. The electronegativity (χ) parameters are also scaled in order to reproduce condensed-phase dipole moments of comparable magnitude to TIP4P-FQ. TIP4P-QDP is parameterized to reproduce experimental gas-phase and select condensed-phase properties. The TIP4P-QDP water model possesses a gas phase polarizability of 1.40 Å3 and gas-phase dipole moment of 1.85 Debye, in excellent agreement with experiment and high-level ab initio predictions. The liquid density of TIP4P-QDP is 0.9954(±0.0002) g/cm3 at 298 K and 1 atmosphere, and the enthalpy of vaporization is 10.55(±0.12) kcal/mol. Other condensed-phase properties such as the isobaric heat capacity, isothermal compressibility, and diffusion constant are also calculated within reasonable accuracy of experiment and consistent with predictions of other current state-of-the-art water force fields. The average molecular dipole moment of TIP4P-QDP in the condensed phase is 2.641(±0.001) Debye, approximately 0.02 Debye higher than TIP4P-FQ and within the range of values currently surmised for the bulk liquid. The dielectric constant, ε = 85.8 ± 1.0, is 10% higher than experiment. This is reasoned to be due to the increase in the condensed phase dipole moment over TIP4P-FQ, which estimates ε remarkably well. Radial distribution functions for TIP4P-QDP and TIP4P-FQ show similar features, with TIP4P-QDP showing slightly reduced peak heights and subtle shifts towards larger distance interactions. Since the greatest effects of the phase-dependent polarizability are anticipated in regions with both liquid and vapor character, interfacial simulations of TIP4P-QDP were performed and compared to TIP4P-FQ, a static polarizability analog. Despite similar features in density profiles such as the position of the GDS and interfacial width, enhanced dipole moments are observed for the TIP4P-QDP interface and onset of the vapor phase. Water orientational profiles show an increased preference (over TIP4P-FQ) in the orientation of the permanent dipole vector of the molecule within the interface; an enhanced z-induced dipole moment directly results from this preference. Hydrogen bond formation is lower, on average, in the bulk for TIP4P-QDP than TIP4P-FQ. However, the average number of hydrogen bonds formed by TIP4P-QDP in the interface exceeds that of TIP4P-FQ, and observed hydrogen bond networks extend further into the gaseous region. The TIP4P-QDP interfacial potential, calculated to be -11.98(±0.08) kcal/mol, is less favorable than that for TIP4P-FQ by approximately 2% as a result of a diminished quadrupole contribution. Surface tension is calculated within a 1.3% reduction from the experimental value. Results reported demonstrate TIP4P-QDP as a model comparable to the popular TIP4P-FQ while accounting for a physical effect previously neglected by other water models. Further refinements to this model, as well as future applications are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3488353  PMID: 23133341
Phase Dependent Polarizability; Molecular Dynamics; Charge Equilibration; Polarizable Force Field; Liquid-Vapor Interface; TIP4P-QDP
21.  Three-Dimensional Microstructural Properties of Nanofibrillated Cellulose Films 
Nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) films have potential as oxygen barriers for, e.g., food packaging applications, but their use is limited by their hygroscopic characteristics. The three-dimensional microstructure of NFC films made of Pinus radiata (Radiata Pine) kraft pulp fibres has been assessed in this study, considering the structural development as a function of relative humidity (RH). The surface roughness, micro-porosity, thickness and their correlations were analyzed using X-ray microtomography (X–μCT) and computerized image analysis. The results are compared to those from scanning electron microscopy and laser profilometry. Based on a series of films having varying amounts of 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidinyl-1-oxyl (TEMPO)-mediated oxidated nanofibrils, it was demonstrated that X–μCT is suitable for assessing the surface and bulk 3D microstructure of the cellulose films. Additionally, one of the series was assessed at varying humidity levels, using the non-destructive capabilities of X–μCT and a newly developed humidity chamber for in-situ characterization. The oxygen transmission rate (OTR) of the films (20 g/m2) was below 3.7mLm−2 day−1 at humidity levels below 60% RH. However, the OTR increased considerably to 12.4mLm−2 day−1 when the humidity level increased to 80% RH. The increase in OTR was attributed to a change of the film porosity, which was reflected as an increase in local thickness. Hence, the characterization techniques applied in this study shed more light on the structures of NFC films and how they are affected by varying humidity levels. It was demonstrated that in increasing relative humidity the films swelled and the oxygen barrier properties decreased.
PMCID: PMC4013638  PMID: 24743887
nanofibrillated cellulose; NFC; oxygen transmission rate; OTR; tomography; humidity
22.  Electric field depth–focality tradeoff in transcranial magnetic stimulation: simulation comparison of 50 coil designs 
Brain stimulation  2012;6(1):1-13.
Various transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) coil designs are available or have been proposed. However, key coil characteristics such as electric field focality and attenuation in depth have not been adequately compared. Knowledge of the coil focality and depth characteristics can help TMS researchers and clinicians with coil selection and interpretation of TMS studies.
To quantify the electric field focality and depth of penetration of various TMS coils.
The electric field distributions induced by 50 TMS coils were simulated in a spherical human head model using the finite element method. For each coil design, we quantified the electric field penetration by the half-value depth, d1/2, and focality by the tangential spread, S1/2, defined as the half-value volume (V1/2) divided by the half-value depth, S1/2 = V1/2/d1/2.
The 50 TMS coils exhibit a wide range of electric field focality and depth, but all followed a depth–focality tradeoff: coils with larger half-value depth cannot be as focal as more superficial coils. The ranges of achievable d1/2 are similar between coils producing circular and figure-8 electric field patterns, ranging 1.0–3.5 cm and 0.9–3.4 cm, respectively. However, figure-8 field coils are more focal, having S1/2 as low as 5 cm2 compared to 34 cm2 for circular field coils.
For any coil design, the ability to directly stimulate deeper brain structures is obtained at the expense of inducing wider electrical field spread. Novel coil designs should be benchmarked against comparison coils with consistent metrics such as d1/2 and S1/2.
PMCID: PMC3568257  PMID: 22483681
transcranial magnetic stimulation; electric field; depth; focality; simulation
23.  A Humidity Sensing Organic-Inorganic Composite for Environmental Monitoring 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2013;13(3):3615-3624.
In this paper, we present the effect of varying humidity levels on the electrical parameters and the multi frequency response of the electrical parameters of an organic-inorganic composite (PEPC+NiPc+Cu2O)-based humidity sensor. Silver thin films (thickness ∼200 nm) were primarily deposited on plasma cleaned glass substrates by the physical vapor deposition (PVD) technique. A pair of rectangular silver electrodes was formed by patterning silver film through standard optical lithography technique. An active layer of organic-inorganic composite for humidity sensing was later spun coated to cover the separation between the silver electrodes. The electrical characterization of the sensor was performed as a function of relative humidity levels and frequency of the AC input signal. The sensor showed reversible changes in its capacitance with variations in humidity level. The maximum sensitivity ∼31.6 pF/%RH at 100 Hz in capacitive mode of operation has been attained. The aim of this study was to increase the sensitivity of the previously reported humidity sensors using PEPC and NiPc, which has been successfully achieved.
PMCID: PMC3658764  PMID: 23493124
composite film; humidity sensor; physical vapor deposition; scanning electron micrograph
24.  Magnetic Behavior of Surface Nanostructured 50-nm Nickel Thin Films 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2010;5(10):1596-1602.
Thermally evaporated 50-nm nickel thin films coated on borosilicate glass substrates were nanostructured by excimer laser (0.5 J/cm2, single shot), DC electric field (up to 2 kV/cm) and trench-template assisted technique. Nanoparticle arrays (anisotropic growth features) have been observed to form in the direction of electric field for DC electric field treatment case and ruptured thin film (isotropic growth features) growth for excimer laser treatment case. For trench-template assisted technique; nanowires (70–150 nm diameters) have grown along the length of trench template. Coercive field and saturation magnetization are observed to be strongly dependent on nanostructuring techniques.
PMCID: PMC2956046  PMID: 21076670
Magnetic nanostructures; Magnetic properties; Surface treatment
25.  Magnetic Behavior of Surface Nanostructured 50-nm Nickel Thin Films 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2010;5(10):1596-1602.
Thermally evaporated 50-nm nickel thin films coated on borosilicate glass substrates were nanostructured by excimer laser (0.5 J/cm2, single shot), DC electric field (up to 2 kV/cm) and trench-template assisted technique. Nanoparticle arrays (anisotropic growth features) have been observed to form in the direction of electric field for DC electric field treatment case and ruptured thin film (isotropic growth features) growth for excimer laser treatment case. For trench-template assisted technique; nanowires (70–150 nm diameters) have grown along the length of trench template. Coercive field and saturation magnetization are observed to be strongly dependent on nanostructuring techniques.
PMCID: PMC2956046  PMID: 21076670
Magnetic nanostructures; Magnetic properties; Surface treatment

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