Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Program

Electrical Engineering, PhD

Committee Chair

Harnett, Cindy

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Naber, John

Committee Member

Naber, John

Committee Member

McNamara, Shamus

Committee Member

Williams, Stuart

Author's Keywords

gold nanoparticles; ICEO; ACEO; MEMS


Gold nanostructures exhibit technologically useful properties when they are polarized in an electric field. In two projects we explore instances where the polarized metal can be used in real world applications. The first project involves gold nanoparticles (GNP) for use in light actuated microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) applications. Although the GNPs were originally designed for volumetric heating in biomedical applications, we treat them as a thin film coating, opening the door for these particles to be used in MEMS applications. This work characterizes the thermal properties of gold nanoparticles on surfaces for spatially-targeted thermal actuation in MEMS systems. The second project deals with metalized nanopore membranes for use in microfluidic applications. For this project several models and experiments were performed on electroosmotic flows driven by charge separation at polarized nanopore surfaces. Until this work, the flow-through geometry remained unexplored for induced charge electroosmotic flow (ICEO).