Date of Graduation

5-2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Tung, Cha-Hung Steve

Abstract

The Micro and Nano System Laboratory at the University of Arkansas currently is equipped with an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). This device can be used to measure objects with resolution on the nanometer scale, but there are a number of technical difficulties in performing scans of carbon nanotubes and DNA. The goal of this research is to successfully perform scans on both carbon nanotubes and DNA and to also establish laboratory processing protocols to re-perform such scans in the future. Previous works performed by other researchers in the laboratory provided basic protocols with which to begin the present research. These protocols were systematically altered until the desired results were achieved. The primary variables altered in these experiments were the sonication time, the centrifuge time (both for the nanotubes), and the concentration of magnesium acetate in the DNA solution. For every combination of these variables, a number of scans were acquired through experimentation. The results indicated that satisfactory scans can be obtained if the sonication time is about 15 minutes for carbon nanotubes and the magnesium acetate concentration is about xxx for DNA solution.

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