Growth of Non-Polar a-Plane AlGaN Epilayer with High Crystalline Quality and Smooth Surface Morphology

Non-polar a-plane AlGaN epilayers of high structural quality have been grown on r-sapphire substrate by using metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). A graded non-polar AlGaN buffer layer with variable aluminium concentration was used to improve the structural quality of the non-polar a-plane AlGaN epilayer. The characterisations were carried out by high-resolution X-ray diffraction (HR-XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Hall effect measurement. The XRD and AFM results demonstrate that the Al-composition-graded non-polar AlGaN buffer layer significantly improved the crystalline quality and the surface morphology of the top layer. A low root mean square roughness 1.52 nm is obtained from AFM, and relatively low background carrier concentration down to 3.9×  cm-3 is obtained from Hall effect measurement.

Urban Intensification and the Character of Urban Landscape: A Morphological Perspective

Urban intensification is regarded as the prevalent strategy in many cities of the world to ease the pressures of urban sprawl and deliver sustainable development through increasing the density of built form and activities. However, within the context of intensive development, planning and design control measures that help to maintain and promote the character of existing residential environments have been slow to develop. This causes the possible loss of the character of an area that makes a place unique and distinctive. The purpose of this paper is to explore the way of identifying the character of an urban area for the planning of urban landscape in the implementation of intensification. By employing the theory of urban morphology, the concept of morphological region is used for the analysis and characterisation of the spatial structure of the urban landscape in terms of ground plans, building types, and building and land utilisation. The morphological mapping of the character of urban landscape is suggested, which lays a foundation for more sensitive planning of urban landscape changes.

Characterisation of Wind-Driven Ventilation in Complex Terrain Conditions

The physical effects of upstream flow obstructions such as vegetation on cross-ventilation phenomena of a building are important for issues such as indoor thermal comfort. Modelling such effects in Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations may also be challenging. The aim of this work is to establish the cross-ventilation jet behaviour in such complex terrain conditions as well as to provide guidelines on the implementation of CFD numerical simulations in order to model complex terrain features such as vegetation in an efficient manner. The methodology consists of onsite measurements on a test cell coupled with numerical simulations. It was found that the cross-ventilation flow is highly turbulent despite the very low velocities encountered internally within the test cells. While no direct measurement of the jet direction was made, the measurements indicate that flow tends to be reversed from the leeward to the windward side. Modelling such a phenomenon proves challenging and is strongly influenced by how vegetation is modelled. A solid vegetation tends to predict better the direction and magnitude of the flow than a porous vegetation approach. A simplified terrain model was also shown to provide good comparisons with observation. The findings have important implications on the study of cross-ventilation in complex terrain conditions since the flow direction does not remain trivial, as with the traditional isolated building case.

Geoelectical Resistivity Method in Aquifer Characterization at Opic Estate, Isheri-Osun River Basin, South Western Nigeria

Investigation was carried out at Opic Estate in Isheri-Osun River Basin environment using Electrical Resistivity method to study saltwater intrusion into a fresh water aquifer system from the proximal estuarine water body. The investigation is aimed at aquifer characterisation using electrical resistivity method in order to provide the depth to which fresh water fit for both domestic and industrial consumption. The 2D Electrical Resistivity and Vertical Electrical Resistivity techniques alongside Laboratory analysis of water samples obtained from the boreholes were adopted. Three traverses were investigated using Wenner and Pole-Dipole array with multi-electrode system consisting of 84 electrodes and a spread of 581 m, 664 m and 830 m were attained on the traverses. The main lithologies represented in the study area are Sand, Clay and Clayey Sand of which Sand constitutes the aquifer in the study area. Vertical Electrical Sounding data obtained at different lateral distance on the traverses have indicated that the water in the aquifer in the subsurface is brackish. Brackish water is represented by lowelectrical resistivity value signature while fresh water is characterized by relatively high electrical resistivity and in some regionfresh water is existent at depth greater than 200 m. Results of laboratory analysis of samples showed that the pH, Salinity, Total Dissolved Solid and Conductivity indicated existence of water with poor quality, indicating that salinity, TDS and Conductivity is higher in the Northern part of the study area. The 2D electrical resistivity and Vertical Electrical Sounding methods indicate that fresh water region is at ≥200m depth. Aquifers not fit for domestic use in the study area occur downwards to about 200 m in depth. In conclusion, it is recommended that wells should be sunkbeyond 220 m for the possible procurement of portable fresh water.

Production, Characterisation and Assessment of Biomixture Fuels for Compression Ignition Engine Application

Hardly any neat biodiesel satisfies the European EN14214 standard for compression ignition engine application. To satisfy the EN14214 standard, various additives are doped into biodiesel; however, biodiesel additives might cause other problems such as increase in the particular emission and increased specific fuel consumption. In addition, the additives could be expensive. Considering the increasing level of greenhouse gas GHG emissions and fossil fuel depletion, it is forecasted that the use of biodiesel will be higher in the near future. Hence, the negative aspects of the biodiesel additives will likely to gain much more importance and need to be replaced with better solutions. This study aims to satisfy the European standard EN14214 by blending the biodiesels derived from sustainable feedstocks. Waste Cooking Oil (WCO) and Animal Fat Oil (AFO) are two sustainable feedstocks in the EU (including the UK) for producing biodiesels. In the first stage of the study, these oils were transesterified separately and neat biodiesels (W100 & A100) were produced. Secondly, the biodiesels were blended together in various ratios: 80% WCO biodiesel and 20% AFO biodiesel (W80A20), 60% WCO biodiesel and 40% AFO biodiesel (W60A40), 50% WCO biodiesel and 50% AFO biodiesel (W50A50), 30% WCO biodiesel and 70% AFO biodiesel (W30A70), 10% WCO biodiesel and 90% AFO biodiesel (W10A90). The prepared samples were analysed using Thermo Scientific Trace 1300 Gas Chromatograph and ISQ LT Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS). The GS-MS analysis gave Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) breakdowns of the fuel samples. It was found that total saturation degree of the samples was linearly increasing (from 15% for W100 to 54% for A100) as the percentage of the AFO biodiesel was increased. Furthermore, it was found that WCO biodiesel was mainly (82%) composed of polyunsaturated FAMEs. Cetane numbers, iodine numbers, calorific values, lower heating values and the densities (at 15 oC) of the samples were estimated by using the mass percentages data of the FAMEs. Besides, kinematic viscosities (at 40 °C and 20 °C), densities (at 15 °C), heating values and flash point temperatures of the biomixture samples were measured in the lab. It was found that estimated and measured characterisation results were comparable. The current study concluded that biomixture fuel samples W60A40 and W50A50 were perfectly satisfying the European EN 14214 norms without any need of additives. Investigation on engine performance, exhaust emission and combustion characteristics will be conducted to assess the full feasibility of the proposed biomixture fuels.

Beijerinckia indica Extracellular Extract Mediated Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles with Antioxidant and Antibacterial Activities against Clinical Pathogens

This work investigated the use of Beijerinckia indica extracellular extract for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles using AgNO3. The formation of nanoparticles was confirmed by different methods, such as UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy, XRD, FTIR, EDX, and TEM analysis. The formation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) was confirmed by the change in color from light yellow to dark brown. The absorbance peak obtained at 430 nm confirmed the presence of silver nanoparticles. The XRD analysis showed the cubic crystalline phase of the synthesized nanoparticles. FTIR revealed the presence of groups that acts as stabilizing and reducing agents for silver nanoparticles formation. The synthesized silver nanoparticles were generally found to be spherical in shape with size ranging from 5 to 20 nm, as evident by TEM analysis. These nanoparticles were found to inhibit pathogenic bacterial strains. This work proved that the bacterial extract is a potential eco-friendly candidate for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles with promising antibacterial and antioxidant properties. 

Characterisation of Fractions Extracted from Sorghum Byproducts

Sorghum byproducts, namely bran, stalk, and panicle are examples of lignocellulosic biomass. These raw materials contain large amounts of polysaccharides, in particular hemicelluloses, celluloses, and lignins, which if efficiently extracted, can be utilised for the development of a range of added value products with potential applications in agriculture and food packaging sectors. The aim of this study was to characterise fractions extracted from sorghum bran and stalk with regards to their physicochemical properties that could determine their applicability as food-packaging materials. A sequential alkaline extraction was applied for the isolation of cellulosic, hemicellulosic and lignin fractions from sorghum stalk and bran. Lignin content, phenolic content and antioxidant capacity were also investigated in the case of the lignin fraction. Thermal analysis using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) revealed that the glass transition temperature (Tg) of cellulose fraction of the stalk was ~78.33 oC at amorphous state (~65%) and water content of ~5%. In terms of hemicellulose, the Tg value of stalk was slightly lower compared to bran at amorphous state (~54%) and had less water content (~2%). It is evident that hemicelluloses generally showed a lower thermal stability compared to cellulose, probably due to their lack of crystallinity. Additionally, bran had higher arabinose-to-xylose ratio (0.82) than the stalk, a fact that indicated its low crystallinity. Furthermore, lignin fraction had Tg value of ~93 oC at amorphous state (~11%). Stalk-derived lignin fraction contained more phenolic compounds (mainly consisting of p-coumaric and ferulic acid) and had higher lignin content and antioxidant capacity compared to bran-derived lignin fraction.

Estimation of Relative Permeabilities and Capillary Pressures in Shale Using Simulation Method

Relative permeabilities are practical factors that are used to correct the single phase Darcy’s law for application to multiphase flow. For effective characterisation of large-scale multiphase flow in hydrocarbon recovery, relative permeability and capillary pressures are used. These parameters are acquired via special core flooding experiments. Special core analysis (SCAL) module of reservoir simulation is applied by engineers for the evaluation of these parameters. But, core flooding experiments in shale core sample are expensive and time consuming before various flow assumptions are achieved for instance Darcy’s law. This makes it imperative for the application of coreflooding simulations in which various analysis of relative permeabilities and capillary pressures of multiphase flow can be carried out efficiently and effectively at a relative pace. This paper presents a Sendra software simulation of core flooding to achieve to relative permeabilities and capillary pressures using different correlations. The approach used in this study was three steps. The first step, the basic petrophysical parameters of Marcellus shale sample such as porosity was determined using laboratory techniques. Secondly, core flooding was simulated for particular scenario of injection using different correlations. And thirdly the best fit correlations for the estimation of relative permeability and capillary pressure was obtained. This research approach saves cost and time and very reliable in the computation of relative permeability and capillary pressures at steady or unsteady state, drainage or imbibition processes in oil and gas industry when compared to other methods.

The Characterisation of TLC NAND Flash Memory, Leading to a Definable Endurance/Retention Trade-Off

Triple-Level Cell (TLC) NAND Flash memory at, and below, 20nm (nanometer) is still largely unexplored by researchers, and with the ever more commonplace existence of Flash in consumer and enterprise applications there is a need for such gaps in knowledge to be filled. At the time of writing, there was little published data or literature on TLC, and more specifically reliability testing, with a further emphasis on both endurance and retention. This paper will give an introduction to NAND Flash memory, followed by an overview of the relevant current research on the reliability of Flash memory, along with the planned future work which will provide results to help characterise the reliability of TLC memory.

Preparation, Characterisation, and Measurement of the in vitro Cytotoxicity of Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles Loaded with Cytotoxic Pt(II) Oxadiazoline Complexes

Cytotoxic platinum compounds play a major role in the chemotherapy of a large number of human cancers. However, due to the severe side effects for the patient and other problems associated with their use, there is a need for the development of more efficient drugs and new methods for their selective delivery to the tumours. One way to achieve the latter could be in the use of nanoparticular substrates that can adsorb or chemically bind the drug. In the cell, the drug is supposed to be slowly released, either by physical desorption or by dissolution of the particle framework. Ideally, the cytotoxic properties of the platinum drug unfold only then, in the cancer cell and over a longer period of time due to the gradual release. In this paper, we report on our first steps in this direction. The binding properties of a series of cytotoxic Pt(II) oxadiazoline compounds to mesoporous silica particles has been studied by NMR and UV/vis spectroscopy. High loadings were achieved when the Pt(II) compound was relatively polar, and has been dissolved in a relatively nonpolar solvent before the silica was added. Typically, 6-10 hours were required for complete equilibration, suggesting the adsorption did not only occur to the outer surface but also to the interior of the pores. The untreated and Pt(II) loaded particles were characterised by C, H, N combustion analysis, BET/BJH nitrogen sorption, electron microscopy (REM and TEM) and EDX. With the latter methods we were able to demonstrate the homogenous distribution of the Pt(II) compound on and in the silica particles, and no Pt(II) bulk precipitate had formed. The in vitro cytotoxicity in a human cancer cell line (HeLa) has been determined for one of the new platinum compounds adsorbed to mesoporous silica particles of different size, and compared with the corresponding compound in solution. The IC50 data are similar in all cases, suggesting that the release of the Pt(II) compound was relatively fast and possibly occurred before the particles reached the cells. Overall, the platinum drug is chemically stable on silica and retained its activity upon prolonged storage.

Effect of Vibration Amplitude and Welding Force on Weld Strength of Ultrasonic Metal Welding

Ultrasonic metal welding has been the subject of ongoing research and development, most recently concentrating on metal joining in miniature devices, for example to allow solder-free wire bonding. As well as at the small scale, there are also opportunities to research the joining of thicker sheet metals and to widen the range of similar and dissimilar materials that can be successfully joined using this technology. This study presents the design, characterisation and test of a lateral-drive ultrasonic metal spot welding device. The ultrasonic metal spot welding horn is modelled using finite element analysis (FEA) and its vibration behaviour is characterised experimentally to ensure ultrasonic energy is delivered effectively to the weld coupon. The welding stack and fixtures are then designed and mounted on a test machine to allow a series of experiments to be conducted for various welding and ultrasonic parameters. Weld strength is subsequently analysed using tensile-shear tests. The results show how the weld strength is particularly sensitive to the combination of clamping force and ultrasonic vibration amplitude of the welding tip, but there are optimal combinations of these and also limits that must be clearly identified.

Broadband Baseband Impedance Control for Linearity Enhancement in Microwave Devices

The out-of-band impedance environment is considered to be of paramount importance in engineering the in-band impedance environment. Presenting the frequency independent and constant outof- band impedances across the wide modulation bandwidth is extremely important for reliable device characterization for future wireless systems. This paper presents an out-of-band impedance optimization scheme based on simultaneous engineering of significant baseband components IF1 (twice the modulation frequency) and IF2 (four times the modulation frequency) and higher baseband components such as IF3 (six times the modulation frequency) and IF4 (eight times the modulation frequency) to engineer the in-band impedance environment. The investigations were carried out on a 10W GaN HEMT device driven to deliver a peak envelope power of approximately 40.5dBm under modulated excitation. The presentation of frequency independent baseband impedances to all the significant baseband components whilst maintaining the optimum termination for fundamental tones as well as reactive termination for 2nd harmonic under class-J mode of operation has outlined separate optimum impedances for best intermodulation (IM) linearity.

Evaluation of Aquifer Protective Capacity and Soil Corrosivity Using Geoelectrical Method

A geoelectric survey was carried out in some parts of Angwan Gwari, an outskirt of Lapai Local Government Area on Niger State which belongs to the Nigerian Basement Complex, with the aim of evaluating the soil corrosivity, aquifer transmissivity and protective capacity of the area from which aquifer characterisation was made. The G41 Resistivity Meter was employed to obtain fifteen Schlumberger Vertical Electrical Sounding data along profiles in a square grid network. The data were processed using interpex 1-D sounding inversion software, which gives vertical electrical sounding curves with layered model comprising of the apparent resistivities, overburden thicknesses, and depth. This information was used to evaluate longitudinal conductance and transmissivities of the layers. The results show generally low resistivities across the survey area and an average longitudinal conductance variation from 0.0237Siemens in VES 6 to 0.1261Siemens in VES 15 with almost the entire area giving values less than 1.0 Siemens. The average transmissivity values range from 96.45 Ω.m2 in VES 4 to 299070 Ω.m2 in VES 1. All but VES 4 and VES14 had an average overburden greater than 400 Ω.m2, these results suggest that the aquifers are highly permeable to fluid movement within, leading to the possibility of enhanced migration and circulation of contaminants in the groundwater system and that the area is generally corrosive.

The Use of Palm Kernel Shell and Ash for Concrete Production

This work reports the potential of using Palm Kernel (PK) ash and shell as a partial substitute for Portland Cement (PC) and coarse aggregate in the development of mortar and concrete. PK ash and shell are agro-waste materials from palm oil mills, the disposal of PK ash and shell is an environmental problem of concern. The PK ash has pozzolanic properties that enables it as a partial replacement for cement and also plays an important role in the strength and durability of concrete, its use in concrete will alleviate the increasing challenges of scarcity and high cost of cement. In order to investigate the PC replacement potential of PK ash, three types of PK ash were produced at varying temperature (350-750C) and they were used to replace up to 50% PC. The PK shell was used to replace up to 100% coarse aggregate in order to study its aggregate replacement potential. The testing programme included material characterisation, the determination of compressive strength, tensile splitting strength and chemical durability in aggressive sulfatebearing exposure conditions. The 90 day compressive results showed a significant strength gain (up to 26.2 N/mm2). The Portland cement and conventional coarse aggregate has significantly higher influence in the strength gain compared to the equivalent PK ash and PK shell. The chemical durability results demonstrated that after a prolonged period of exposure, significant strength losses in all the concretes were observed. This phenomenon is explained, due to lower change in concrete morphology and inhibition of reaction species and the final disruption of the aggregate cement paste matrix.

Sol-gel Synthesis and Optical Characterisation of TiO2 Thin Films for Photovoltaic Application

TiO2 thin films have been prepared by the sol-gel dipcoating technique in order to elaborate antireflective thin films for monocrystalline silicon (mono-Si). The titanium isopropoxyde was chosen as a precursor with hydrochloric acid as a catalyser for preparing a stable solution. The optical properties have been tailored with varying the solution concentration, the withdrawn speed, and the heat-treatment. We showed that using a TiO2 single layer with 64.5 nm in thickness, heat-treated at 450°C or 300°C reduces the mono-Si reflection at a level lower than 3% over the broadband spectral domains [669-834] nm and [786-1006] nm respectively. Those latter performances are similar to the ones obtained with double layers of low and high refractive index glasses respectively.

Best Co-approximation and Best Simultaneous Co-approximation in Fuzzy Normed Spaces

The main purpose of this paper is to consider the t-best co-approximation and t-best simultaneous co-approximation in fuzzy normed spaces. We develop the theory of t-best co-approximation and t-best simultaneous co-approximation in quotient spaces. This new concept is employed us to improve various characterisations of t-co-proximinal and t-co-Chebyshev sets.

Contact Angle Measurement of the Vinyl Ester Matrix Nanocomposites Based On Layered Silicate

Contact angle measurement was utilized in order to study the subject of the wettability and surface chemistry of the nanocomposites materials. Water and glycerol droplets were used in this study. The incorporation of layered silicate into the vinyl ester matrix helped to improve the wettability and reduced the θ values of both liquids used. The addition of 2 wt.% clay loading reduced the θ values of water and glycerol by up to 21% and 6% respectively. Likewise, the incorporation of 4 wt.% clay loading reduced the water and glycerol θ values by 49% and 38% respectively. Also this study confirms the findings in the literature regarding the relationship between the intercalation nanocomposites level and the wettability. Wide Angle X-ray Diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy were utilised in order to characterise the interlamellar structure of nanocomposites.

The Effect of Processing Parameters of the Vinyl Ester Matrix Nanocomposites Based On Layered Silicate on the Level of Exfoliation

The study of the effect of the processing parameters on the level of intercalation between the layered silicate and polymer of two different methodology took place. X-ray diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry, and Transmission Electron Microscopy were utilized in order to examine the intercalation level of nanocomposites of both methodologies. It was found that drying the clay prior to mixing with the polymer, mixing time and speed, degassing time, and the curing method had major changes to the level of distribution of the nanocomposites structure. In methodology 1, the presence of aggregation layers was observed at only 2.5 wt.% clay loading whereas in methodology 2 the presence of aggregation layers was found at higher clay loading (i.e. 5 wt.%).

Mechanical and Thermal Properties Characterisation of Vinyl Ester Matrix Nanocomposites Based On Layered Silicate: Effect of Processing Parameters

The mechanical properties including flexural and tensile of neat vinyl ester and polymer based on layered silicate nanocomposite materials of two different methodologies are discussed. Methodology 1 revealed that the addition of layered silicate into the polymer matrix increased the mechanical and thermal properties up to 1 wt.% clay loading. The incorporation of more clay resulted in decreasing the properties which was traced to the existence of aggregation layers. The aggregation layers imparted a negative impact on the overall mechanical and thermal properties. On the other hand, methodology 2 increased the mechanical and thermal properties up to 4 wt.% clay loading. The different amounts of improvements were assigned to the various preparation parameters. Wide Angle X-ray Diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy were utilized in order to characterize the interlamellar structure of nanocomposites.

Manufacture of Electroless Nickel/YSZ Composite Coatings

The paper discusses optimising work on a method of processing ceramic / metal composite coatings for various applications and is based on preliminary work on processing anodes for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). The composite coating is manufactured by the electroless co-deposition of nickel and yttria stabilised zirconia (YSZ) simultaneously on to a ceramic substrate. The effect on coating characteristics of substrate surface treatments and electroless nickel bath parameters such as pH and agitation methods are also investigated. Characterisation of the resulting deposit by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDXA) is also discussed.