8,689 Works

Label-free plasmonic biosensors for real-time live cell analysis

Xiaokang Li
For decades, the understanding of life has been focused on its most fundamental building blocks: molecules. Deciphering the dynamic activities of protein molecules in human cells is of vital significance for fundamental and clinical studies. The minuscule scale of protein molecules poses a great challenge for precise quantification. Labeling the molecules of interest with fluorescent and enzymatic tags has thus become an effective strategy to indicate their existence. However, the addition of extrinsic fluorescent tags...

Tailoring thermal properties of functional materials

Xavier François Mettan
Thermal conductivity (k) plays an essential role in functional devices. In some cases, high value is required to transfer heat efficiently. In others, low k assists in maintaining a temperature gradient necessary for device operation. It is profitable to design materials where one can tune k in a broad range according to its function. Beyond functionality, k is a fundamental property of matter, and a fantastic probe to assess vibrational dynamics and electronic structure in...

Tokamak plasma edge studies by microwave short-pulse reflectometry and backscattering

Pedro Andres Molina Cabrera
Moving towards an increased understanding of the dynamic processes in the edge of tokamak plasmas requires continuous innovation in diagnostic capabilities, pushing the envelope in both spatial and temporal dimenstions. Plasma density and rotation, and their respective fluctuations, are essential quantities for tokamak physics studies. The present thesis describes the design, development, and first results of two new dedicated diagnostics in the TCV tokamak of the reflectometry type: a heterodyne continuous- wave Doppler backscattering (DBS)...

Impact of Strain and Alloy Disorder on the Electronic Properties of III-Nitride Based Two-dimensional Electron Gases

Pirouz Sohi
Over the past 20 years, III-nitrides (GaN, AlN, InN and their alloys) have proven to be an excellent material group for electronic devices, in particular, for high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) operating at high frequency and high power. This is mainly thanks to the wide band gap of III-nitrides and the spontaneous polarization along the technologically relevant (0001) direction. Heteroepitaxy of III-nitride heterostructures enables the formation of two-dimensional electron gases (2DEGs) with high carrier densities...

Cooperative Perception Algorithms for Networked Intelligent Vehicles

Milos Vasic
The degree of intelligence built-in in today's vehicles in constantly on the rise. The vehicles are being equipped with sensors, with the goal to estimate the state of the vehicle and the environment surrounding it. Intelligent algorithms that process the sensory data can give their output at different levels, ranging from simple warnings, over evasive maneuvers (such as emergency braking), to complete autonomy. While it has been demonstrated that autonomous vehicles can rely solely on...

Hydrothermally Stable Sulfonated Carbons as Solid Acid Catalysts for the Hydrolysis of Lignocellulose

David Ferdinand Scholz
The recycling of homogeneous acids imposes great challenges to the feasibility of lignocellulose hydrolysis processes. Although heterogeneous catalysts would offer a perspective to circumvent these challenges, conventional solid acids are instable under the hydrothermal conditions typical of hydrolysis processes. In this regard, acid functionalized carbons appear as auspicious alternatives due to the higher perseverance of carbon frameworks. The strong Brønsted acid sites in sulfonated carbons would be particularly well suited to catalyze the hydrolysis of...

Accurate and efficient interpretation of load-test data for asset-management

Sai Ganesh Sarvotham Pai
Increasing demand for new infrastructure and ageing of existing infrastructure has made management of infrastructure a key challenge of this century. Replacement of all ageing civil infrastructure is economically and environmentally unsustainable. Civil infrastructure elements possess reserve capacity beyond code requirements due to conservative construction and design practises. Monitoring and interpreting structural responses helps understand real structural behaviour and this leads to accurate quantification of reserve capacity. To assess reserve capacity, predictions of structural behaviour...

Scalable Convex Optimization Methods for Semidefinite Programming

Alp Yurtsever
With the ever-growing data sizes along with the increasing complexity of the modern problem formulations, contemporary applications in science and engineering impose heavy computational and storage burdens on the optimization algorithms. As a result, there is a recent trend where heuristic approaches with unverifiable assumptions are overtaking more rigorous, conventional methods at the expense of robustness and reproducibility. My recent research results show that this trend can be overturned when we jointly exploit dimensionality reduction...

Development of New Strategies of Umpolung with Cyclic Hypervalent Iodine Reagents

Paola Caramenti
Organic chemistry is essential for the development of a modern society and technical progress requires the continuous development of synthetic methodologies Novel, efficient, selective and flexible protocols are employed to access complex frameworks from simple starting materials. However, classical synthetic methods often relies on the intrinsic reactivity of functional groups, reducing the portfolio of available reactions for synthetic chemists. The reversal of classical reactivity of functional groups allows alternative disconnection pathways and can improve synthetic...

Allosteric Protein Switches based on Antibody Mimetics

Helen Rebecca Ostlund Farrants
Synthetic protein switches are proteins that can be controlled by an external input, and are useful tools to probe protein function. Antibody fragments and antibody mimetics can be selected to bind, activate, or inhibit several diverse protein targets. Nevertheless, their affinity for the target is often high and the binding non-reversible. Turning antibody fragments and antibody mimetics into synthetic protein switches would provide a useful tool for controlling their affinity with external cues, such as...

Three Problems of Liquidity under Asymmetric Information

Sylvain Jean Pascal Carré
This thesis develops models for three problems of liquidity under asymmetric information. In the chapter "Disclosures, Rollover Risk, and Debt Runs" I build a model of dynamic debt runs without perfect information in order to understand the impact of asset opacity and disclosure policies on run likelihood and economic efficiency. I find that opacity is desirable with respect to both these metrics if and only if fundamentals are strong enough; and that a bank should...

Charge carrier and exciton dynamics within hybrid lead halide perovskites of mixed composition and dimensionality

Marine Eva Fedora Bouduban
Research is nowadays usually directed by its potentiality to birth technological applications of relevance in the present environmento-socio-economical context, which can be seen as fair. This can however appear frustrating to us scientists, as it sometimes embodies an obstacle to our curiosity and creative freedom. As a consequence, research topics exhibiting both high impact potential and strong scientific interest, in terms of novel ideas and self-questioning driving force, can be seen as some kind of...

Wearable Technologies for Embodied Human-Robot Interaction

Carine Rognon
Robotic teleoperation is fundamental to augment the resilience, precision, and force of robots with the cognition of the operator. However, current interfaces, such as joysticks and remote controllers, are often complicated to handle since they require cognitive effort and learned skills. Wearable interfaces can enable more natural and intuitive interactions with robots, which would make robotic teleoperation accessible to a larger population of users for demanding tasks, such as manipulation or search-and-rescue. The aim of...

A sequence-dependent coarse-grain model of B-DNA with explicit description of bases and phosphate groups parametrised from large scale Molecular Dynamics simulations

Alessandro Samuele Patelli
We introduce a sequence-dependent coarse-grain model of double-stranded DNA with an explicit description of both the bases and the phosphate groups as interacting rigid-bodies. The model parameters are trained on extensive, state-of-the-art large scale molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The model paradigm relies on three main approximations: 1) nucleic acid bases and phosphate groups are rigid, 2) interactions are nearest-neighbour and can be modelled with a quadratic energy, 3) model parameters have dimer sequence dependence. For...

Privacy-Enhancing Technologies for Mobile Applications and Services

Thi Van Anh Pham
Over a third of the world€™'s population owns a smartphone. As generic computing devices that support a large and heterogeneous collection of mobile applications (apps), smartphones provide a plethora of functionalities and services to billions of users. But the use of these mobile apps and services often introduces privacy risks for users. First, app developers often fail to take into account the fact that as smartphones are generic computing devices, they do not provide adequate...

Studies in strongly coupled quantum field theories and renormalization group flows

Bernardo Zan
This thesis presents studies in strongly coupled Renormalization Group (RG) flows. In the first part, we analyze the subject of non-local Conformal Field Theories (CFTs), arising as continuous phase transitions of statistical models with long-range interactions. Specifically, we study the critical long-range Ising model in a general number of dimension: first we show that it is conformally invariant, and then we study in depth the different regimes of the theory. We find an example of...

Imaging from Echoes: On Inverse Problems in Ultrasound

Adrien Georges Jean Besson
Ultrasound (US) imaging is currently living a revolution. On the one hand, ultrafast US imaging, a novel way of acquiring and producing US images, has paved the way to several advanced imaging modes, e.g. shear-wave elastography, ultrafast Doppler imaging and ultrafast contrast imaging. On the other hand, the mass adoption of mobile commodity devices pushes towards portable US imaging. These new paradigms require to rethink the imaging pipeline and come with a myriad of new...

Mitigation of tip leakage induced phenomena in a low Reynolds number centrifugal compressor via blade loading distribution

Markus Diehl
Reduced-scale refrigeration compressors supported on gas-lubricated bearings have been identified as a key technology for domestic heat pump applications, in order to improve both the system efficiency and the reliability. Unfortunately, reduced-scale machines suffer from increased aerodynamic losses compared to large-scale industrial machines, which are caused by the small feature size and manufacturing tolerances. Due to the small feature size, the machine Reynolds number is low and higher frictional losses occur. The manufacturing tolerances as...

Real-Time Optimization of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Systems:Methodology and Implementation

Tafarel De Avila Ferreira
Optimization of industrial processes aims at minimizing operating cost or maximizing economic profit while respecting plant constraints. In process industry, real-time optimization (RTO) is often considered to ensure optimal plant operation and constraint satisfaction. Solid-oxide fuel-cell (SOFC) devices oxidize fuels such as hydrogen and methane to produce electric energy through electrochemical reactions at very high efficiency. To reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and the high cost of non-renewable energies, fuel cells have become popular...

Untangling emergent cortical dynamics: neurons from networks, noise from chaos

Max Christian Nolte
The way in which cortical microcircuit components -- most importantly neurons -- and their connectivity -- the network -- shape and constrain emergent dynamics is a long-standing question in neuroscience. Experimentally observed dynamical properties can often be explained by circuit models with different simplifying assumptions for the underlying neuron models and their network structure, such as deterministic synapse models describing stochastic synapses, or a uniform network structure describing heterogeneous synaptic connectivity. Intrinsic neural variability, for...

A Tale of Two Tumors: Unraveling the Complexities of Epigenetic Dysregulation in Cancer

Maria Christine Donaldson
Epigenetics plays an important role in cancer development and progression. Cancer cells hijack the epigenome by modifying the histone protein units responsible for packaging DNA, or by modifying the DNA itself, resulting in changes to chromatin topology and transcriptional programming within the cell. In this thesis, I report our investigation to uncover the mechanisms of epigenetic regulation and how epigenetic control of transcriptional programming goes awry in cancer. We investigate these processes in two separate...

Interfacial Self-Assembly as Catalytic Platform for Multielectron Redox Reactions

Astrid Johana Olaya Avendano
In Nature, many vital biological processes take place across the interface formed between two dielectric media. For instance, photosynthesis and aerobic respiration involve a series of redox reactions occurring across energy-transducing membranes, in charge of converting the energy released in the exothermic multielectron redox reactions into an electrical potential difference across the membrane that finally drives the synthesis of ATP. Thus, the interface between two immiscible electrolyte solutions (ITIES) is considered a bio-inspired medium that...

Verified Functional Programming

Nicolas Charles Yves Voirol
In this thesis, we present Stainless, a verification system for an expressive subset of the Scala language. Our system is based on a dependently-typed language and an algorithmic type checking procedure which ensures total correctness. We rely on SMT solvers to automate the verification process and to provide us with useful counterexamples when considered properties are invalid. We then enable verification in the presence of high-level Scala language features by encoding them into the dependently-typed...

Quartiers résidentiels périurbains en transition : Comparaison multicritère de scénarios prospectifs à l'horizon 2050

Judith Elisa Drouilles
Since the Industrial Revolution, urban spaces have undergone a profound reorganisation in parallel with a transformation of society and lifestyles. Urban sprawl has become widespread in Switzerland, as in countless countries, due to continuous innovations in transport, exponential population growth, land speculation and the ubiquitous desire to live in a single-family house. This process has led to a dispersion of the city in rural areas, which today raises multiple questions regarding sustainability aspects. In response...

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