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Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Physics (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Physics

Advisor 1

Yoke Khin Yap

Advisor 2

Dongyan Zhang

Committee Member 1

Ravindra Pandey

Committee Member 2

Caryn Heldt


Boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) are structurally similar to carbon nanotubes (CNTs). However, BNNTs offer properties different than those of CNTs for being wide band gap materials. Their chemically and electrically inert natures have enabled BNNTs for applications in the biomedical and quantum electronic areas. Accurate investigation on their potential application is very few because of the lack of high purity BNNTs. Furthermore, many basic research on BNNTs have not been fully investigated, which are essential before stepping forward to real applications of BNNTs.

My dissertation work was started with high-yield synthesis of high-purity BNNTs by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). This is followed by the quantification, processing, and applications of BNNTs in the biomedical and environmental areas. In Chapter 1, I will introduce about the CVD synthesis of BNNTs, and the functionalization and cutting of BNNTs in water. In Chapter 2, I will then focus my discussion on a new approach to quantify cut BNNT suspension in the concentration range of ~1-100 mg/ml. In Chapter 3, a convenient approach to sort BNNTs by length into ~150 nm-650 nm will be described. This is followed by the cell proliferation test (also referred as cytotoxicity test in this dissertation) of these length sorted BNNTs in HeLa cells as described in Chapter 4. Finally, Chapter 5 complies the use of BNNTs and other one- and two- dimensional (1D and 2D) nanomaterials for the study of water purification. Here, a new approach to extract 1D and 2D nanomaterials away from water will be described.