Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Mataz Alcoutlabi

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Freeman

Third Advisor

Dr. Javier Ortega


The work presented in this thesis discusses the antibacterial properties of various metal oxides and metal oxide/polymer composite fibers. Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) fibers embedded with Zinc Oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) were prepared by centrifugal spinning from PVP aqueous solutions) and ZnO NPs. The ZnO NPs were synthesized and coated with different surfactants, cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (HTAB). The effect of surfactant coating on the antibacterial activity of ZnO NPs and PVP/ZnO nanocomposite fibers against escherichia coli (e. coli) and bacillus megaterium (b. megaterium) bacteria was systematically investigated. The results showed that coating the ZnO NPs with surfactant showed large and uniform inhibition zones in the samples.

Graphene Oxide powder was produced using the modified Hummer’s method. The GO was then coated with different concentrations of ZnO and analyzed for the effect of the size of inhibition on gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The structure and morphology of the nanoparticles fibers were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The graphene oxide was then tested for inhibition on both escherichia coli (e. coli) and bacillus megaterium (b. megaterium) bacteria. The GO/ZnO NPs showed excellent inhibition in both bacteria. Furthermore, it performed exceptionally well with gram-positive bacteria. It was apparent that increasing coating percentages had a positive effect on the inhibition zone size.


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