Safaa Al-Hilli

Linköping University, Linköping, Östergötland, Sweden

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Publications (13)38.57 Total impact

  • Safaa Al-Hilli · M Willander
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    ABSTRACT: The control of ionic current (electrolyte) flow through zinc oxide (ZnO) nanotubes is investigated. We studied a structure operating like a field effect transistor with a tunable ionic flow. The main investigation tool used was molecular dynamics simulation. We complemented the molecular dynamics simulation with the site binding method in order to study the effect of the double layer on the ionic current flowing through the nanotube. We achieved this by considering the electrolyte solution as a virtual semiconductor wire. The double layer capacitance and surface charge of the inner walls of the ZnO nanotube have been calculated. The results indicate that ZnO nanotubes can be tuned to operate as ion selectors. ZnO nanotubes exhibit enhanced functionality with characteristics similar to those of the nanopore membrane.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2009 · Nanotechnology
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    Safaa Al-Hilli · Magnus Willander
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    ABSTRACT: Ever since the discovery of the pH-sensing properties of ZnO crystals, researchers have been exploring their potential in electrochemical applications. The recent expansion and availability of chemical modification methods has made it possible to generate a new class of electrochemically active ZnO nanorods. This reduction in size of ZnO (to a nanocrystalline form) using new growth techniques is essentially an example of the nanotechnology fabrication principle. The availability of these ZnO nanorods opens up an entire new and exciting research direction in the field of electrochemical sensing. This review covers the latest advances and mechanism of pH-sensing using ZnO nanorods, with an emphasis on the nano-interface mechanism. We discuss methods for calculating the effect of surface states on pH-sensing at a ZnO/electrolyte interface. All of these current research topics aim to explain the mechanism of pH-sensing using a ZnO bulk- or nano-scale single crystal. An important goal of these investigations is the translation of these nanotechnology-modified nanorods into potential novel applications.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2009 · Sensors
  • S Al-Hilli · M Willander
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    ABSTRACT: A ZnO nanorod probe was employed to determine the resting membrane potential of a human fat cell. The distribution of protons associated with the cell versus the extracellular distribution is proportional to changes in membrane potential. The membrane potential determines the concentration gradient of the protons with dominant permeability according to the Nernst equation. A ZnO nanorod probe was successfully used to find the resting membrane potential for a human fat cell: 34 +/- 2.6 mV.
    No preview · Article · May 2009 · Nanotechnology
  • M Willander · Safaa M. Al-Hilli
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    ABSTRACT: High-density ZnO nanorods of 60-80 nm in diameter and 500-700 nm in length grown on the silver-coated tip of a borosilicate glass capillary (0.7 mum in diameter) demonstrate a remarkable linear response to proton H(3)O(+) concentrations in solution. These nanorods were used to create a highly sensitive pH sensor for monitoring in vivo biological process within single cells. The ZnO nanorods exhibit a pH-dependent electrochemical potential difference versus an Ag/AgCl microelectrode. The potential difference was linear over a large dynamic range (pH, 4-11) and had a sensitivity equal to 51.88 mV/pH at 22 degrees C, which could be understood in terms of changes in surface charge during protonation and deprotonation. Vertically grown nanoelectrodes of this type can be smoothly and gently applied to penetrate a single living cell without causing cell apoptosis.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2009 · Methods in Molecular Biology
  • M Willander · Safaa Al-Hilli
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    ABSTRACT: Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensors are optical sensors that use special electromagnetic waves (surface plasmon-polaritons) to probe interactions between an analyte in solution and a biomolecular recognition element immobilized on the SPR sensor surface. Major application areas include the detection of biological analytes and analysis of biomolecular interactions, where SPR biosensors provide benefits of label-free real-time analytical technology. The information obtained is both qualitative and quantitative and it is possible to obtain the kinetic parameters of the interaction. This new technology has been used to study a diverse set of interaction partners of biological interest, such as protein-protein, protein-lipids, protein-nucleic acids, or protein and low molecular weight molecules such as drugs, substrates, and cofactors. In addition to basic biomedical research, the SPR biosensor has recently been used in food analysis, proteomics, immunogenicity, and drug discovery. This chapter reviews the major developments in SPR technology. The main application areas are outlined and examples of applications of SPR sensor technology are presented. Future prospects of SPR sensor technology are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2009 · Methods in Molecular Biology
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    M. Willander · P. Klason · L. L. Yang · Safaa M. Al-Hilli · Q. X. Zhao · O. Nur
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we present our results on growth, characterization, and nano-devices based on ZnO nano-structures. The ZnO nano-structures were grown by mainly two methods, the catalytic Vapor Liquid Solid (VLS) and the low temperature chemical growth. We show that by multiple coating combined with low temperature chemical growth, well aligned with size controlled ZnO nanowires on silicon substrates can be achieved. The dissolution, due to its important on the stability of ZnO nano-structures in aqueous medium, is then discussed and some preliminary experimental results are shown. Basic Optical characteristics of ZnO nano-rods are briefly discussed. Finally, electrochemical intracellular nano-sensors based on ZnO nano-wires are demonstrated as efficient nano-sensors for monitoring the human cell activity with minute pH changes. (© 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2008 · physica status solidi (c)
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    M. Willander · Q. X. Zhao · Q.-H. Hu · P. Klason · V. Kuzmin · S. M. Al-Hilli · O. Nur · Y.E. Lozovik
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we will give an overview of the status of catalytic growth and of low-temperature chemical growth of ZnO nanostructures performed in our laboratory. Particularly results employing different substrates will be discussed. The second part deals with structural and optical properties of ZnO nanorods. The results from high resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM), scanning electron microscope (SEM), photoluminescence (PL), Cathodoluminescence (CL), and Electroluminescence (EL), on single nanowires will be shown. Our results on surface morphology, bulk and the position of the catalyst as well as the optical properties including UV emission, lasing and white emission will all be presented and discussed. In the third part experimental results from electroluminescence of ZnO nanorods on different substrates in the UV in addition to excellent white light emission obtained from samples grown at low temperature are to be given and discussed. Finally the sensing of molecules in water by ZnO nanorods will be discussed from a theoretical point of view. Also fundamental properties of polaritons and excitons in ZnO nanostructures are to be highlighted.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2008 · Superlattices and Microstructures
  • Safaa M. Al-Hilli · R.T. Al-Mofarji · P. Klason · M. Willander · N. Gutman · A. J. Sa'ar
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    ABSTRACT: pH determination is a strong prerequisite for many biochemical and biological processes. We used two methods, namely, the electrochemical potential method (experimental) and site binding method (theoretical), to study the sensitivity of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanorods grown on two-dimensional macroporous periodic structures (2DMPPS) (p-and n-type) and plane n-type Si substrates for use as an intracellular pH sensing device. The dimension of these nanorods varied in radius between 50 and 300 nm and lengths of 1–10 μm. We found that the sensitivity of ZnO nanorods increases with reductions in size, from 35 mV/pH for D = 300 nm and L = 10 μm, to 58 mV/pH for D = 50 nm and L = 1 μm, using the site binding model. The experimental electrochemical potential difference for the ZnO nanorods working electrode versus Ag/AgCl reference electrode showed a high sensitivity range for ZnO nanorods grown on 2DMPPS n-Si substrate as compared to plane n-Si at room temperature for pH ranging from 4 to 12 in buffer and NaCl solutions.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2008 · Journal of Applied Physics
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    ABSTRACT: pH measurements using two kind of samples, namely zinc oxide (ZnO) nanorods of 300nm in diameter and 10µm in length grown on 2D macro-porous periodic structures (2DMPPS) and plane n-Si substrates and ZnO nanorods of 60nm in diameter and 500nm in length grown on the silver coated tip of glass capillary (D=0.7µm). We found that the sensitivity of ZnO nanorods increases with reductions in size from (35mV/pH for D=300nm and L=10µm) to (58mV/pH for D=50nm and L=1µm) using the site binding model. The potential difference for the ZnO nanorods electrode vs. Ag/AgCl electrode showed a high sensitivity range for ZnO nanorods grown on 2DMPPS n-Si, as compared to plane n-Si, and had a sensitivity equal to 51.88mV/pH at 22oC for the ZnO on the capillary tip for pH (4-12) in buffer solutions. Vertically nanoelectrodes of this type can be applied to penetrate a single living cell without causing cell apoptosis.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2007
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 2007 · Materials Science and Engineering R Reports
  • S. M. Al-Hilli · R. T. Al-Mofarji · M. Willander
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    ABSTRACT: p H determination is a prerequisite for many biochemical and biological processes. The authors have used two methods, namely, the electrochemical potential method and the site binding method to study the sensitivity of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanorods for the use as intracellular p H sensing device. The dimensions of these nanorods were varied with radii between 50–300 nm and lengths between 2 and 10 μ m . The ZnO nanorods showed a high sensitivity ≈59 mV per decade at room temperature for a p H range (1–14), assuming that the solution is water. This is expected due to the polar and nonpolar surfaces of the ZnO nanorods.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2006 · Applied Physics Letters
  • S. M. Al-Hilli · M. Willander
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    ABSTRACT: Zinc oxide nano-particles have been used by cosmetic industry for many years because they are extensively used as agents to attenuate (absorb and/or scatter) the ultraviolet radiation. In the most UV-attenuating agent is formulated in which the metal oxide nano-particles are incorporated into liquid media or polymer media are manufactured, such as sunscreens and skin care cosmetics. In this paper we study the wavelength dependence on the particle size (r eff = 10–100nm) by solving the scattering problem of hexagonal ZnO particle for different shapes (plate, equal ratio, column) using the discrete dipole approximation method to find the absorption, scattering, and extinction efficiencies for the UV region (30–400nm). A new modified hexagonal shape is introduced to determine the scattering problem and it is assumed in this study that the wavelength is comparable to the particle size. From these results, we conclude that the optimum particle radius to block the UV radiation is between r eff = 40–80nm.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2006 · Journal of Nanoparticle Research
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    ABSTRACT: The scientific work worldwide on nanostructured materials is extensive as well as the work on the applications of nanostructured materials. We will review quasi two-, one- and zero-dimensional solid and soft materials and their applications. We will restrict ourselves to a few examples from partly fundamental aspects and partly from application aspects. We will start with trapping of excitons in semiconductor nanostructures. The subjects are: physical realizations, phase diagrams, traps, local density approximations, and mesoscopic condensates. From these fundamental questions in solid nanomaterials we will move to trapping of molecules in water using nanostructured electrodes. We will also discuss how to manipulate water (create vortices) by nanostructure materials.The second part deals with nanorods (nano-wires). Particularly we will exemplify with ZnO nanorods. The reason for this is that ZnO has: a very strong excitons binding energy (60 meV) and strong photon–excitons coupling energy, a strong tendency to create nanostructures, and properties which make the material of interest for both optoelectronics and for medical applications. We start with the growth of crystalline ZnO nanorods on different substrates, both crystalline (silicon, silicon carbide, sapphire, etc) and amorphous substrates (silicon dioxide, plastic materials, etc) for temperatures from 50 °C up to 900 °C. The optical properties and crystalline properties of the nanorods will be analyzed. Applications from optoelectronics (lasers, LEDs, lamps, and detectors) are analyzed and also medical applications like photodynamic cancer therapy are taken up.The third part deals with nano-particles in ZnO for sun screening. Skin cancer due to the exposure from the sun can be prevented by ZnO particles in a paste put on the exposed skin.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2005 · Microelectronics Journal

Publication Stats

279 Citations
38.57 Total Impact Points


  • 2009
    • Linköping University
      • Department of Science and Technology (ITN)
      Linköping, Östergötland, Sweden
  • 2008
    • University of Gothenburg
      • Department of Physics
      Goeteborg, Västra Götaland, Sweden