Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Fred L. King.


This dissertation contains two parts. The first part is focused on Laser Vaporization Controlled Condensation (LVCC). Silver nanoparticles of controlled size were synthesized by this method in order to produce a Surfaced Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) active material. We have investigated the effects of particle size on SERS enhancement and how the addition of halides can further increase the limits of detection. We have also explored using LVCC to synthesize cobalt oxide nanoparticles. This is significant since a simple chemical route doesn't currently exist. Finally, we have reported the synthesis of cobalt nitrate hexahydrate by this method using cobalt metal, oxygen and nitrogen as starting materials. The second part of this dissertation focuses on synthesizing transition metal doped titanium dioxide and zinc oxide by various novel sol-gel techniques for applications in spintronics. Spintronics is based on the concept of carrying information due to the relative spins of electrons. Utilizing spin up and spin down allows twice as much information to be carried on the flow of the electrons. One of the key requirements for a spintronic material is that it must exhibit room temperature ferromagnetism (RTFM). Thus, we synthesized 10% cobalt and iron doped titanium dioxide by a novel synthesis which displays RTFM. We have also explored synthesizing 5% cobalt doped zinc oxide by a room temperature process which also displays RTFM. Finally, RTFM 5% cobalt and iron doped zinc oxide were synthesized by a novel process involving microwave irradiation.