Doctoral Dissertations

Keywords and Phrases

Dielectrophoresis; Plasmonics; Propulsion; Small-satellite


"The first objective of this research is to manufacture and investigate the characteristics and use of asymmetric, metallic, nanostructures for plasmonic force propulsion, a developing method of nano-/picosatellite thrust generation. This project developed a higher-fidelity model of a recently envisioned small spacecraft propulsion system for precision pointing and proximity control. Plasmonic force propulsion harnesses solar light focused onto plasmon reactive sub-wavelength nanostructures to generate polarized oscillations of electrons on the surface of metallic nanostructures which accelerate and expel nanoparticle propellant via strong optical forces. This research also explores how material selection affects the electromagnetic response of the closely positioned asymmetric nanostructures.

Furthermore, a dielectrophoretic (DEP) nanoparticle injector concept and its use in a plasmonic/photonic-based nanoparticle manipulation system is also described. Particle motion is achieved by generating an electrostatic, non-uniform field between two tilted plates and applying the corresponding DEP force to net-neutral nanoparticles. We investigate the dependence the DEP force has on the plate angle of the charged plates as well as their separation distance, dielectric filler material, and exit interface membrane.

Finally we investigate a plasmonic particle acceleration scheme aimed at manipulating high-mass, charged particles such as ions. Analogous to the Alvarez linear accelerator, this plasmon LINAC attempts to harness traveling waves confined to the interior surface of a cylindrical hole in a metallic thin film to impart energy to a low energy, massive particle"--Abstract, page iii.


Rovey, Joshua L.
Yang, Xiaodong

Committee Member(s)

Allen, Monica
Gao, Jie
Pernicka, Henry J.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Aerospace Engineering


The author would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for partially supporting this work through grant FA9550-14-1-0230 with Dr. Mitat Birkan as program monitor and the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program for partially supporting this work through grant NNX16AL26G.


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2019


xiv, 93 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references (page 88-92).


© 2019 Jaykob Neil Maser, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11638

Electronic OCLC #