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Title: Macro-scale molecular communications
Author: McGuiness, Daniel
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2020
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The use of electromagnetic (EM) waves to transmit information has allowed our society to collaborate and share information on a scale that was unimaginable just a few decades ago. But as with any technology, there are areas where EM-based communications do not function well. For example, underwater and underground communications where EM waves experience high attenuation. This limitation has generated interest in an alternative mode of information transmission, molecular communications. In this thesis, after giving a survey of micro- and macro-scale molecular communications, the two most important aspects of molecular communications are identified: macroscale molecular communications and the experimental analysis of molecular communications. Molecular communication has been dominated so far by interest in the nano-scale, where the application focus is on drug-delivery and DNA communications, etc. Studies in the macro-scale are relatively rare compared to nano- and micro-scale research. This thesis looks closely at macro-scale molecular communication and attempts to improve our understanding of this novel communication paradigm. To achieve this, a mathematical model was developed, based on the advective-diffusion equation (ADE). The model was compared with experimental results, and showed a strong correlation. In addition, a model was developed to simulate molecular communication in both 1D and 3D environments. To generate the modulated chemicals and transmit them in the environment, an inhouse- built odour generator was used, and to detect the chemicals in the environment a mass spectrometer (MS) with a quadrupole mass analyser (QMA) was employed. Mass spectrometers have the ability to distinguish multiple chemicals in the environment concurrently, making them ideal detectors for use in molecular communications. Based on the experimental setup, various aspects of the communication paradigm are investigated in the three main sections. The first section focuses on the fundamental parameters that govern the propagation of molecules in a flow. The second section delves into the communication properties of this new form of information transfer. The final section studies aspects of simultaneous multiple-chemical transmission. Based on this multiple-chemical transmission, modulation methods are developed that exploit this new approach for use in molecular communications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral