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  • Niskanen, Jukka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    Binding of a flexible polymer chain to a solid surface or air-water interface affects its conformational freedom. A polymer covalently grafted to a surface can adopt three dimensional conformations, limited however by interactions with the surface and the neighboring chains. A dense grafting of polymers forces the polymers to adopt more elongated conformations than what they would take in solutions or amorphous solid state. On the other hand, strong interactions between the polymer and the surface cause the polymer to adsorb to the surface. The air-water interface is a two dimensional space. Also in this space, polymers are more elongated than in solutions. Certain polymers that are insoluble in water can form monolayers at the air-water interface. Water soluble polymers can be anchored to the surface with hydrophobic moieties, so that the polymers do not dissolve into the bulk of the solution during the deformation of the interface. In this work, controlled radical polymerization techniques have been utilized in the syntheses of polymer grafted gold, silver and clay nanoparticles. Gold nanoparticles were grafted with the well-known thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide), PNIPAM, and poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide-co-N-propyl acrylamides), P(NIPAM-NPAMs). The particles were either dispersible or non-dispersible in water. Monolayers of the polymers and polymer grafted gold nanoparticles formed on an air-water interface were characterized using a Langmuir trough. Silver nanoparticles grafted with soft acrylate copolymers, poly(butyl acrylate-co-methyl methacrylate) were produced to be used in antimicrobial coatings. A block copolymer with an oligomeric acrylic acid block located at the surface of the silver nanoparticles proved to be an optimal choice. The short hydrophilic block promoted the dissolution of silver ions from the coating and also produced the most homogenous particles. Thermoresponsive properties of poly(dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate), PDMAEMA, are strongly affected by the grafting of the polymer to montmorillonite clay nanoparticles. PDMAEMA is a weak polyelectrolyte and thus the charge of the polymer chains can easily be tuned by altering the pH of the solutions. Increasing the charge of the polymer by lowering the pH of the dispersions, or increasing the relative amount of clay in the hybrid material, had significant effects on the thermo responsive properties of PDMAEMA. Both factors change the polymer-polymer and polymer-clay interactions. Increasing the isotacticity of the thermoresponsive polymers PDMAEMA and PNIPAM affects the phase transition at the lower critical solution temperature. In fact, PNIPAM loses its water solubility when the isotacticity is high enough. The effect of increased isotacticity on the phase transition of PDMAEMA was investigated by micro calorimetry and by measuring the zeta potentials of the polymers. The interfacial properties were looked upon by conducting surface tension and interfacial surface rheological measurements on aqueous solutions of both atactic and isotactic-rich PDMAEMA. The behavior of stereoblock polymers of isotactic-atactic PNIPAM was studied at the air-water interface using interfacial surface rheology. The block sequence and thus the different architectures of the polymeric micelles had a great influence on the interfacial properties.
  • Castro, Pascal (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
  • Elo, Pertti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The commodity plastics that are used in our everyday lives are based on polyolefin resins and they find wide variety of applications in several areas. Most of the production is carried out in catalyzed low pressure processes. As a consequence polymerization of ethene and α-olefins has been one of the focus areas for catalyst research both in industry and academia. Enormous amount of effort have been dedicated to fine tune the processes and to obtain better control of the polymerization and to produce tailored polymer structures The literature review of the thesis concentrates on the use of Group IV metal complexes as catalysts for polymerization of ethene and branched α-olefins. More precisely the review is focused on the use of complexes bearing [O,O] and [O,N] type ligands which have gained considerable interest. Effects of the ligand framework as well as mechanical and fluxional behaviour of the complexes are discussed. The experimental part consists mainly of development of new Group IV metal complexes bearing [O,O] and [O,N] ligands and their use as catalysts precursors in ethene polymerization. Part of the experimental work deals with usage of high-throughput techniques in tailoring properties of new polymer materials which are synthesized using Group IV complexes as catalysts. It is known that the by changing the steric and electronic properties of the ligand framework it is possible to fine tune the catalyst and to gain control over the polymerization reaction. This is why in this thesis the complex structures were designed so that the ligand frameworks could be fairly easily modified. All together 14 complexes were synthesised and used as catalysts in ethene polymerizations. It was found that the ligand framework did have an impact within the studied catalyst families. The activities of the catalysts were affected by the changes in complex structure and also effects on the produced polymers were observed: molecular weights and molecular weight distributions were depended on the used catalyst structure. Some catalysts also produced bi- or multi-modal polymers. During last decade high-throughput techniques developed in pharmaceutical industries have been adopted into polyolefin research in order to speed-up and optimize the catalyst candidates. These methods can now be regarded as established method suitable for both academia and industry alike. These high-throughput techniques were used in tailoring poly(4-methyl-1-pentene) polymers which were synthesized using Group IV metal complexes as catalysts. This work done in this thesis represents the first successful example where the high-throughput synthesis techniques are combined with high-throughput mechanical testing techniques to speed-up the discovery process for new polymer materials.
  • Shan, Jun (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    Polymer protected gold nanoparticles have successfully been synthesized by both "grafting-from" and "grafting-to" techniques. The synthesis methods of the gold particles were systematically studied. Two chemically different homopolymers were used to protect gold particles: thermo-responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide), PNIPAM, and polystyrene, PS. Both polymers were synthesized by using a controlled/living radical polymerization process, reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization, to obtain monodisperse polymers of various molar masses and carrying dithiobenzoate end groups. Hence, particles protected either with PNIPAM, PNIPAM-AuNPs, or with a mixture of two polymers, PNIPAM/PS-AuNPs (i.e., amphiphilic gold nanoparticles), were prepared. The particles contain monodisperse polymer shells, though the cores are somewhat polydisperse. Aqueous PNIPAM-AuNPs prepared using a "grafting-from" technique, show thermo-responsive properties derived from the tethered PNIPAM chains. For PNIPAM-AuNPs prepared using a "grafting-to" technique, two-phase transitions of PNIPAM were observed in the microcalorimetric studies of the aqueous solutions. The first transition with a sharp and narrow endothermic peak occurs at lower temperature, and the second one with a broader peak at higher temperature. In the first transition PNIPAM segments show much higher cooperativity than in the second one. The observations are tentatively rationalized by assuming that the PNIPAM brush can be subdivided into two zones, an inner and an outer one. In the inner zone, the PNIPAM segments are close to the gold surface, densely packed, less hydrated, and undergo the first transition. In the outer zone, on the other hand, the PNIPAM segments are looser and more hydrated, adopt a restricted random coil conformation, and show a phase transition, which is dependent on both particle concentration and the chemical nature of the end groups of the PNIPAM chains. Monolayers of the amphiphilic gold nanoparticles at the air-water interface show several characteristic regions upon compression in a Langmuir trough at room temperature. These can be attributed to the polymer conformational transitions from a pancake to a brush. Also, the compression isotherms show temperature dependence due to the thermo-responsive properties of the tethered PNIPAM chains. The films were successfully deposited on substrates by Langmuir-Blodgett technique. The sessile drop contact angle measurements conducted on both sides of the monolayer deposited at room temperature reveal two slightly different contact angles, that may indicate phase separation between the tethered PNIPAM and PS chains on the gold core. The optical properties of amphiphilic gold nanoparticles were studied both in situ at the air-water interface and on the deposited films. The in situ SPR band of the monolayer shows a blue shift with compression, while a red shift with the deposition cycle occurs in the deposited films. The blue shift is compression-induced and closely related to the conformational change of the tethered PNIPAM chains, which may cause a decrease in the polarity of the local environment of the gold cores. The red shift in the deposited films is due to a weak interparticle coupling between adjacent particles. Temperature effects on the SPR band in both cases were also investigated. In the in situ case, at a constant surface pressure, an increase in temperature leads to a red shift in the SPR, likely due to the shrinking of the tethered PNIPAM chains, as well as to a slight decrease of the distance between the adjacent particles resulting in an increase in the interparticle coupling. However, in the case of the deposited films, the SPR band red-shifts with the deposition cycles more at a high temperature than at a low temperature. This is because the compressibility of the polymer coated gold nanoparticles at a high temperature leads to a smaller interparticle distance, resulting in an increase of the interparticle coupling in the deposited multilayers.
  • Mäenpää, Teppo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Silicon strip detectors are fast, cost-effective and have an excellent spatial resolution. They are widely used in many high-energy physics experiments. Modern high energy physics experiments impose harsh operation conditions on the detectors, e.g., of LHC experiments. The high radiation doses cause the detectors to eventually fail as a result of excessive radiation damage. This has led to a need to study radiation tolerance using various techniques. At the same time, a need to operate sensors approaching the end their lifetimes has arisen. The goal of this work is to demonstrate that novel detectors can survive the environment that is foreseen for future high-energy physics experiments. To reach this goal, measurement apparatuses are built. The devices are then used to measure the properties of irradiated detectors. The measurement data are analyzed, and conclusions are drawn. Three measurement apparatuses built as a part of this work are described: two telescopes measuring the tracks of the beam of a particle accelerator and one telescope measuring the tracks of cosmic particles. The telescopes comprise layers of reference detectors providing the reference track, slots for the devices under test, the supporting mechanics, electronics, software, and the trigger system. All three devices work. The differences between these devices are discussed. The reconstruction of the reference tracks and analysis of the device under test are presented. Traditionally, silicon detectors have produced a very clear response to the particles being measured. In the case of detectors nearing the end of their lifefimes, this is no longer true. A new method benefitting from the reference tracks to form clusters is presented. The method provides less biased results compared to the traditional analysis, especially when studying the response of heavily irradiated detectors. Means to avoid false results in demonstrating the particle-finding capabilities of a detector are also discussed. The devices and analysis methods are primarily used to study strip detectors made of Magnetic Czochralski silicon. The detectors studied were irradiated to various fluences prior to measurement. The results show that Magnetic Czochralski silicon has a good radiation tolerance and is suitable for future high-energy physics experiments.
  • Heikkilä, Maija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    Postglacial climate changes and vegetation responses were studied using a combination of biological and physical indicators preserved in lake sediments. Low-frequency trends, high-frequency events and rapid shifts in temperature and moisture balance were probed using pollen-based quantitative temperature reconstructions and oxygen-isotopes from authigenic carbonate and aquatic cellulose, respectively. Pollen and plant macrofossils were employed to shed light on the presence and response rates of plant populations in response to climate changes, particularly focusing on common boreal and temperate tree species. Additional geochemical and isotopic tracers facilitated the interpretation of pollen- and oxygen-isotope data. The results show that the common boreal trees were present in the Baltic region (~55°N) during the Lateglacial, which contrasts with the traditional view of species refuge locations in the south-European peninsulas during the glacial/interglacial cycles. The findings of this work are in agreement with recent paleoecological and genetic evidence suggesting that scattered populations of tree species persisted at higher latitudes, and that these taxa were likely limited to boreal trees. Moreover, the results demonstrate that stepwise changes in plant communities took place in concert with major climate fluctuations of the glacial/interglacial transition. Postglacial climate trends in northern Europe were characterized by rise, maxima and fall in temperatures and related changes in moisture balance. Following the deglaciation of the Northern Hemisphere and the early Holocene reorganization of the ice-ocean-atmosphere system, the long-term temperature trends followed gradually decreasing summer insolation. The early Holocene (~11,700-8000 cal yr BP) was overall cool, moist and oceanic, although the earliest Holocene effective humidity may have been low particularly in the eastern part of northern Europe. The gradual warming trend was interrupted by a cold event ~8200 cal yr BP. The maximum temperatures, ~1.5-3.0°C above modern values, were attained ~8000-4000 cal yr BP. This mid-Holocene peak warmth was coupled with low lake levels, low effective humidity and summertime drought. The late Holocene (~4000 cal yr BP-present) was characterized by gradually decreasing temperatures, higher lake levels and higher effective humidity. Moreover, the gradual trends of the late Holocene were probably superimposed by higher-frequency variability. The spatial variability of the Holocene temperature and moisture balance patterns were tentatively attributed to the differing heat capacities of continents and oceans, changes in atmospheric circulation modes and position of sites and subregions with respect to large water bodies and topographic barriers. The combination of physical and biological proxy archives is a pivotal aspect of this work, because non-climatic factors, such as postglacial migration, disturbances and competitive interactions, can influence reshuffling of vegetation and hence, pollen-based climate reconstructions. The oxygen-isotope records and other physical proxies presented in this work manifest that postglacial climate changes were the main driver of the establishment and expansion of temperate and boreal tree populations, and hence, large-scale and long-term vegetation patterns were in dynamic equilibrium with climate. A notable exception to this pattern may be the postglacial invasion of Norway spruce and the related suppression of mid-Holocene temperate forest. This salient step in north-European vegetation history, the development of the modern boreal ecosystem, cannot be unambiguously explained by current evidence of postglacial climate changes. The results of this work highlight that plant populations, including long-lived trees, may be able to respond strikingly rapidly to changes in climate. Moreover, interannual and seasonal variation and extreme events can exert an important influence on vegetation reshuffling. Importantly, the studies imply that the presence of diffuse refuge populations or local stands among the prevailing vegetation may have provided the means for extraordinarily rapid vegetation responses. Hence, if scattered populations are not provided and tree populations are to migrate long distances, their capacity to keep up with predicted rates of future climate change may be lower than previously thought.
  • Svahnbäck, Lasse (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Precipitation-induced runoff and leaching from milled peat mining mires by peat types: a comparative method for estimating the loading of water bodies during peat production. This research project in environmental geology has arisen out of an observed need to be able to predict more accurately the loading of watercourses with detrimental organic substances and nutrients from already existing and planned peat production areas, since the authorities capacity for insisting on such predictions covering the whole duration of peat production in connection with evaluations of environmental impact is at present highly limited. National and international decisions regarding monitoring of the condition of watercourses and their improvement and restoration require more sophisticated evaluation methods in order to be able to forecast watercourse loading and its environmental impacts at the stage of land-use planning and preparations for peat production.The present project thus set out from the premise that it would be possible on the basis of existing mire and peat data properties to construct estimates for the typical loading from production mires over the whole duration of their exploitation. Finland has some 10 million hectares of peatland, accounting for almost a third of its total area. Macroclimatic conditions have varied in the course of the Holocene growth and development of this peatland, and with them the habitats of the peat-forming plants. Temperatures and moisture conditions have played a significant role in determining the dominant species of mire plants growing there at any particular time, the resulting mire types and the accumulation and deposition of plant remains to form the peat. The above climatic, environmental and mire development factors, together with ditching, have contributed, and continue to contribute, to the existence of peat horizons that differ in their physical and chemical properties, leading to differences in material transport between peatlands in a natural state and mires that have been ditched or prepared for forestry and peat production. Watercourse loading from the ditching of mires or their use for peat production can have detrimental effects on river and lake environments and their recreational use, especially where oxygen-consuming organic solids and soluble organic substances and nutrients are concerned. It has not previously been possible, however, to estimate in advance the watercourse loading likely to arise from ditching and peat production on the basis of the characteristics of the peat in a mire, although earlier observations have indicated that watercourse loading from peat production can vary greatly and it has been suggested that differences in peat properties may be of significance in this. Sprinkling is used here in combination with simulations of conditions in a milled peat production area to determine the influence of the physical and chemical properties of milled peats in production mires on surface runoff into the drainage ditches and the concentrations of material in the runoff water. Sprinkling and extraction experiments were carried out on 25 samples of milled Carex (C) and Sphagnum (S) peat of humification grades H 2.5 8.5 with moisture content in the range 23.4 89% on commencement of the first sprinkling, which was followed by a second sprinkling 24 hours later. The water retention capacity of the peat was best, and surface runoff lowest, with Sphagnum and Carex peat samples of humification grades H 2.5 6 in the moisture content class 56 75%. On account of the hydrophobicity of dry peat, runoff increased in a fairly regular manner with drying of the sample from 55% to 24 30%. Runoff from the samples with an original moisture content over 55% increased by 63% in the second round of sprinkling relative to the first, as they had practically reached saturation point on the first occasion, while those with an original moisture content below 55% retained their high runoff in the second round, due to continued hydrophobicity. The well-humified samples (H 6.5 8.5) with a moisture content over 80% showed a low water retention capacity and high runoff in both rounds of sprinkling. Loading of the runoff water with suspended solids, total phosphorus and total nitrogen, and also the chemical oxygen demand (CODMn O2), varied greatly in the sprinkling experiment, depending on the peat type and degree of humification, but concentrations of the same substances in the two sprinklings were closely or moderately closely correlated and these correlations were significant. The concentrations of suspended solids in the runoff water observed in the simulations of a peat production area and the direct surface runoff from it into the drainage ditch system in response to rain (sprinkling intensity 1.27 mm/min) varied c. 60-fold between the degrees of humification in the case of the Carex peats and c. 150-fold for the Sphagnum peats, while chemical oxygen demand varied c. 30-fold and c. 50-fold, respectively, total phosphorus c. 60-fold and c. 66-fold, total nitrogen c. 65-fold and c. 195-fold and ammonium nitrogen c. 90-fold and c. 30-fold. The increases in concentrations in the runoff water were very closely correlated with increases in humification of the peat. The correlations of the concentrations measured in extraction experiments (48 h) with peat type and degree of humification corresponded to those observed in the sprinkler experiments. The resulting figures for the surface runoff from a peat production area into the drainage ditches simulated by means of sprinkling and material concentrations in the runoff water were combined with statistics on the mean extent of daily rainfall (0 67 mm) during the frost-free period of the year (May October) over an observation period of 30 years to yield typical annual loading figures (kg/ha) for suspended solids (SS), chemical oxygen demand of organic matter (CODmn O2), total phosphorus (tot. P) and total nitrogen (tot. N) entering the ditches with respect to milled Carex (C) and Sphagnum (S) peats of humification grades H 2.5 8.5. In order to calculate the loading of drainage ditches from a milled peat production mire with the aid of these annual comparative values (in kg/ha), information is required on the properties of the intended production mire and its peat. Once data are available on the area of the mire, its peat depth, peat types and their degrees of humification, dry matter content, calorific value and corresponding energy content, it is possible to produce mutually comparable estimates for individual mires with respect to the annual loading of the drainage ditch system and the surrounding watercourse for the whole service life of the production area, the duration of this service life, determinations of energy content and the amount of loading per unit of energy generated (kg/MWh). In the 8 mires in the Köyhäjoki basin, Central Ostrobothnia, taken as an example, the loading of suspended solids (SS) in the drainage ditch networks calculated on the basis of the typical values obtained here and existing mire and peat data and expressed per unit of energy generated varied between the mires and horizons in the range 0.9 16.5 kg/MWh. One of the aims of this work was to develop means of making better use of existing mire and peat data and the results of corings and other field investigations. In this respect combination of the typical loading values (kg/ha) obtained here for S, SC, CS and C peats and the various degrees of humification (H 2.5 8.5) with the above mire and peat data by means of a computer program for the acquisition and handling of such data would enable all the information currently available and that deposited in the system in the future to be used for defining watercourse loading estimates for mires and comparing them with the corresponding estimates of energy content. The intention behind this work has been to respond to the challenge facing the energy generation industry to find larger peat production areas that exert less loading on the environment and to that facing the environmental authorities to improve the means available for estimating watercourse loading from peat production and its environmental impacts in advance. The results conform well to the initial hypothesis and to the goals laid down for the research and should enable watercourse loading from existing and planned peat production to be evaluated better in the future and the resulting impacts to be taken into account when planning land use and energy generation. The advance loading information available in this way would be of value in the selection of individual peat production areas, the planning of their exploitation, the introduction of water protection measures and the planning of loading inspections, in order to achieve controlled peat production that pays due attention to environmental considerations.
  • Nissinen, Terhi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2004)
  • Karppanen, Jari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Environmentally benign and economical methods for the preparation of industrially important hydroxy acids and diacids were developed. The carboxylic acids, used in polyesters, alkyd resins, and polyamides, were obtained by the oxidation of the corresponding alcohols with hydrogen peroxide or air catalyzed by sodium tungstate or supported noble metals. These oxidations were carried out using water as a solvent. The alcohols are also a useful alternative to the conventional reactants, hydroxyaldehydes and cycloalkanes. The oxidation of 2,2-disubstituted propane-1,3-diols with hydrogen peroxide catalyzed by sodium tungstate afforded 2,2-disubstituted 3-hydroxypropanoic acids and 1,1-disubstituted ethane-1,2-diols as products. A computational study of the Baeyer-Villiger rearrangement of the intermediate 2,2-disubstituted 3-hydroxypropanals gave in-depth data of the mechanism of the reaction. Linear primary diols having chain length of at least six carbons were easily oxidized with hydrogen peroxide to linear dicarboxylic acids catalyzed by sodium tungstate. The Pt/C catalyzed air oxidation of 2,2-disubstituted propane-1,3-diols and linear primary diols afforded the highest yield of the corresponding hydroxy acids, while the Pt, Bi/C catalyzed oxidation of the diols afforded the highest yield of the corresponding diacids. The mechanism of the promoted oxidation was best described by the ensemble effect, and by the formation of a complex of the hydroxy and the carboxy groups of the hydroxy acids with bismuth atoms. The Pt, Bi/C catalyzed air oxidation of 2-substituted 2-hydroxymethylpropane-1,3-diols gave 2-substituted malonic acids by the decarboxylation of the corresponding triacids. Activated carbon was the best support and bismuth the most efficient promoter in the air oxidation of 2,2-dialkylpropane-1,3-diols to diacids. In oxidations carried out in organic solvents barium sulfate could be a valuable alternative to activated carbon as a non-flammable support. In the Pt/C catalyzed air oxidation of 2,2-disubstituted propane-1,3-diols to 2,2-disubstituted 3-hydroxypropanoic acids the small size of the 2-substituents enhanced the rate of the oxidation. When the potential of platinum of the catalyst was not controlled, the highest yield of the diacids in the Pt, Bi/C catalyzed air oxidation of 2,2-dialkylpropane-1,3-diols was obtained in the regime of mass transfer. The most favorable pH of the reaction mixture of the promoted oxidation was 10. The reaction temperature of 40°C prevented the decarboxylation of the diacids.
  • Muhonen, Vesa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    The increased accuracy in the cosmological observations, especially in the measurements of the comic microwave background, allow us to study the primordial perturbations in grater detail. In this thesis, we allow the possibility for a correlated isocurvature perturbations alongside the usual adiabatic perturbations. Thus far the simplest six parameter \Lambda CDM model has been able to accommodate all the observational data rather well. However, we find that the 3-year WMAP data and the 2006 Boomerang data favour a nonzero nonadiabatic contribution to the CMB angular power sprctrum. This is primordial isocurvature perturbation that is positively correlated with the primordial curvature perturbation. Compared with the adiabatic \Lambda CMD model we have four additional parameters describing the increased complexity if the primordial perturbations. Our best-fit model has a 4% nonadiabatic contribution to the CMB temperature variance and the fit is improved by \Delta\chi^2 = 9.7. We can attribute this preference for isocurvature to a feature in the peak structure of the angular power spectrum, namely, the widths of the second and third acoustic peak. Along the way, we have improved our analysis methods by identifying some issues with the parametrisation of the primordial perturbation spectra and suggesting ways to handle these. Due to the improvements, the convergence of our Markov chains is improved. The change of parametrisation has an effect on the MCMC analysis because of the change in priors. We have checked our results against this and find only marginal differences between our parametrisation.
  • Taanila, Olli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    Inflation is a period of accelerated expansion in the very early universe, which has the appealing aspect that it can create primordial perturbations via quantum fluctuations. These primordial perturbations have been observed in the cosmic microwave background, and these perturbations also function as the seeds of all large-scale structure in the universe. Curvaton models are simple modifications of the standard inflationary paradigm, where inflation is driven by the energy density of the inflaton, but another field, the curvaton, is responsible for producing the primordial perturbations. The curvaton decays after inflation as ended, where the isocurvature perturbations of the curvaton are converted into adiabatic perturbations. Since the curvaton must decay, it must have some interactions. Additionally realistic curvaton models typically have some self-interactions. In this work we consider self-interacting curvaton models, where the self-interaction is a monomial in the potential, suppressed by the Planck scale, and thus the self-interaction is very weak. Nevertheless, since the self-interaction makes the equations of motion non-linear, it can modify the behaviour of the model very drastically. The most intriguing aspect of this behaviour is that the final properties of the perturbations become highly dependent on the initial values. Departures of Gaussian distribution are important observables of the primordial perturbations. Due to the non-linearity of the self-interacting curvaton model and its sensitivity to initial conditions, it can produce significant non-Gaussianity of the primordial perturbations. In this work we investigate the non-Gaussianity produced by the self-interacting curvaton, and demonstrate that the non-Gaussianity parameters do not obey the analytically derived approximate relations often cited in the literature. Furthermore we also consider a self-interacting curvaton with a mass in the TeV-scale. Motivated by realistic particle physics models such as the Minimally Supersymmetric Standard Model, we demonstrate that a curvaton model within the mass range can be responsible for the observed perturbations if it can decay late enough.
  • Wettig, Hannes (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    This thesis starts out by reviewing Bayesian reasoning and Bayesian network models. We present results related to discriminative learning of Bayesian network parameters. Along the way, we explicitly identify a number of problems arising in Bayesian model class selection. This leads us to information theory and, more speci cally, the minimum description length (MDL) principle. We look at its theoretic foundations and practical implications. The MDL approach provides elegant solutions for the problem of model class selection and enables us to objectively compare any set of models, regardless of their parametric structure. Finally, we apply these methods to problems arising in computational etymology. We develop model families for the task of sound-by-sound alignment across kindred languages. Fed with linguistic data in the form of cognate sets, our methods provide information about the correspondence of sounds, as well as the history and ancestral structure of a language family. As a running example we take the family of Uralic languages.
  • Terzi, Evimaria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    The analysis of sequential data is required in many diverse areas such as telecommunications, stock market analysis, and bioinformatics. A basic problem related to the analysis of sequential data is the sequence segmentation problem. A sequence segmentation is a partition of the sequence into a number of non-overlapping segments that cover all data points, such that each segment is as homogeneous as possible. This problem can be solved optimally using a standard dynamic programming algorithm. In the first part of the thesis, we present a new approximation algorithm for the sequence segmentation problem. This algorithm has smaller running time than the optimal dynamic programming algorithm, while it has bounded approximation ratio. The basic idea is to divide the input sequence into subsequences, solve the problem optimally in each subsequence, and then appropriately combine the solutions to the subproblems into one final solution. In the second part of the thesis, we study alternative segmentation models that are devised to better fit the data. More specifically, we focus on clustered segmentations and segmentations with rearrangements. While in the standard segmentation of a multidimensional sequence all dimensions share the same segment boundaries, in a clustered segmentation the multidimensional sequence is segmented in such a way that dimensions are allowed to form clusters. Each cluster of dimensions is then segmented separately. We formally define the problem of clustered segmentations and we experimentally show that segmenting sequences using this segmentation model, leads to solutions with smaller error for the same model cost. Segmentation with rearrangements is a novel variation to the segmentation problem: in addition to partitioning the sequence we also seek to apply a limited amount of reordering, so that the overall representation error is minimized. We formulate the problem of segmentation with rearrangements and we show that it is an NP-hard problem to solve or even to approximate. We devise effective algorithms for the proposed problem, combining ideas from dynamic programming and outlier detection algorithms in sequences. In the final part of the thesis, we discuss the problem of aggregating results of segmentation algorithms on the same set of data points. In this case, we are interested in producing a partitioning of the data that agrees as much as possible with the input partitions. We show that this problem can be solved optimally in polynomial time using dynamic programming. Furthermore, we show that not all data points are candidates for segment boundaries in the optimal solution.
  • Mizohata, Kenichiro (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Elastic recoil detection analysis (ERDA) with heavy ion beams has evolved into a universal ion beam analysis (IBA) method for simultaneous analysis of almost all elements, with an essentially constant detection sensitivity. The method is based on the detection and identification of recoiling atoms that have been elastically scattered from a sample by an incident heavy ion beam. The principal characteristics of heavy-ion ERDA are outlined and illustrated using examples of data obtained with time of flight (TOF) and dE-E detector systems. The potential and limitations of the quantitative analysis were explored. For this purpose, a number of thin layer samples were measured using different projectiles and energies. Desorption of the surface materials during ERDA measurements was determined as a function of the probing ion fluence. As the differential cross-sections for scattering were enhanced for heavy projectiles, the beam dose to which the sample was exposed to during measurements was reduced by using heavy ion beams. However the higher cross-sections caused an increase of the desorption. An essential part of this study was dedicated to study those topics that limit the accuracy of the analysis in heavy ion TOF-ERDA, namely: uncertain stopping forces, quantification accuracy, irradiation induced damage, depth resolution, and the role of multiple and plural scattering. Possible approaches to improve the sample characterisation efficiency and accuracy were studied by using a gas ionisation detector. This study concentrates on the noise reduction, detection characterisation, and analysis procedures. The focus was upon the effect of the large solid angle and position sensitivity on the irradiation induced damage, depth resolution, mass resolution, and elemental sensitivity. The reliability of the concentration distributions obtained with heavy ion ERDA was strongly affected by the surface structure, surface roughness and multiple scattering. These effects were studied by comparing Monte Carlo simulations with the experimental results. The analysis procedure was developed to enable the characterisation of novel materials such as atomic layer deposited thin films and nanoparticles. Data handling and storage was improved to facilitate and speed up the analysis procedures.
  • Kiiski, Harri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The text is divided into three parts; Properties, Application and Safety of Ammonium Nitrate (AN) based fertilisers. In Properties, the structures and phase transitions of ammonium and potassium nitrate are reviewed. The consequences of phase transitions affect the proper use of fertilisers. Therefore the products must be stabilised against the volume changes and consequent loss of bulk density and hardness, formation of dust and finally caking of fertilisers. The effect of different stabilisers is discussed. Magnesium nitrate, ammonium sulphate and potassium nitrate are presented as a good compromise. In the Application part, the solid solutions in the systems (K+,NH4+)NO3- and (NH4+,K+)(Cl-,NO3-) are presented based on studies made with DSC and XRD. As there are clear limits for solute content in the solvent lattice, a number of disproportionation transitions exist in these process phases, e.g., N3 (solid solution isomorphous to NH4NO3-III) disproportionates to phases K3 (solid solution isomorphous to KNO3-III) and K2 (solid solution isomorphous to KNO3-II). In the crystallisation experiments, the formation of K3 depends upon temperature and the ratio K/(K+NH4). The formation of phases K3, N3, and K2 was modelled as a function of temperature and the mole ratios. In introducing chlorides, two distinct maxima for K3 were found. Confirmed with commercial potash samples, the variables affecting the reaction of potassium chloride with AN are the particle size, time, temperature, moisture content and amount of organic coating. The phase diagrams obtained by crystallisation studies were compared with a number of commercial fertilisers and, with regard to phase composition, the temperature and moisture content are critical when the formation and stability of solid solutions are considered. The temperature where the AN-based fertiliser is solidified affects the amount of compounds crystallised at that point. In addition, the temperature where the final moisture is evaporated affects the amount and type of solid solution formed at this temperature. The amount of remaining moisture affects the stability of the K3 phase. The K3 phase is dissolved by the moisture and recrystallised into the quantities of K3, which is stable at the temperature where the sample is kept. The remaining moisture should not be free; it should be bound as water in the final product. The temperatures during storage also affect the quantity of K3 phase. As presented in the figures, K3 phase is not stable at temperatu¬res below 30 °C. If the temperature is about 40 °C, the K3 phase can be formed due to the remaining moisture. In the Safety part, self-sustaining decomposition (SSD), oxidising and energetic properties of fertilisers are discussed. Based on the consequence analysis of SSD, early detection of decomposition in warehouses and proper temperature control in the manufacturing process is important. SSD and oxidising properties were found in compositions where K3 exists. It is assumed that potassium nitrate forms a solid matrix in which AN can decompose. The oxidising properties can be affected by the form of the product. Granular products are inherently less oxidising. Finally energetic properties are reviewed. The composition of the fertiliser has an importance based on theoretical calculations supported by experimental studies. Materials such as carbonates and sulphates act as diluents. An excess of ammonium ions acts as a fuel although this is debatable. Based on the experimental work, the physical properties have a major importance over the composition. A high bulk density is of key importance for detonation resistance.
  • Perälä, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Toeplitz operators are among the most important classes of concrete operators with applications to several branches of pure and applied mathematics. This doctoral thesis deals with Toeplitz operators on analytic Bergman, Bloch and Fock spaces. Usually, a Toeplitz operator is a composition of multiplication by a function and a suitable projection. The present work deals with generalizing the notion to the case where the function is replaced by a distributional symbol. Fredholm theory for Toeplitz operators with matrix-valued symbols is also considered. The subject of this thesis belongs to the areas of complex analysis, functional analysis and operator theory. This work contains five research articles. The articles one, three and four deal with finding suitable distributional classes in Bergman, Fock and Bloch spaces, respectively. In each case the symbol class to be considered turns out to be a certain weighted Sobolev-type space of distributions. The Bergman space setting is the most straightforward. When dealing with Fock spaces, some difficulties arise due to unboundedness of the complex plane and the properties of the Gaussian measure in the definition. In the Bloch-type spaces an additional logarithmic weight must be introduced. Sufficient conditions for boundedness and compactness are derived. The article two contains a portion showing that under additional assumptions, the condition for Bergman spaces is also necessary. The fifth article deals with Fredholm theory for Toeplitz operators having matrix-valued symbols. The essential spectra and index theorems are obtained with the help of Hardy space factorization and the Berezin transform, for instance. The article two also has a part dealing with matrix-valued symbols in a non-reflexive Bergman space, in which case a condition on the oscillation of the symbol (a logarithmic VMO-condition) must be added.