Date of Award

Spring 5-3-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Gangli Wang

Second Advisor

Ming Luo

Third Advisor

Ning Fang


Crystallization of proteins is the prerequisite to obtaining three-dimensional molecular structures; by X-ray crystallography. The knowledge of protein structures is foundational and could pave ways to the understanding of a protein’s functions. However, obtaining single crystals is challenging and often a bottleneck let alone the need of satisfactory diffraction quality.

In this thesis, quartz nanopipettes are used to spatially confine the location of nucleation and crystal growth at a nanometer scale. Current and voltage clamping techniques are employed to induce phase transition and subsequent crystal formation via external controls. Throughout the process, we can monitor and control the electrical current/potential that controls mass transport for local concentration adjustment.