In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise is due to
Allah, and peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his family
and his companions. After a milestone of laborious experimental work, this thesis
represents the end of my long journey in obtaining my Master’s degree. The Quran says,
“Verily, with hardship, there is relief” (Quran 94:6) and it is indeed true. I am so relief
and grateful that I manage to complete my thesis finally. The ups and downs during the
work have prepared me to be a better scientist in the future.
From the early discussion of research plan to the final writing, there are dozens
of remarkable individuals who are always there to support me along this rough road.
First and foremost, special appreciation goes to my supervisors, Dr Norhaniza
Aminudin and Prof. Dr Noorlidah Abdullah, for their great supervision. They have
been very generous in delivering invaluable suggestions, sharing awesome knowledge,
providing windows of opportunity to learn a lot of skills and inspiring me to go higher.
I would like to express my genuine gratitude to Universiti Sains Malaysia
(USM) and Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi (KPT) Malaysia for providing me with
financial support. Significantly, the financial assistance has eased my financial worries
and allowed me to focus thoroughly on my studies. Research grant plays a pivotal key
in which it provides the seed money and serves as an impetus to accomplish the goals
of a project. Hence, a distinguished acknowledgement is conveyed to University of
Malaya for funding me with research grants PS270/2009B and PV012/2011B.
I am deeply indebted to my labmates; Puan Shida, Sis Badjie, Ijah, Aishah, Dr.
Hasnol, Wawa, Sis Murni, Hasni, Amal, Hamdi, Aaron Haziq, Sis Gee, Mira and
Maiza. Let’s not forget to count in Suhana, Taufik, Muzzamil and also Fahmi. Thanks a
bunch for the meaningful friendship and encouragement. They have helped immensely
by borrowing me ideas to solve problems, being the shoulder to cry on and giving me
the best memories I could ever ask for. Sincere thanks for what we have been through
thick and thin together.
Last but absolutely not least, I extend my wholehearted appreciation to my
dearest parents; Tuan Haji Mohamad Ansor Ahmad and Puan Hajjah Khairiyah Hj
Munir, as well as my siblings; Sis Nani, Md Ery, Nina and Ain, for their infinite love,
endless prayers, precious advices and outstanding moral support. May Allah shower us
with goodness in this life and hereafter.
Nurhuda Mohamad Ansor, 2013