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Microfluidic synthesis of nanostructures

Speaker: Klavs F. Jensen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Series: Wilhelm Lectures
Location: Friend Center Convocation Room
Date/Time: Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Chemically synthesized nanostructured materials are being considered for active elements in many device applications, including photovoltaics, displays, and bio-chem sensing.  In order to realize the promise of these techniques, it will be critical to have efficient, reproducible synthesis of the nanostructures.  Currently, nanoparticles are synthesized in a batch mode in small volumes, which is appropriate for studying the fundamental properties of nanosized structures and for developing proof of principle device structures; but batch synthesis suffers from variations of size distribution and properties from batch to batch.  Continuous flow reactors integrated with heaters and fluid control elements offer a solution to these problems as well as expand the synthesis space by providing easier access to high pressure and temperature conditions. Moreover, integrating multiple reaction steps enable the synthesis of complex nanostructures.  The characteristics and capabilities of the continuous synthesis are demonstrated through case studies, including shape control in the synthesis of metal nanoparticles, growth of semiconductor core shell nanoparticles, specifically InP overcoated with ZnSe in daisy-chained microreactors, formation of polymer particles loaded with quantum dots, and synthesis of silica particles decorated with Au nanoparticles for surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy.