Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering

The Hatton Group

Ravikanth Annavarapu

Ravikanth Annavarapu
Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering Practice

Phone: (617) 276-2840

M.B.A, MIT (2010)
Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering Practice, MIT (2009)
M.S. in Chemical Engineering Practice, MIT (2007)          
Master of Technology in Chemical Eng., IIT Madras, Chennai, India (2005)
Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Eng., IIT Madras, Chennai, India (2005)

Research Summary:
Size fractionation of submicron and nano-particles by magnetophoresis
In the fine particles industry, precise control of size of nanometer particles is critical for applicability in numerous fields such as optics, electronics, biological sensing etc. Synthesizing monodisperse particles in that size range is a highly challenging task. Hence, there is a genuine need for a generic industrial scale separation technology in the nanometer size range which could be combined with any synthesis technique to obtain the requisite monodispersity. Our research focuses on developing a macro-scale separation system for fine particles which has the capability to be scaled up. Current efforts are focused on using a combination of modeling, simulation and experimental techniques to develop such a separation system.

The principle behind our separation technique is the phenomenon of magnetic buoyancy - when any non-magnetic particle is immersed in a magnetic fluid it behaves like a magnetic hole surrounded by a magnetic environment. On applying a non-uniform magnetic field, this hole is subjected to a magnetic buoyancy force which is proportional to its volume. We can channel the size dependency of this force to separate particles on the basis of their size. Since this force arises on non-magnetic particles, we can use this technique to separate any particles that fall in the sub-micrometer and nanometer size range viz. polymer particles, metals, metal oxide particles or even “bio-particle” such as cellular organelles and viruses.




The Hatton Group, 77 Mass. Ave, Rm 66-309, Cambridge, MA 02139 | Phone: 617.253.4588 | Updated: September 23, 2013