Case 10051

Cost effective microchemical systems for synthesis and coating of colloidal nanoparticles

Keywords:

Microfluidic chemical system, colloidal nanoparticle surface coating, device fabrication, electrophoretic switch, microreactor synthesis, sol-gel processing, particle morphology, titania particle synthesis

Applications:

Thin film photovoltaic and optoelectronic devices, photonic band-gap materials, coating and immobilization of biological macromolecules on colloidal particle surfaces

Problem:

Costs associated in enhancing particle quality through cumbersome, intermediate processing steps such as multiple washings and centrifugations

Technology:

This invention is a design of novel microfluidic chemical systems for synthesis and coating of colloidal nanoparticles. These systems will be able to accomplish continuous synthesis of monodisperse particles and in situ coating of their surfaces with various functionalities, through novel reactant-contacting schemes. Synthesis of colloidal particles of silica (SiO2) is accomplished in a microreactor, which is fabricated in poly-dimethyl siloxane (PDMS) and consists of a micromixing section followed by an ageing section where the particles grow to their final sizes. Sol-gel chemistry is employed, with the silicon precursor being Tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS).

Advantages:
  • Synthesis and coating are in series and in situ
  • Controlled fluidic environment inside microchannels
  • Enhanced particle quality obtained from microreactor than compared to conventional methods of synthesis

Inventors:

Intellectual Property:

US Published Patent Application Serial No. 11/871507; filed October 12, 2007

Publications:

N/A

Last revised:November 8, 2010

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