TitleSynthesis and post-processing of nanomaterials using microreaction technology
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsChang, C-H, Paul, BK, Remcho, VT, Atre, S, Hutchison, JE
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research

A critical barrier to the routine use of nanomaterials is the tedious, expensive means of their synthesis. Microreaction technology takes advantage of the large surface area-to-volume ratios within microchannel structures to accelerate heat and mass transport. This accelerated transport allows for rapid changes in reaction temperatures and concentrations leading to more uniform heating and mixing which can have dramatic impacts on macromolecular yields and nanoparticle size distributions. Benefits of microreaction technology include higher yield and reactant conversion, better energy efficiency and less by-product generation. Microreactors can help minimize the environmental impact of nanoproduction by enabling solvent free mixing, integrated separation techniques and reagent recycling. The possibility of synthesizing nanomaterials in the required volumes at the point-of-use eliminates the need to store and transport potentially hazardous materials and provides the flexibility for tailoring complex functional nanomaterials. Recognizing these benefits for nanosynthesis, continuous flow microreactors have been used by several research groups to synthesize and characterize nanomaterials. An overview of these efforts and issues related to scale up and other post synthesis processes such as separation and deposition are presented in this paper.