In-drop phase separation for porous catalytic microbeads

Started: 2017

Co-authors: Johan Bomer, Mathieu Odijk, Detlef Lohse, Albert van den Berg.

Location: BIOS-lab-on-a-chip, University of Twente, Netherlands – Physics of Fluids, University of Twente, Netherlands

In order to be used in good conditions, nanocatalyst must be associated with a porous substrate. A convenient way to maintain an easy dispersion of nanocatalysts in a reactor is to adsorb them in the pores of porous microbeads. To produce these microbeads, a microfluidic chip has been designed to impose a sharp temperature gradient along a channel. Binary droplets containing nanoparticles can thus be cooled down extremely rapidly to trigger a phase separation. UV-light is used to solidify one phase of the binary structure, yielding porous microbeads containing the nanocatalysts.