464848 Droplet Microfluidics with a Nanoemulsion Continuous Phase: Application in Reaction System Design for Material Synthesis

Wednesday, November 16, 2016: 12:30 PM
Franciscan A (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Tonghan Gu1, Saif A. Khan2 and T. Alan Hatton1, (1)Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, (2)Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

Recently, nanoemulsions have been incorporated into the dispersed phase in droplet microfluidics for the synthesis of hierarchical structured materials in which the different length scales between the nano-droplets and micro-droplets are exploited. In this study, we present a novel, generalizable method that uses a nanoemulsion as the continuous phase to generate uniform micro-droplets. The micro-droplets act as well-mixed micro-reactors/reservoirs with walls that are ‘permeable’ to the surrounding nanodroplets, with versatile control of ‘permeability’ by chemical, thermal, and electrical forces. The droplet generation physics and mass transfer processes between the micro- and nano-droplets are studied. Finally, we demonstrate the applications of this system in material synthesis for gel micro-beads, drug crystals, and nanoparticles. Our work expands the toolbox of droplet-based microfluidics, enabling new opportunities and applications involving active colloidal continuous phases carrying chemical payloads.

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See more of this Session: Microreaction Engineering
See more of this Group/Topical: Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division