469359 Mass Separation By Metamaterials

Tuesday, November 15, 2016: 3:36 PM
Cyril Magnin I (Parc 55 San Francisco)
Martin Maldovan, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Mass Separation by Metamaterials

In this talk, we introduce a novel physical approach to perform mass separation based on mass-diffusion metamaterials that can cloak one compound while concentrating the other, being this the first metamaterial that can sort chemical and biomolecular species. Such novel metamaterial provides the basis for a new method to manipulate mass diffusion and achieve separations in chemical and biomolecular engineering. We employ coordinate transformations to the Fick’s law equation to simultaneously manipulate the diffusion paths of different species in both transient and steady state regimes. The design of an ideal, non-homogeneous, anisotropic mass-separator metamaterial device is first introduced. We also present a design strategy that allows for experimental realization of such metamaterial using homogeneous isotropic materials. A practical proof-of-concept is introduced by separating a binary mixture of oxygen and nitrogen diffusing through a polymeric matrix. The simultaneous metamaterial manipulation of two different chemical species has not been reported. This work paves the way to achieve mass separations using metamaterials devices in chemical and biomolecular science and technology.

Rational design of metamaterial structures enables unprecedented manipulation of physical properties in research areas that include optics, acoustics, mechanics, and thermal transport. Initially, metamaterial cloaking shells designed by coordinate transformations and conformal mapping were shown to render objects invisible to light. In recent years, metamaterial theory has expanded beyond the concept of invisibility, making possible a variety of novel optical devices such as light concentrators, splitters, and perfect lenses. The principle behind optical metamaterials is the invariance of Maxwell’s equations under coordinate transformations. Following the remarkable success in optics, metamaterials have been further extended to other research areas by recognizing that the fundamental equations of sound, elastic vibrations, matter-wave phenomena, as well as those of heat (and mass transfer under steady-state conditions), are also invariant under coordinate transformations. This extension of metamaterial theory and concepts has led to a large number of counter-intuitive methods to control optical, acoustical, mechanical, and thermal properties.

Mass flow manipulation is of utmost importance in many physical processes in chemical and biomolecular science, since separation and catalysis require precise control of the diffusion of relevant species. Separation systems are critically important in several different research areas ranging from chemical manufacturing, recovery of biological solutes from wastes, to semiconductor crystal growth, and generation of artificial kidneys. Towards this end, a systematic method to achieve precise manipulation of molecular diffusion paths is presented by coordinate transformations and metamaterials. We introduce a novel approach to obtain mass separation based on metamaterials that can sort chemical and biomolecular species by cloaking one compound while concentrating the other. We present a practical case where a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen is manipulated using a metamaterial that cloaks nitrogen and concentrates oxygen, laying the foundation for molecular mass separation in biophysical and chemical systems through metamaterial devices.

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See more of this Session: Rapid Fire Session: TED-Sep Separations Division
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