Description: Microfluidic reactors are investigated as a mechanism tocontrol the growth of semiconductor nanocrystals and characterize thestructural evolution of colloidal quantum dots. Due to their shortdiffusion lengths, low thermal masses, and predictable fluid dynamics,microfluidic devices can be used to quickly and reproducibly alterreaction conditions such as concentration, temperature, and reactiontime, while allowing for rapid reagent mixing and productcharacterization. These features are particularly useful for colloidalnanocrystal reactions, which scale poorly and are difficult to controland characterize in bulk fluids. To demonstrate the capabilities ofnanoparticle microreactors, a size series of spherical CdSe nanocrystalswas synthesized at high temperature in a continuous-flow, microfabricatedglass reactor. Nanocrystal diameters are reproducibly controlled bysystematically altering reaction parameters such as the temperature,concentration, and reaction time. Microreactors with finer control overtemperature and reagent mixing were designed to synthesize nanoparticlesof different shapes, such as rods, tetrapods, and hollow shells. The twomajor challenges observed with continuous flow reactors are thedeposition of particles on channel walls and the broad distribution ofresidence times that result from laminar flow. To alleviate theseproblems, I designed and fabricated liquid-liquid segmented flowmicroreactors in which the reaction precursors are encapsulated inflowing droplets suspended in an immiscible carrier fluid. The synthesisof CdSe nanocrystals in such microreactors exhibited reduced depositionand residence time distributions while enabling the rapid screening aseries of samples isolated in nL droplets. Microfluidic reactors werealso designed to modify the composition of existing nanocrystals andcharacterize the kinetics of such reactions. The millisecond kinetics ofthe CdSe-to-Ag2Se nanocrystal cation exchange reaction are measured insitu with micro-X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy in silicon microreactorsspecifically designed for rapid mixing and time-resolved X-rayspectroscopy. These results demonstrate that microreactors are valuablefor controlling and characterizing a wide range of reactions in nLvolumes even when nanoscale particles, high temperatures, causticreagents, and rapid time scales are involved. These experiments providethe foundation for future microfluidic investigations into the mechanismsof nanocrystal growth, crystal ...
Date: December 19, 2006
Creator: Chan, Emory Ming-Yue
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department