COMPACT – COntinuous Microsystem Production of materials And Catalysts Technology
Metal nanoparticles present unique chemical and physical properties with a wide range of applications from catalysis, drug delivery, sensors, energy storage, etc. However, the full realisation of these materials and their potential impact is hindered by the lack of a manufacturing technology capable of their production in a continuous and reproducible manner in a large scale.
Our vision is the development of novel manufacturing technologies based on microdevices for the continuous synthesis of metal nanoparticles with tailored compositions and tunable sizes in the absence of capping ligands which can potentially interfere with the final applications.
Kinetic studies of the nucleation and growth steps during the synthesis of different metal nanoparticles couple with computer fluid dynamic simulations, guide the design of novel microdevices with the aim of avoiding the sintering of the nanomaterials and control their final size.
The use of additive manufacturing technologies (3D printing) allow us to experimentally produce novel reactor configurations and obtain full control of the fluid dynamics within the channels as well as linking experimental and simulation data to refine our models.
This work is funded by EPSRC (Early Career Fellowship project)