Microwave dielectric heating of non-aqueous droplets in a microfluidic device for nanoparticle synthesis

Dorota Koziej, Caspar Floryan, Ralph A. Sperling, Allen J. Ehrlicher, David Issadore, Robert Westervelt, David A. Weitz
2013 Nanoscale  
We describe a microfluidic device with an integrated microwave heater specifically designed to dielectrically heat non-aqueous droplets using time-varying electrical fields with the frequency range between 700 and 900 MHz. The precise control of frequency, power, temperature and duration of the applied field opens up new vistas for experiments not attainable by conventional microwave heating. We use a non-contact temperature measurement system based on fluorescence to directly determine the
more » ... erature inside a single droplet. The maximum temperature achieved of the droplets is 50 C in 15 ms which represents an increase of about 25 C above the base temperature of the continuous phase. In addition we use an infrared camera to monitor the thermal characteristics of the device allowing us to ensure that heating is exclusively due to the dielectric heating and not due to other effects like non-dielectric losses due to electrode or contact imperfection. This is crucial for illustrating the potential of dielectric heating of benzyl alcohol droplets for the synthesis of metal oxides. We demonstrate the utility of this technology for metal oxide nanoparticle synthesis, achieving crystallization of tungsten oxide nanoparticles and remarkable microstructure, with a reaction time of 64 ms, a substantial improvement over conventional heating methods. † Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Optical images of the microuidic device; measurements of dependence of the microwave frequency on the temperature of benzyl alcohol droplets; a summary of dielectric properties of common solvents; a quasi-static electrical eld simulation; TEM, HRTEM and SEAD of nanoparticles washed with ethanol. See
doi:10.1039/c3nr00500c pmid:23670701 fatcat:pv7yocr3cfh4dc7mqy3xpt4nuu