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PDMS based microfluidic chips and their application in material synthesis

Authors Gong, Xiuqing
Issue Date 2009
Summary Microfluidics is a highly interdisciplinary science which is to deal with the behavior, control and manipulation of fluids that are constrained to sub-milimeter scale. It incorporates the knowledge and technique intersecting physics, chemistry, mechanics, nanoscience and biotechnology, with practical applications to the design of systems in which small volumes of fluids will be used In this thesis, we started our research from GER fluid synthesis which then is applied to designing different functions of microfluidic devices, valve, pump, and mixer. We built a way to correlate mechanical signal with electric signal by soft matter. The mechanical devices based GER fluid had good operating stability and mechanical performance. We studied how to improve the performance of GER fluid by increasing the yield stress while avoiding the sendimentation of nanoparticles in GER suspension. The meaning of this work is to enhance the stability and mechanical strength of GER fluid when it is applyed to the microfluidc channels. We tried different oils and studied the particle size for the GER effect. The largest yield stress which amounts to 300 kPa is achievable compared to previous GER fluid with 100 kPa. Microfluidic reactor, directing the flow of microliter volumes along microscale channels, offers the advantages of precise control of reagent loading, fast mixing and an enhanced reaction rate, cessation of the reaction at specific stages, and more. Basically, there are two microfluidic flow regimes, continuous flow and segmented flow (suspended droplets, channel-spanning slug, and wall-wetting films). Both flow regimes offer chemical reaction applications, e.g., continuous flow formation of polymer nanospheres and inorganic nanoparticles, size- and shape-control synthesis by segmented flow, and precipitate-forming reactions in droplets, wherein the segmented flow has gained more popularity in that area. The compartmentalization of segmented flow offers advantages to chemical reactions. Here, we report the microfluidic fabrication of magnetically responsive microsphere, macroporous polymer microspheres and hollow titania microspheres. To prepare magnetically responsive microsphere, we introduced magnetic particles into liquid shell and drug into liquid core. After cross-linking reaction of the shell, we studied the magnetic contraction and extention behavior which induced the drug release efficiency. To prepare porous polymer, the H2O2 solution was encapsulated in polymer precursor, after which we investigated its decomposition under UV irradiation, which simultaneously induces the polymerization of the encapsulating shell. Because the H2O2 decomposition leads to the release of oxygen, porous microspheres were obtained from a combined H2O2-decomposition/polymer precursor polymerization reaction. To prepare hollow titanium gel microspheres, water droplets were first formed by the flow focusing geometry in microfluidic chip and used as a soft template. Then hydrolysis and gelation of titanium alkoxide on the droplet’s surface were induced in following serpentine channels, controlled by interface water diffusion. The water diffusion process can be controlled by the amount of the “dewetting” reagent butanol, by which the surface morphology of the titania microspheres can be tuned.
Note Thesis (Ph.D.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2009
Language English
Format Thesis
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