Nearly all proposed applications of semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum dots) will require significant quantities of high quality nanocrystals with tightly controlled properties. Microfluidic nanocrystal synthesis techniques have recently been explored as an alternative to conventional production methods because they could potentially increase production rates, if used in parallel, while maintaining superior product quality. However, conventional microfluidic reactor designs suffer from two principal limitations: an inability to maintain a uniform reaction environment and an inability to tailor the thermal profile of the reactor to the requirements of the synthesis process. This project aims to develop an innovative microfluidic reactor for the production of high quality nanocrystals that overcomes these limitations. Specifically, we have developed a unique coin-based reactor geometry that greatly improves the ability to tailor reactor thermal profiles to offer unprecedented control over the nanocrystal size distribution. Sustained thermal gradients in excess of 400oC/mm have been demonstrated using a prototype reactor.
Project end date: 07/30/08