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Synthesis of Nanoparticles in High Temperature Ceramic Microreactors: Design, Fabrication & Testing
Keywords: high temperature microreactors, ceramic microfabrication, nanoparticle synthesis
Nanoscale ceramic powders offer attractive prospects as building blocks for microscale and mesoscale 3-D sintered structures for various high performance applications due to their excellent mechanical, thermal, dielectric and corrosion properties. Despite the availability of a plethora of nanoparticle synthesis processes the difficulties in controlling the shape, size, and obtaining highly pure and stable nanoparticles in large quantities in a safe and cost-effective manner, have been the factors adversely limiting the applications of ceramic nanoparticles. Recent experiments have shown that to study the process of growth and formation of nanoparticles, a reactor having much smaller dimensions, namely a microreactor is more appropriate. Prior work has shown that the shape, size, and yield of nanoparticles are strongly influenced by the mean residence time required to produce the nanoparticles. A microchannel reactor provides control over the mean residence time and hence over the nanoparticle size and shape. This paper deals with the design, fabrication, and testing issues related to a high temperature, ceramic micro-reactor and investigate the use of reactive gas streams in arrays of microchannel reactors to overcome the barriers associated with synthesis of ceramic nanoparticles in large quantities.
Sundar V. Atre, Associate Professor in Manufacturing
Oregon Nanoscience & Microtechnologies Institute
Corvallis, OR

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