Dr. Mathieu Odijk – University of Twente
Micro- and nanofabricated tools to study catalysis – results from 5 years MCEC.
The field of Lab-on-a-Chip started around the early 90’s starting with a focus on technical development. Nowadays, the majority of Lab-on-a-Chip work is focused on biological applications, e.g. studying single cells and organ-on-chips. 5 years ago three MCEC projects focused on applying these single cell methods to screen catalyst particles. In this overview lecture, the development of a high-throughput catalyst diagnostic platform is presented. The current platform is able to screen individual catalyst particles for activity, followed by selection of the most active particles by dielectrophoretic sorting.
Another early concept introduced in the Lab-on-Chip field is the use microreactors. Within MCEC microreactors could play a role in the (real-time) study of catalytic reactions at the microscale. Fast and sensitive detection methods are arguably the biggest challenge in following these reactions at such length- and timescales. The second part of this presentation will highlight various microreactors to achieve this goal. Internal reflection elements for infrared spectroscopy have been integrated in microreactors. Nanofabricated antennas have been included to potentially boost sensitivity. New quantum cascade spectrometers bought from MCEC investment budget allow for following reactions down to microsecond time-scale resolution.