The size evolution of gold nanoparticles in a millifluidic reactor is investigated using spatially resolved transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The experimental data is supported by numerical simulations, carried out to study the residence-time distribution (RTD) of tracers that have the same properties as Au ions. Size and size distribution of the particles within the channels are influenced by the mixing zones as well as the RTD. However, the Au nanoparticles obtained show a broader size distribution even at the shortest investigated residence time of 3.53 s, indicating that in addition to surface growth reaction kinetics also plays an important role. The comparison of time resolved particle growth within the millifluidic channel with flask-based reactions reveals that the particle size can be controlled better within millifluidic channels. Overall, the results indicate potential opportunities to utilize easy to fabricate millifluidic reactors for the synthesis of nanoparticles, as well as as for carrying out time resolved kinetic studies.
- millifluidic reactors
- numerical simulations
- residence time distribution
- transmission electron microscopy