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Title: The development and application of electrochemical microfluidic systems
Author: Gu, Y.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis describes the design, development and application of electrochemical microfluidic systems (EMS) for the investigation of electrochemical processes occurring at the immiscible liquid/liquid interface. Development of the EMS approach was also employed to investigate a new photosynthetic electrochemical cell (PEC), which utilised biological organisms to collect solar energy and produce electricity. Chapter 4 presents the study of the n-butylferrocene oxidation process in organic phase coupled with anions transfer across the ITIES within EMS. The success of ion transfer at the three phase boundary enables the electrochemical synthesis without using supporting electrolytes. The high conversion rate can be achieved by increasing the electrode areas, decreasing the flow rate and using low viscosity organic phase. Chapter 5 first presents a simple, inexpensive and versatile electrochemical method within droplet-based EMS for droplets detection and characterisation. The information about droplets formation, droplets size, formation frequency and velocity can be extracted from the regular perturbation occurring on the currents. This method can be widely used to characterise droplets in chemical or biological applications. Chapter 6 describes a novel design of PEC using microfabrication techniques. A variety of electron mediators and electrode materials are investigated in order to divert electrons efficiently from the photosynthetic chain within sub-cellular thylakoid membranes or cellular alga and use them for alternative purposes. With help of microfabrication techniques, miniaturised PEC enables fast mass transfer in two separated chambers and the quantitative study of the individual steps involved in the whole multi-step photosynthetic biological and electrochemical process was carried out.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available