Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Emulsion droplets as reactors for assembling nanoparticles
Author: Sachdev, Suchanuch
ISNI:       0000 0004 7651 5297
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2018
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Materials on the nanoscale have very interesting properties. Hence, they are commonly used for a variety of applications such as drug delivery, bio-imaging and sensing devices. Moreover, coating these particles with other materials forming core@shell or Janus particles can further enhance their properties. However, for the particles to be used in medical and electronic devices, their properties such as size, shape and composition need to be precisely controlled. In this PhD., an emulsification technique was chosen to investigate the synthesis of nanoparticles; it is a simple process, does not require any harsh chemicals or temperature and is fast. Emulsification occurs when two or more immiscible liquids and surfactants are mixed. Here, emulsion droplets were produced using a microfluidic device which allowed for the creation of uniform droplets. These were employed as templates to synthesise and assemble nanomaterials. The main aim of the Ph.D. was to develop a droplet based synthesis process to generate nanoparticles and then assemble them into core@shell particles. This Ph.D., starts by synthesising Fe3O4 nanoparticles (~ 12 nm) and assembling them into microparticles (~ 1µm 2µm) using emulsion droplets as microreactors. By tuning the surfactant, droplet size and evaporation rate of the dispersed phase, microparticles of varying shapes and sizes, such as spherical or crumbled shapes, were produced. When these particles are compared with the commercially available particles, the magnetic content of the in-house particles, or sometimes referred to as Loughborough University Enterprises Ltd. (LUEL), are much higher and more uniform, hence resulting in faster separation when used for extraction of analytes. LUEL particles were supplied as part of commercial collaboration. The use of Pickering emulsions were then explored to create core@shell particles using gold nanoparticles instead of a surfactant to produce gold shells and the addition of pre-synthesised Fe3O4 nanoparticles results in Fe3O4@Au core@shell particles. This is the first time Pickering emulsions were used to produce Fe3O4@Au core@shell particles (~ 1.5 µm) within a microfluidic device. However, the shells were not uniform in thickness. In order to improve the coverage, nanoparticles were synthesised in situ at the droplet interface. By placing the gold chloride (AuCl4-) in the continuous phase and by varying the concentration of the electron donor in hexane droplet, single crystal gold nanoparticles and platelets were formed. The reaction is spontaneous at room temperature, creating gold nanoparticles at the interface of the emulsion droplet. The size and shape of the gold nanoparticles were controlled by varying the concentration of the reactants and the size of the droplets. By adding pre-synthesised particles (Fe3O4 nanoparticles) to the droplet, Au@Fe3O4 core@shell particles were formed with an approximate size of 250 nm. The same concept of forming core@shell particles using gold nanoparticles was further expanded by using other metal ions; palladium and silver. Unlike gold, palladium and silver only formed spherical nanoparticles, no platelets were observed. The addition of preformed iron oxide nanoparticles to the palladium results in core@shell particles. However, in the case of silver, no core@shell particles were formed. The study of the rate of reaction was conducted to understand the details of the mechanism. Overall, the process developed in this Ph.D. study allows for the facile synthesis of core@shell particles in a rapid, high throughput reaction. In the future, it is believed it could be scaled up for commercial purposes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Emulsions ; Droplets ; Superparamagnetic ; Nanoparticles ; Microfluidics ; Liquid-liquid interface