Microfluidic device for photocatalytic aqueous phase reforming of biomass The overall goal of this project is to develop a microfluidic platform for the photocatalytic aqueous phase reforming using biomass as a feedstock. Firstly, the right semiconductor catalyst will be chosen and subsequently synthesized and optimized. Next, an optomicrofluidic microreactor will be designed and fabricated for the photocatalytic aqueous phase reforming of biomass for hydrogen production.
Development of an ultra-low dead volume gas/liquid separator In a microfluidic system the throughput is typically of low volume. As a result, connections in the system must have a low dead volume to provide samples fast enough to the analysis equipment and to prevent the loss of valuable data due to averaging or mixing. One example where this can be a major problem is online analysis. Online analysis provides immediate information on the reaction mixture. In this way, reaction intermediates and unstable compounds can be detected and the behavior of the system monitored over time. When the reaction mixture consists of both gas and liquid phase components, both phases are usually not analyzed by the same method and the gas and liquid components have to be separated on-stream before entering their respective analysis equipment. Therefore, analysis of both the gas and the liquid phases of the reaction mixture in a microfluidic system requires a gas/liquid separator with an ultra-low dead volume.
Selective catalyst deposition in a microfluidic channel The overall goal of this project is to develop and optimize a method for the selective deposition of catalyst inside a microfluidic channel by either washcoating or pulsed laser deposition. Firstly, the student has to optimize parameters such as layer thickness, catalytic surface area, durability and most importantly layer adhesion. Next, the student will test the catalytic layer with a model reaction conducted at extreme temperatures and pressures (300 0C and 35 bar).
Noble metal patterns by controlled dewetting on 3D curved surfaces The assignment focuses on the construction of various 3D test structures, with different convex and concave features of different sizes (ranging from nanometers to micrometers), as well as combinations thereof, with the goal of studying the effect of local 3D surface curvature on the dewetting process. The choice of structures will be based on theoretical considerations (including modeling, if required). Experimental work will consist of the application of silicon etching methods in combination with oxidation or thin film deposition processes to achieve the chosen test structures, with subsequent metal coating and annealing of the structure.