Pla, D.; Salleras, M.; Morata, A.; Garbayo, I.; Gerboles, M.; Sabaté, N.; Divins, N.; Casanovas, A.; Llorca, J.; Tarancón, A. Lab on a chip Vol. 16, num. 15, p. 2900-2910 DOI: 10.1039/c6lc00583g Data de publicació: 2016 Article en revista
A novel design of a silicon-based micro-reformer for onboard hydrogen generation from ethanol is presented in this work. The micro-reactor is fully fabricated with mainstream MEMS technology and consists of an active low-thermal-mass structure suspended by an insulating membrane. The suspended structure includes an embedded resistive metal heater and an array of ca. 20k vertically aligned through-silicon micro-channels per square centimetre. Each micro-channel is 500 mu m in length and 50 mu m in diameter allowing a unique micro-reformer configuration that presents a total surface per projected area of 16 cm(2) cm(-2) and per volume of 320 cm(2) cm(-3). The walls of the micro-channels become the active surface of the micro-reformer when coated with a homogenous thin film of Rh-Pd/CeO2 catalyst. The steam reforming of ethanol under controlled temperature conditions (using the embedded heater) and using the micro-reformer as a standalone device are evaluated. Fuel conversion rates above 94% and hydrogen selectivity values of ca. 70% were obtained when using operation conditions suitable for application in micro-solid oxide fuel cells (micro-SOFCs), i.e. 750 degrees C and fuel flows of 0.02 ml(L) min(-1) (enough to feed a one watt power source).
Extensive studies have been carried out on photocatalytic materials in recent years as photocatalytic reactions offer a promising solution for solar energy conversion and environmental remediation. Currently available commercial photocatalysts still lack efficiency and thus are economically not viable for replacing traditional sources of energy. This article focuses on recent developments in novel nano-photocatalyst materials to enhance photocatalytic activity. Recent reports on optofluidic systems, new synthesis of photocatalytic composite materials and motile photocatalysts are discussed in this article.
Sample pre-concentration is crucial to achieve high sensitivity and low detection limits in lab-on-a-chip devices. Here, we present a system in which self-propelled catalytic micromotors are bio-functionalized and trapped acting as an alternative concentrating mechanism. This system requires no external energy source, which facilitates integration and miniaturization.
We demonstrate that catalytic micromotors can be trapped in microfluidic chips containing chevron and heart-shaped structures. Despite the challenge presented by the reduced size of the traps, microfluidic chips with different trapping geometries can be fabricated via replica moulding. We prove that these microfluidic chips can capture micromotors without the need for any external mechanism to control their motion.
We demonstrate that catalytic microjet engines can out-swim high complex media composed of red blood cells and serum. Despite the challenge presented by the high viscosity of the solution at room temperature, the catalytic microjets can be activated at physiological temperature and, consequently, self-propel in diluted solutions of blood samples. We prove that these microjets self-propel in 10× diluted blood samples using microfluidic chips.
Fabrication of nanochannels is drawing considerable interest due to its broad applications in nanobiotechnology (e.g. biomolecular sensing and single DNA manipulation). Nanochannels offer distinct advantages in allowing a slower translocation and multiple sensing spots along the channel, both of which improve the read-out resolution. However, implementing electrodes inside the nanochannel has rarely been demonstrated to our knowledge. The device described in this work is a Si–Glass anodically bonded Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) device of a few millimetres in size capable of
performing DNA manipulation. The LOC device structure is based on two mainstream microchannels interconnected by nanochannels. DNA, once trapped within the nanochannel, has been tracked throughout the length of the channel and the data have been recorded and analysed.