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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R031266/1
Title: Manufacturing Embedded Sensors within Microfluidic Reactors.
Principal Investigator: Platt, Dr M
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: Loughborough University
Scheme: Overseas Travel Grants (OTGS)
Starts: 01 April 2018 Ends: 30 June 2018 Value (£): 4,567
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Instrumentation Eng. & Dev. Manufacturing Machine & Plant
Microsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
A traditional route to synthesising material was to mix the chemicals within a flask or beaker, these so called batch reactors are increasingly being replaced by flow reactors. Continuous flow reactors are proving powerful tools for synthesizing materials, they offer reduced production costs, a rapid method of optimising the reaction conditions, as well as reducing variation in products from batch-to-batch techniques.

Infrequent sampling and monitoring of the products within fluidic reactors however removes any benefit of the flow process. For example if the products of a fluidic chip are analysed every day, and a failure occurs during this period, a days' worth of product are lost as the system is restarted. An infrequent sampling period equates flow chemistry to a batch-to-batch process with the quantity in each batch being the length of time between samples. Thus challenges in implementing micro reactor systems lie in the development of control and design strategies that guarantee uniform mixing, and fluidic behaviour and to facilitate the Inline monitoring of chemical products for high-throughput processing.

Embedded sensor systems within bespoke reactors is an under researched field. New methods of manufacturing offer potential solutions, including the use of Additive Manufacturing (AM), or multistage builds using a variety of techniques such as lithography coupled with AM, would allow bespoke flow channels to be designed and optimised for the reaction and interface for the analytical platform. The research will develop the manufacturing process's for inline flow sensors. The benefits of these new sensors will then be applied to the production of nanomaterials and pharmaceuticals.

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Organisation Website: http://www.lboro.ac.uk