Continuous wet chemical synthesis of transition metal carbides and low solubility compounds in the microjet reactor
The controlled synthesis of particulate systems, including nanoparticles, represents an important basis for different applications in medicine, catalysis, textile and food industry, sensor technology, and energy storage. For this purpose, it should be able to produce particles with homogenous morphology and in larger scales, which is perfectly fulfilled by continuous preparation methods. In the research group of Prof. Kickelbick the MicroJet method is used for this purpose. In this method two solutions are delivered under high pressure to a reaction chamber, where a reaction between the reactants occurs. The reaction product is removed from the chamber via a transport gas. The reactants are mixed in the chamber under high shear forces in short times, which first results in the complete mixing before nucleation begins. The technology leads to the separation of nucleation and growth and allows a high control about the particle properties.
As part of the PhD thesis, the fundamentals of the mixing phenomena and the reaction in the MicroJet reactor should be investigated. The transition metal carbides (e.g. Mo2C and WC) serve as example systems. These particle systems are precursors for attractive energy storage materials. The control of the particle size and the morphology allows to optimize diffusion phenomena of energy storage materials. The mixing times in the MicroJet reactor are very fast, therefore the particle synthesis of compounds with low solubility will also be investigated (e.g. transition metal sulphides), which cannot be produced under controlled conditions applying conventional methods.