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Evaluation of microflow configurations for scale inhibition and serial X-ray diffraction analysis of crystallization processes

DOI: 10.1039/D0LC00239A DOI Help

Authors: Mark A. Levenstein (University of Leeds) , Yi-yeoun Kim (University of Leeds) , Liam Hunter (University of Leeds) , Clara Anduix-canto (University of Leeds) , Carlos Gonzalez Nino (University of Leeds) , Sarah J. Day (Diamond Light Source) , Shunbo Li (University of Leeds) , William J. Marchant (University of Leeds) , Phillip A. Lee (University of Leeds) , Chiu C. Tang (Diamond Light Source) , Manfred Burghammer (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) , Fiona C. Meldrum (University of Leeds) , Nikil Kapur (University of Leeds)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Lab On A Chip , VOL 57

State: Published (Approved)
Published: July 2020
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 10425 , 12352

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: The clean and reproducible conditions provided by microfluidic devices are ideal sample environments for in situ analyses of chemical and biochemical reactions and assembly processes. However, the small size of microchannels makes investigating the crystallization of poorly soluble materials on-chip challenging due to crystal nucleation and growth that result in channel fouling and blockage. Here, we demonstrate a reusable insert-based microfluidic platform for serial X-ray diffraction analysis and examine scale formation in response to continuous and segmented flow configurations across a range of temperatures. Under continuous flow, scale formation on the reactor walls begins almost immediately on mixing of the crystallizing species, which over time results in occlusion of the channel. Depletion of ions at the start of the channel results in reduced crystallization towards the end of the channel. Conversely, segmented flow can control crystallization, so it occurs entirely within the droplet. Consequently, the spatial location within the channel represents a temporal point in the crystallization process. Whilst each method can provide useful crystallographic information, time-resolved information is lost when reactor fouling occurs and changes the solution conditions with time. The flow within a single device can be manipulated to give a broad range of information addressing surface interaction or solution crystallization.

Subject Areas: Chemistry

Instruments: I11-High Resolution Powder Diffraction

Other Facilities: ID13 at ESRF