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A highly efficient microwave reactor continuously produces metallic nanoparticles

By Tetsuo Satoh |

The process, developed by Masateru Nishioka at the Research Center for Compact Chemical Process, Institute of Advanced Science and Technology (AIST; Sendai; www.aist.go.jp) in collaboration with Shinko Kagaku (Koshigaya; www.shinkou-kagaku.co.jp), uses a microwave-assisted flow reactor developed by AIST and IDX Inc. (Tokyo, all Japan; english.idx-net.co.jp). The researchers found that they can uniformly heat the catalyst and reactants at the center of the vertical tubular reactor, and can control the reaction temperature by varying the frequency of the microwaves using a tunable, semiconductor microwave generator. Using ethylene glycol as a solvent for the nanoparticle synthesis, the heating efficiency (conversion of microwave energy to thermal energy) of the system is more than 95%, compared to around 40% achieved by existing microwave heating devices. The system has been demonstrated for producing metallic nanoparticles from a wide range of feed materials. For example, gold particles with 10-nm dia. and narrow size distribution have been produced. The group is now developing a compact microwave generator for manufacturing processes. The technology is expected to be used for the production of nanoparticles as well as for performing…
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