Micro-Array Combinatorial Catalyst Screening

Who’s Involved?

Research Introduction

We are working on processes to convert wood waste to chemicals such as home heating oil. This requires new catalyst materials to make reactions produce the right chemicals and happen at lower temperatures.  We are developing new ways to search for catalyst materials using inkjets similar to those in home printers.  The inkjets are used to make lots of material combinations on arrays of miniature reactors called microhotplates which are computer chips that we fabricate on silicon wafers.  The catalyst arrays are then scanned to identify the ones with the most promising reaction properties by measuring the amount of heat produced on each reactor and by using microscopes that can identify the reaction products.

Research Details

This project involves using microfabricated devices to study gas reaction kinetics and dynamics on sensor and catalyst materials.  In particular, we are developing combinatorial tools and techniques for rapid catalyst screening.  The research involves developing clean room fabrication processes, characterizing solid-state materials deposited using ink jet printing, and studying catalytic reactions with techniques such as Raman and FTIR spectroscopies or temperature programmed reaction using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry.

What’s New on this Project?

This project was funded as part of a DOE EPSCoR Implementation Grant which started July 15, 2007.