M K S Verma
Articles written in Sadhana
Volume 40 Issue 3 May 2015 pp 973-983 Section II - International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM)
The room-temperature synthesis of mono-dispersed gold nanoparticles, by the reduction of chlorauric acid (HAuCl4) with tannic acid as the reducing and stabilizing agent, is carried out in a microchannel. The microchannel is fabricated with one soft wall, so that there is a spontaneous transition to turbulence, and thereby enhanced mixing, when the flow Reynolds number increases beyond a critical value. The objective of the study is to examine whether the nanoparticle size and polydispersity can be modified by enhancing the mixing in the microchannel device. The flow rates are varied in order to study nanoparticle formation both in laminar flow and in the chaotic flow after transition, and the molar ratio of the chlorauric acid to tannic acid is also varied to study the effect of molar ratio on nanoparticle size. The formation of gold nanoparticles is examined by UV-visual spectroscopy and the size distribution is determined using scanning electron microscopy. The synthesized nanoparticles size decreases from ≥6 nm to ≤4 nm when the molar ratio of chlorauric acid to tannic acid is increased from 1 to 20. It is found that there is no systematic variation of nanoparticle size with flow velocity, and the nanoparticle size is not altered when the flow changes from laminar to turbulent. However, the standard deviation of the size distribution decreases by about 30% after transition, indicating that the enhanced mixing results in uniformity of particle size.