In the pursuit of materials with structure-related function, directing the assembly of materials is paramount. The resultant structure can be controlled by ordering of reactants, spatial confinement and control over the reaction/crystallisation times and stoichiometries. These conditions can be administered through the use of flow technologies as evidenced by the growing widespread application of microfluidics for the production of nanomaterials; the function of which is often dictated or circumscribed by size. In this review a range of flow technologies is explored for use in the control of self-assembled systems: including techniques for reagent ordering, mixing control and high-throughput optimisation. The examples given encompass organic, inorganic and biological systems and focus on control of shape, function, composition and size. Graphical abstract.
- Continuous crystallisation