Developing metastable switchable materials towards scale-up production in continuous flow environment

  • Pierre-Baptiste Flandrin

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Metastable materials are characterised by a change in properties as a response to external stimuli such as heat, light, pressure, or changes in magnetic field. Such properties are of great interest for a range of industries, from sensors to data storage materials, due to their highly reversible switching properties. The molecular scale of those compounds is increasingly being considered as the answer to the miniaturisation of the components used in the construction of working devices, but process control of the synthesis of these compounds can be difficult to exact using batch production methods. The synthesis of several switchable compounds, notably of spin-crossover (SCO) materials, is investigated using different flow platforms; the Oscillatory Baffled Reactor (OBR) from the group of Professor Harris Makatsoris at Cranfield University, the Kinetically Regulated Automated Input Crystalliser (KRAIC) designed by Dr Karen Robertson at the University of Bath and a series of commercial Vapourtec Flow reactors.

It is found that by investigating a range of reactions and reactor parameters via design of experiments (DOE) principles, it is possible to create simulated models in order to predict and target particle size; the success of which has been confirmed by particle size analysis. Scale-up production of the materials presented herein has been achieved with actual control of the metastable properties of the materials using flow synthesis. Switching properties have been controlled and a particular correlation between method of production and switching ability has been observed. In addition, methods based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) are presented to combine data from CFD simulation experiments with practical experimental outcomes to have better insight of the reactors studied and improve metastable material production.
Date of Award19 Jun 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorPaul Raithby (Supervisor) & Chick Wilson (Supervisor)

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