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Visualization of the Mechanical Wave Effect on Liquid Microphases and Its Application for the Tuning of Dissipative Soft Microreactors

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journal contribution
posted on 09.12.2020, 12:35 authored by Alexey S. Kashin, Evgeniya S. Degtyareva, Valentine P. Ananikov
The development of approaches for creation of adaptive and stimuli-responsive chemical systems is particularly important for chemistry, materials science, and biotechnology. The understanding of response mechanisms for various external forces is highly demanded for the rational design of task-specific systems. Here, we report direct liquid-phase scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations of the high frequency sound-wave-driven restructuring of liquid media on the microlevel, leading to switching of its chemical behavior. We show that under the action of ultrasound, the microstructured ionic liquid/water mixture undergoes rearrangement resulting in formation of separated phases with specific compositions and reactivities. The observed effect was successfully utilized for creation of dissipative soft microreactors formed in ionic liquid/water media during the sonication-driven water transfer. The performance of the microreactors was demonstrated using the example of controlled synthesis of small and uniform gold and palladium nanoparticles. The microsonication stage, designed and used in the present study, opened unique opportunities for direct sonochemical studies with the use of electron microscopy.

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