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Nat Chem. 2012 Apr 15;4(5):349-54. doi: 10.1038/nchem.1313.

Integrated 3D-printed reactionware for chemical synthesis and analysis.

Author information

1
WestCHEM, School of Chemistry, The University of Glasgow, University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK.

Abstract

Three-dimensional (3D) printing has the potential to transform science and technology by creating bespoke, low-cost appliances that previously required dedicated facilities to make. An attractive, but unexplored, application is to use a 3D printer to initiate chemical reactions by printing the reagents directly into a 3D reactionware matrix, and so put reactionware design, construction and operation under digital control. Here, using a low-cost 3D printer and open-source design software we produced reactionware for organic and inorganic synthesis, which included printed-in catalysts and other architectures with printed-in components for electrochemical and spectroscopic analysis. This enabled reactions to be monitored in situ so that different reactionware architectures could be screened for their efficacy for a given process, with a digital feedback mechanism for device optimization. Furthermore, solely by modifying reactionware architecture, reaction outcomes can be altered. Taken together, this approach constitutes a relatively cheap, automated and reconfigurable chemical discovery platform that makes techniques from chemical engineering accessible to typical synthetic laboratories.

PMID:
22522253
DOI:
10.1038/nchem.1313
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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