In Situ X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy and Droplet-Based Microfluidics: An Analysis of Calcium Carbonate Precipitation
- Journal Article
Droplet-based microfluidic systems are ideally suited for the investigation of nucleation and crystallization processes. To best leverage the features of such platforms (including exquisite time resolution and high-throughput operation), sensitive and in situ detection schemes are needed to extract real-time chemical information about all species of interest. In this regard, the extension of conventional (UV, visible, and infrared) optical detection schemes to the X-ray region of the electromagnetic spectrum is of high current interest, as techniques such as X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) provide for the element-specific investigation of the local chemical environment. Accordingly, herein, we report for the first time the integration of millisecond droplet-based microfluidics with XAS. Such a platform allows for the sensitive acquisition of X-ray absorption data from picoliter-volume droplets moving at high linear velocities. Significantly, the high-temporal resolution of the droplet-based microfluidic platform enables unprecedented access to the early stages of the reaction. Using such an approach, we demonstrate in situ monitoring of calcium carbonate precipitation by extracting XAS spectra at the early time points of the reaction with a dead time as low as 10 ms. We obtain insights into the kinetics of the formation of amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) as a first species during the crystallization process by monitoring the proportion of calcium ions converted into ACC. Within the confined and homogeneous environment of picoliter-volume droplets, the ACC content reaches 60% over the first 130 ms. More generally, the presented method offers new opportunities for the real-time monitoring of fast chemical and biological processes. Show more
Journal / seriesACS Measurement Science Au
Pages / Article No.
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
SubjectX-ray absorption; microfluidics; droplets; calcium carbonate
Organisational unit03746 - Van Bokhoven, Jeroen A. / Van Bokhoven, Jeroen A.
MoreShow all metadata