Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute (WZI)
A new method for the elaboration of a novel type of catalytic microsystem with a high specific area catalyst is developed. A silver nanocluster catalytic microreactor was elaborated by doping a soda-lime glass with a silver salt. By applying a high power laser beam to the glass, silver nanoclusters are obtained at one of the surfaces which were characterized by BET measurements and AFM. A microfluidic chip was obtained by sealing the silver coated glass with a NOA 81 microchannel. The catalytic activity of the silver nanoclusters was then tested for the efficiency of water purification by using catalytic ozonation to oxidize an organic pollutant. The silver nanoclusters were found to be very stable in the microreactor and efficiently oxidized the pollutant, in spite of the very short residence times in the microchannel. This opens the way to study catalytic reactions in microchannels without the need of introducing the catalyst as a powder or manufacturing complex packed bed microreactors.