D.B. Robinson Distinguished Speaker Series 2013-2014
Schlumberger Lecture title:
Synthesis on demand: On your desktop
Miniaturized continuous flow systems for chemical synthesis and analysis have evolved significantly over the past decade from their initial roots in micromachining to flexible configurable systems used in organic chemistry, ‘flow chemistry’, and in specialized systems for energy conversion and catalysis characterization. These flow systems combine mini or microfluidic channels, chemical-synthesis-on-a chip, and continuous separation based on surface tension effects to enable multiple synthesis and separation steps. Synthesis applications are enhanced by automated optimization as well as mechanistic and kinetic information gained from integrating reaction components with sensors, actuators, and automated fluid handling. Moreover, flow systems allow experiments on well-defined samples at conditions not easily accessed by conventional means, such as reaction at high pressure and temperatures. The characteristics and scaling of flow systems are demonstrated with cases studies drawn from multistep chemical synthesis relevant to fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals, synthesis of nano-materials, and characterization of heterogeneous catalysts. Emphasis is placed on applications that are enabled by small flow systems and are difficult to perform by conventional techniques. Finally, challenges in applications of the technology and opportunities for new insight gained from use of microsystems are discussed.
Klavs F. Jensen is Warren K. Lewis Professor and Head of the Chemical Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his chemical engineering education from the Technical University of Denmark (M.Sc.) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (PhD). His research interests revolve around microfabrication, testing, and integration of microsystems for chemical and biological discovery, synthesis and processing. Catalysis, chemical kinetics and transport phenomena related to processing of materials for biomedical, electronic, energy conversion, and optical applications are also topics of interest along with development of simulation approaches for reactive chemical and biological systems, specifically simulation across multiple length and time scales. He is the co-author of more than 325 journal articles as well as several edited volumes and 30 US patents. He serves on advisory boards to universities, companies, professional societies, and governments. He is the recipient of several awards, including a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar Grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Allan P. Colburn, Charles C.M. Stine, R.H. Wilhelm, and W.H. Walker Awards of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Professor Jensen is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Science. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the Royal Society of Chemistry.