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Geo-material surface modification of microchips using layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly for subsurface energy and environmental applications

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Abstract

A key constraint in the application of microfluidic technology to subsurface flow and transport processes is the surface discrepancy between microchips and the actual rocks/soils. This research employs a novel layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly technology to produce rock-forming mineral coatings on microchip surfaces. The outcome of the work is a series of ‘surface-mimetic micro-reservoirs (SMMR)’ that represent multi-scales and multi-types of natural rocks/soils. For demonstration, the clay pores of sandstones and mudrocks are reconstructed by representatively coating montmorillonite and kaolinite in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microchips in a wide range of channel sizes (width of 10–250 μm, depth of 40–100 μm) and on glass substrates. The morphological and structural properties of mineral coatings are characterized using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), optical microscope and profilometer. The coating stability is tested by dynamic flooding experiments. The surface wettability is characterized by measuring mineral oil–water contact angles. The results demonstrate the formation of nano- to micro-scale, fully-covered and stable mineral surfaces with varying wetting properties. There is an opportunity to use this work in the development of microfluidic technology-based applications for subsurface energy and environmental research.

Graphical abstract: Geo-material surface modification of microchips using layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly for subsurface energy and environmental applications

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Jun 2017, accepted on 13 Nov 2017 and first published on 17 Nov 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7LC00675F
Citation: Lab Chip, 2018, Advance Article
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    Geo-material surface modification of microchips using layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly for subsurface energy and environmental applications

    Y. Q. Zhang, A. Sanati-Nezhad and S. H. Hejazi, Lab Chip, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7LC00675F

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