Controllable synthesis of nanocrystals in droplet reactors
In recent years, a broad range of nanocrystals have been synthesized in droplet-based microfluidic reactors which provide obvious advantages, such as accurate manipulation, better reproducibility and reliable automation. In this review, we initially introduce general concepts of droplet reactors followed by discussions of their main functional regions including droplet generation, mixing of reactants, reaction controlling, in situ monitoring, and reaction quenching. Subsequently, the enhanced mass and heat transport properties are discussed. Next, we focus on research frontiers including sequential multistep synthesis, intelligent synthesis, reliable scale-up synthesis, and interfacial synthesis. Finally, we end with an outlook on droplet reactors, especially highlighting some aspects such as large-scale production, the integrated process of synthesis and post-synthetic treatments, automated droplet reactors with in situ monitoring and optimizing algorithms, and rapidly developing strategies for interfacial synthesis.