Authors:Piotr M. Korczyk, Monika E. Dolega, Slawomir Jakiela, Pawel Jankowski, Sylwia Makulska, and Piotr Garstecki
Conducting reactions in droplets in microfluidic chips offers several highly attractive characteristics, among others, increased yield and selectivity of chemical syntheses. The use of droplet microfluidic systems in synthetic chemistry is, however, hampered by the intrinsically small throughput of micrometric channels. Here, we verify experimentally the potential to increase throughput via an increase of the scale of the channels.We use the results of these experiments characterizing the processes of (1) generation of droplets, (2) mixing in droplets, (3) inter-phase extraction, and (4) the yield of synthesis of pyrrole, to postulate a number of guidelines for scaling up the throughput of microfluidic droplet systems. In particular, we suggest the rules for maximizing the throughput via an increase of the size of the channels and via parallelization to optimize the throughput of synthesis against the cost of fabrication of the chips and against the kinetic requirements of specific reactions.