- Post Doctoral
MIT Unit Affiliation:
- Chemical Engineering
Post Doc Sponsor / Advisor:
Date PhD Completed:
Top 3 Areas of Expertise:
Through my graduate and postdoctoral trainings, I am uniquely suited for studies of microscale transport processes in single/multi-phase flow formats. During my PhD studies at the University of Toronto, I worked on an interdisciplinary microfluidic project focused on the design and development of a microfluidic platform for fundamental and applied studies of thermodynamic and heat and mass transfer characteristics of gas-liquid reactions. Over the course of my postdoctoral research at MIT, I have developed a unique oscillatory flow strategy for in-situ mass transfer and kinetic studies of multi-phase processes, including cross-coupling reactions, solution phase processing of semiconductor nanocrystals, and measurement and screening of partition coefficient of organic compounds.
Environmental impacts of global warming and ever-increasing energy demands are considered to be the front runners of the worldwide challenges of the 21st century. Major shortcomings of the current mitigation efforts concerning CO2 emission include high energy cost of CO2 recovery from stationary sources and low efficiency of renewable and sustainable energy sources. My interdisciplinary research program, called Laboratory of Microscale Technologies for Sustainability (MTS), will be focused on development of microscale technologies tailored for studies of (a) fundamental mechanisms involved in the solution-phase processing of perovskite nanocrystals, (b) photo-thermal recovery of captured CO2 from stationary sources, and (c) extraction of bitumen oil from oil sands using CO2-triggered switchable hydrophilicity solvents (SHSs). My research program will facilitate the discovery, optimization and development of next-generation hybrid organometal halide perovskites for heterojunction solar cells, an energy-efficient strategy for the recovery and utilization of the captured CO2 as well as more efficient SHSs for oil extraction from oil sands and soybean flakes.
Expected End Date of Post Doctoral Position:
1. Development of a multi-phase microfluidic strategy for high-throughput screening and optimization of pharmaceutically relevant biphasic catalytic reactions.
2. Design and development of a microfluidic strategy for studies of growth and nucleation mechanisms of II-VI and III-V semiconductor nanocrystals.
3. Design and development of a multi-phase oscillatory flow strategy for high-throughput in-situ measurement and screening of partition coefficients of organic compunds.
Flowing trains of uniformly sized bubbles/droplets (i.e., segmented flows) and the associated mass transfer enhancement over their single-phase counterparts have been studied extensively during the past fifty years. Although the scaling behaviour of segmented flow formation is increasingly well understood, the predictive adjustment of the desired flow characteristics that influence the mixing and residence times, remains a challenge. Currently, a time consuming, slow and often inconsistent manual manipulation of experimental conditions is required to address this task.
In my thesis, I have overcome the above-mentioned challenges and developed an experimental strategy that for the first time provided predictive control over segmented flows in a hands-off manner. A computer-controlled platform that consisted of a real-time image processing module within an integral controller, a silicon-based microreactor and automated fluid delivery technique was designed, implemented and validated. In a first part of my thesis I utilized this approach for the automated screening of physical mass transfer and solubility characteristics of carbon dioxide (CO2) in a physical solvent at a well-defined temperature and pressure and a throughput of 12 conditions per hour. Second, by applying the segmented flow approach to a recently discovered CO2 chemical absorbent, frustrated Lewis pairs (FLPs), I determined the thermodynamic characteristics of the CO2-FLP reaction. Finally, the segmented flow approach was employed for characterization and investigation of CO2-governed liquid-liquid phase separation process.
Top 5 Awards and honors (name of award, date received):
5 Recent Papers:
M. Abolhasani, C. W. Coley, and K. F. Jensen, “Multiphase Oscillatory Flow Strategy for in Situ Measurement and Screening of Partition Coefficients”, Analytical Chemistry, accepted, DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.5b03311.
M. Abolhasani, C. W. Coley, L. Xie, O. Chen, M. G. Bawendi, and K. F. Jensen, “Oscillatory Microprocessor for Growth and in Situ Characterization of Semiconductor Nanocrystals”, Chemistry of Materials, 2015, 27 (17), 6131–6138.
M. Abolhasani, N. C. Bruno, and K. F. Jensen, “Oscillatory Three-Phase Flow Reactor for Studies of Bi-Phasic Catalytic Reactions”, Chemical Communications, 2015, 51 (43), 8916-8919. (Selected for the Cover of the issue)
M. Abolhasani, A. Guenther, and E. Kumacheva, “Microfluidic Studies of Carbon Dioxide”, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2014, 53(31), 7992-8002.
M. Abolhasani, M. Singh, E. Kumacheva, and A. Guenther, “Automated Microfluidic Platform for Studies of Carbon Dioxide Dissolution and Solubility in Physical Solvents”, Lab On a Chip, 2012, 12(9), 1611-1618.