Fully unattended, automaed reaction preparation for polymerization screening with liquefied monomers which eliminates the handling of hazardous chemicals and increases the experimental quality.
A typical workflow involves addition of solvent(s), additive(s) and monomer(s). These compounds are located in reservoirs outside the platform or in bottles on the tray. All steps involving liquid handling can be performed in an automated fashion, as well as the inertisation of the atmosphere inside the platform.
In this context, implementation of gloves and an air lock creates a glove-box type system, and so the user can remove the filled reactor vessels and introduce empty ones to run a new sequence without the need of re-doing the full inertisation of the whole chamber. Real-time monitoring of the weight of the reservoir bottles outside the platform provides additional control on quantities dispensed, as well as a safety trigger to stop the application in case a reservoir is empty.
In order to prevent liquid gas loss, vials or reactors are sealed with e.g. crimp caps with thick septa. Filling closed reactors with these thick septas is a challenging task. For the dispense of liquids, this problem can be solved by using a proprietary Double-Piercing Needle Technology. On the other hand, when liquefied gases such as butadiene need to be dispensed, our high-pressure liquid-handling system needs to be used. In both cases combined with a balance for weight counter checking. A reactor vessel filled in such a way can then be used for polymerisation screening tests at medium pressure and at high temperature, without any leaking from the septa.
Volumetric dispensing and aspiration of liquids is done with a Multi-Channel Liquid Handling Tool (4-Needle Head), with four independent needles. The four needles can be operated simultaneously or individually. If required the tool can be equipped with needles of different inner diameters. Larger diameter needles for the handling of suspensions or liquids with higher viscosities, smaller diameter needles for handling of small volumes.