The presentation will highlight the fundamentals and applications of the vortex fluidic device (VFD)1-5 which generates intense shear within dynamic thin films in an inclined rapidly rotating tube.1 The applications are diverse, with high green chemistry credentials, from small molecule and materials synthesis, including the remarkable ability to slice carbon nanotubes,2 fold proteins3 enhance enzymatic reactions,4,5 and control the self assembly of fullerenes and liposomes. The VFD is a microfluidic platform with the films typically < 500 m thick, and the processing is not limited to diffusion control. Reaction rates and yields can be dramatically increased relative to conventional batch processing, as well as gaining access to new products and processes. This relates to the unique conditions imparted in the dynamic thin film in the device, including a vibronic response in the form of Faraday waves, high shear stress and micromixing, and increased heat and mass and transfer.1,2 The VFD can operate under confined mode, for processing of volumes down to ca 200 L, or under continuous flow where jet feeds deliver reagents at the bottom of the tube or at strategic positions along the tube, such that scalability is addressed at the inception of the science.


Prof Colin Raston is a SA Premier’s Professorial Research Fellow in Clean Technology, at Flinders University. He completed a PhD at the University of Western Australia, and after postdoctoral studies at the University of Sussex he was appointed a lecturer at The University of Western Australia (1981) then to positions as Professor of Chemistry at Griffith University (1988), Monash University (1995), The University of Leeds (2001), and The University of Western Australia (2003). He is a former President, Queensland Branch President, and Chair of the Inorganic Division, of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI). He has received the RACI’s Green Chemistry Challenge Award, the H.G. Smith Award for the most distinguished contribution to research in chemistry in Australia in the previous ten years, the Burrows Award for distinguished research in inorganic chemistry, and the Leighton Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to the profession.  In 2015 he shared the Ig Nobel Prize in Chemistry with colleagues at the University of California, Irvine and the University of Western Australia, and in 2016 he was Appointed an Officer in of the Order of Australia.

Prof Raston is former recipient of an Australian Research Council Special Investigator Award, two Senior Research Fellowships and two Australian Professorial Fellowships. His current research covers clean technology and green chemistry, biomass processing, process intensification, drug delivery, nanotechnology and self-assembly, and is currently on the editorial advisory board of the international journals Green Chemistry, Crystal Growth and Design and Nature’s Scientific Reports.  Professor Raston has published over 730 journal articles, a book, chapters in books, and has edited a book. He has a number of patents, with a spin out company with colleagues now ASX listed.

About AIBN Seminar Series

The AIBN Seminar series showcases a range of seminars across different topics and disciplines