Phase Change Materials Meet Microfluidic Encapsulation

Yanhong Guo, Tuo Hou, Jing Wang, Yuying Yan, Weihua Li, Yong Ren, Sheng Yan

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Improving the utilization of thermal energy is crucial in the world nowadays due to the high levels of energy consumption. One way to achieve this is to use phase change materials (PCMs) as thermal energy storage media, which can be used to regulate temperature or provide heating/cooling in various applications. However, PCMs have limitations like low thermal conductivity, leakage, and corrosion. To overcome these challenges, PCMs are encapsulated into microencapsulated phase change materials (MEPCMs) capsules/fibers. This encapsulation prevents PCMs from leakage and corrosion issues, and the microcapsules/fibers act as conduits for heat transfer, enabling efficient exchange between the PCM and its surroundings. Microfluidics-based MEPCMs have attracted intensive attention over the past decade due to the exquisite control over flow conditions and size of microcapsules. This review paper aims to provide an overview of the state-of-art progress in microfluidics-based encapsulation of PCMs. The principle and method of preparing MEPCM capsules/fibers using microfluidic technology are elaborated, followed by the analysis of their thermal and microstructure characteristics. Meanwhile, the applications of MEPCM in the fields of building energy conservation, textiles, military aviation, solar energy utilization, and bioengineering are summarized. Finally, the perspectives on MEPCM capsules/fibers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Science
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • microencapsulated phase change capsules/fibers
  • microfluidics
  • phase change material
  • thermal energy storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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