Geometry-controlled droplet generation in head-on microfluidic devices

Lingling Shui; Mugele, Frieder; van den Berg, Albert; Eijkel, Jan C. T.
October 2008
Applied Physics Letters;10/13/2008, Vol. 93 Issue 15, p153113
Academic Journal
We investigated the generation of droplets in a head-on microfluidic device operated with the two identical channels as inlets and the “long leg” as a constriction channel leading to a wider outlet section. For capillary numbers (Ca) of approximately 10-5 or less, we find a Ca-independent droplet volume equal to the volume of the constriction channel, which decreases at higher Ca when shear forces become relevant. The droplet generation mechanism is explained in terms of a global capillary instability involving surprisingly stable intermediate surface configurations.


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