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Issue 8, 2006
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High-performance flow-focusing geometry for spontaneous generation of monodispersed droplets

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Abstract

A high-performance flow-focusing geometry for spontaneous generation of monodispersed droplets is demonstrated. In this geometry, a two-phase flow is forced through a circular orifice integrated inside a silicon-based microchannel. The orifice with its cusp-like edge exerts a ring of maximized stress around the flow and ensures controlled breakup of droplets for a wide range of flow rates, forming highly periodic and reproducible dispersions. The droplet generation can be remarkably rapid, exceeding 104 sāˆ’1 for water-in-oil droplets and reaching 103 sāˆ’1 for oil-in-water droplets, being largely controlled by flow rate of the continuous phase. The droplet diameter and generation frequency are compared against a quasi-equilibrium model based on the critical Capillary number. The droplets are obtained despite the low Capillary number, below the critical value identified by the ratio of viscosities between the two phases and simple shear-flow.

Graphical abstract: High-performance flow-focusing geometry for spontaneous generation of monodispersed droplets

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Feb 2006, accepted on 16 May 2006 and first published on 31 May 2006


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B602240E
Citation: Lab Chip, 2006,6, 1073-1079
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    High-performance flow-focusing geometry for spontaneous generation of monodispersed droplets

    L. Yobas, S. Martens, W. Ong and N. Ranganathan, Lab Chip, 2006, 6, 1073
    DOI: 10.1039/B602240E

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