Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 16, 2012
Previous Article Next Article

Pinned films and capillary hysteresis in microfluidic channels

Author affiliations


Pinned water films in a microfluidic channel act as elastic membranes under tension that increase capillary pressures while preserving the mechanical work dissipated around capillary pressure-saturation, PcSw, hysteresis cycles. High-resolution two-photon laser micromachining of SU-8 photoresist was used to fabricate wedge-shaped microfluidic channels that included sharp edge features to pin wetting films during drainage. The films were measured using confocal fluorescence microscopy. The tension in the film acts as an elastic tether that shifts the PcSw hysteresis cycle higher in pressure relative to the hysteresis cycle in the same sample when films are not pinned. The film tension is strongly nonlinear as the restoring force decreases with increasing displacement. The contribution of elastic forces to hysteresis has important consequences for pressure and saturation control in microfluidics.

Graphical abstract: Pinned films and capillary hysteresis in microfluidic channels

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 11 Mar 2012, accepted on 20 Apr 2012 and first published on 24 Apr 2012

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40247E
Citation: Lab Chip, 2012,12, 2858-2864
  •   Request permissions

    Pinned films and capillary hysteresis in microfluidic channels

    Y. Liu, D. D. Nolte and L. J. Pyrak-Nolte, Lab Chip, 2012, 12, 2858
    DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40247E

Search articles by author