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Bubble–bubble pinch-off in symmetric and asymmetric microfluidic expansion channels for ordered foam generation

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Abstract

By incorporating the techniques of geometrically mediated splitting and bubble–bubble breakup, the present work offers a novel microfluidic foam generation system via production of segregated, mono- or bidisperse bubbles at capacities exceeding 10 000 bubbles per second. Bubble–bubble pinch-off is precise at high capillary numbers (Ca > 0.065), generating monodisperse or bidisperse daughter bubbles for a symmetric or an asymmetric expansion respectively. Bi- or tridisperse foam is produced as pinch-off perfectly alternates such that the system contains twice the number of fragmented bubbles as intact bubbles. A relationship between the upstream bubble extension and the capillary number demarcates the different regimes of pinch-off defined with respect to frequency and precision: non-splitting, irregular, polydisperse, and monodisperse (or bidisperse for an asymmetric expansion). For tridisperse foam generation via a fixed asymmetric expansion geometry, the wall bubble confinement can be tuned to adjust the pinch-off accuracy in order to access a spectrum of fragmented bubble size ratios. The simplicity in operating and characterizing our system will enable studies on dynamic bubble interactions and ordered, wet foam applications.

Graphical abstract: Bubble–bubble pinch-off in symmetric and asymmetric microfluidic expansion channels for ordered foam generation

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Jun 2018, accepted on 26 Sep 2018 and first published on 05 Oct 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01285G
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article
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    Bubble–bubble pinch-off in symmetric and asymmetric microfluidic expansion channels for ordered foam generation

    D. Vecchiolla, V. Giri and S. L. Biswal, Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01285G

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