Impact of a microfluidic jet on a pendant droplet†
High speed microfluidic jets can be generated by a thermocavitation process: from the evaporation of the liquid inside a microfluidic channel, a rapidly expanding bubble is formed and generates a jet through a flow focusing effect. Here, we study the impact and traversing of such jets on a pendant liquid droplet. Upon impact, an expanding cavity is created, and, above a critical impact velocity, the jet traverses the entire droplet. We predict the critical traversing velocity (i) from a simple energy balance and (ii) by comparing the Young–Laplace and dynamic pressures in the cavity that is created during the impact. We contrast the model predictions against experiments, in which we vary the liquid properties of the pendant droplet and find good agreement. In addition, we assess how surfactants and viscoelastic effects influence the critical impact velocity. Our results increase the knowledge of the jet interaction with materials of well-known physical properties.