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Issue 41, 2012
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Interacting viscous instabilities in microfluidic systems

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Abstract

We discuss the formation, evolution, and stability of microfluidic flows involving two or more miscible fluids that have different viscosities. When two liquids that have widely different viscosities are injected into a rigid microfluidic device, their flow streams can naturally rearrange to form lubricated threads or stratified flows depending on the geometry and history of injection. An overview of two-fluid and three-fluid flow configurations in microchannels having square cross-sections is given for a variety of injection geometries. Miscible viscous fluid threads in confined microsystems can experience a range of viscous instabilities, such as folding and swirling. We show that microfluidics can be used to cause two or more instabilities to interact and co-evolve in diverging microchannels, thereby creating a variety of complex flow patterns.

Graphical abstract: Interacting viscous instabilities in microfluidic systems

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Article information


Submitted
18 Apr 2012
Accepted
18 Jun 2012
First published
03 Jul 2012

Soft Matter, 2012,8, 10573-10582
Article type
Review Article

Interacting viscous instabilities in microfluidic systems

T. Cubaud and T. G. Mason, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 10573
DOI: 10.1039/C2SM25902H

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