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Issue 17, 2014
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Microfluidic Dynamic Interfacial Tensiometry (μDIT)

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We designed, developed and characterized a microfluidic method for the measurement of surfactant adsorption kinetics via interfacial tensiometry on a microfluidic chip. The principle of the measurement is based on the deformability of droplets as a response to hydrodynamic forcing through a series of microfluidic expansions. We focus our analysis on one perfluoro surfactant molecule of practical interest for droplet-based microfluidic applications. We show that although the adsorption kinetics is much faster than the kinetics of the corresponding pendant drop experiment, our droplet-based microfluidic system has a sufficient time resolution to obtain quantitative measurement at the sub-second time-scale on nanoliter droplet volumes, leading to both a gain by a factor of ∼10 in time resolution and a downscaling of the measurement volumes by a factor of ∼1000 compared to standard techniques. Our approach provides new insight into the adsorption of surfactant molecules at liquid–liquid interfaces in a confined environment, relevant to emulsification, encapsulation and foaming, and the ability to measure adsorption and desorption rate constants.

Graphical abstract: Microfluidic Dynamic Interfacial Tensiometry (μDIT)

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Sep 2013, accepted on 16 Jan 2014 and first published on 04 Mar 2014

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52543K
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 3066-3076
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Microfluidic Dynamic Interfacial Tensiometry (μDIT)

    Q. Brosseau, J. Vrignon and J. Baret, Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 3066
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52543K

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