Interfacial tension measured at high expansion rates and within milliseconds using microfluidics

Kelly Muijlwijk*, Emma Hinderink, Dmitry Ershov, Claire Berton-Carabin, Karin Schroën

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


To understand droplet formation and stabilisation, technologies are needed to measure interfacial tension at micrometer range and millisecond scale. In this paper, microtechnology is used, and that allows us to access these ranges and derive a model for surfactant free systems. The predicting power of the model was tested, and we found that it can be used to accurately (validated with >60 experiments) describe droplet size for a wide range of flow rates, interfacial tensions, and continuous phase viscosities.The model was used next to determine interfacial tensions in a system with hexadecane and sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) solutions, and it was found that the model can be used for droplet formation times ranging from 0.4 to 9.4 ms while using a wide range of process conditions.The method described here differs greatly from standard dynamic interfacial tension methods that use quiescent, mostly diffusion-limited situations. The effects that we measured are much faster due to enhanced mass transfer; this allows us to assess the typical time scales used in industrial emulsification devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-79
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Adsorption
  • Dynamic mass transfer
  • Emulsion
  • Interfacial tension
  • Microfluidics
  • Oil-water interface
  • Sodium dodecylsulfate
  • Surfactant

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