Monodisperse droplet formation by spontaneous and interaction based mechanisms in partitioned EDGE microfluidic device

S. ten Klooster, S. Sahin, K. Schroën*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The partitioned EDGE droplet generation device is known for its’ high monodisperse droplet formation frequencies in two distinct pressure ranges, and an interesting candidate for scale up of microfluidic emulsification devices. In the current study, we test various continuous and dispersed phase properties and device geometries to unravel how the device spontaneously forms small monodisperse droplets (6–18 μm) at low pressures, and larger monodisperse droplets (>28 μm) at elevated pressures. For the small droplets, we show that the continuous phase inflow in the droplet formation unit largely determines droplet formation behaviour and the resulting droplet size and blow-up pressure. This effect was not considered as a factor of significance for spontaneous droplet formation devices that are mostly characterised by capillary numbers in literature. We then show for the first time that the formation of larger droplets is caused by physical interaction between neighbouring droplets, and highly dependent on device geometry. The insights obtained here are an essential step toward industrial emulsification based on microfluidic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7820
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2019

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