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Migration and Spreading of Droplets across a Fluid-Fluid Interface in Microfluidic Coflow
S. Hazra, S. Mitra,
Published in American Chemical Society
PMID: 35876791
Volume: 38
Issue: 31
Pages: 9660 - 9668
Interfacial migration of droplets in microfluidic confinements has significant relevance in cell biology and biochemical assays. So far, studies on passive interfacial migration of droplets are limited to co-flow interfaces having small interfacial tension (IFT ∼1 mN/m). Here, we elucidate the migration and spreading of droplets (SiO-1000, SiO-100, FC40, and castor oil as phase 3, P3) across the interface between a pair of coflowing streams (PEG as P1, SiO-100, SiO-20, FC40, and olive oil as P2) having large IFT (∼10 mN/m), with the three different phases immiscible. Interfacial migration involving interfaces of large IFT is facilitated by confining droplets between the channel wall and coflow interface. We find that contact between droplets and the coflow interface is governed by the confinement ratio (i.e., the ratio of drop size to stream width) and the ratio of the capillary numbers of the coflowing streams. Depending on the sign of the spreading parameter (S) of the co-flowing phases, droplet migration or spreading at the interface is observed. While interfacial migration is observed for S1< 0 and S2> 0, droplet spreading is observed for S1< 0 and S2< 0, where S1and S2are P1 and P2 side spreading parameters, respectively. We investigate the droplet migration dynamics and time evolution of the contact line and the interface. Our results show that the speed of interfacial migration increases with increasing spreading parameter contrast between the coflowing phases. In the droplet spreading case, we experimentally study the variation in the spreading length with time, revealing three distinct regimes in good agreement with predictions from analytical scaling. Our study explores the interfacial transport of droplets involving high IFT interfaces, advancing the fundamental understanding of the topic that may find relevance in droplet microfluidics. © 2022 American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.
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PublisherAmerican Chemical Society