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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Sep 7;99(10):104502. Epub 2007 Sep 7.

Stability of a jet in confined pressure-driven biphasic flows at low reynolds numbers.

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  • 1Rhodia Laboratoire du Futur, Unité mixte Rhodia-CNRS, Université Bordeaux I, 178 Avenue du Docteur Schweitzer, 33608 Pessac, France.


Motivated by its importance for microfluidic applications, we study the stability of jets formed by pressure-driven concentric biphasic flows in cylindrical capillaries. The specificity of this variant of the classical Rayleigh-Plateau instability is the role of the geometry which imposes confinement and Poiseuille flow profiles. We experimentally evidence a transition between situations where the flow takes the form of a jet and regimes where drops are produced. We describe this as the transition from convective to absolute instability, within a simple linear analysis using lubrication theory for flows at low Reynolds number, and reach remarkable agreement with the data.

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