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Phys Rev Lett. 2001 Apr 30;86(18):4163-6.

Dynamic pattern formation in a vesicle-generating microfluidic device.

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Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.


Spatiotemporal pattern formation occurs in a variety of nonequilibrium physical and chemical systems. Here we show that a microfluidic device designed to produce reverse micelles can generate complex, ordered patterns as it is continuously operated far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Flow in a microfluidic system is usually simple-viscous effects dominate and the low Reynolds number leads to laminar flow. Self-assembly of the vesicles into patterns depends on channel geometry and relative fluid pressures, enabling the production of motifs ranging from monodisperse droplets to helices and ribbons.

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