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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2009 Aug;80(2 Pt 2):026310. Epub 2009 Aug 19.

Impact of inlet channel geometry on microfluidic drop formation.

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Department of Physics and SEAS, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.


We study the impact of inlet channel geometry on microfluidic drop formation. We show that drop makers with T-junction style inlets form monodisperse emulsions at low and moderate capillary numbers and those with Flow-Focus style inlets do so at moderate and high capillary numbers. At low and moderate capillary number, drop formation is dominated by interfacial forces and mediated by the confinement of the microchannels; drop size as a function of flow-rate ratio follows a simple functional form based on a blocking-squeezing mechanism. We summarize the stability of the drop makers with different inlet channel geometry in the form of a phase diagram as a function of capillary number and flow-rate ratio.


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