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Micromachines 2017, 8(2), 39; doi:10.3390/mi8020039

A Microfluidic Chip for Liquid Metal Droplet Generation and Sorting

Key Laboratory of Cryogenics, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 29 Zhongguancun East Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100190, China
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Academic Editors: Shih-Kang Fan and Nam-Trung Nguyen
Received: 8 December 2016 / Revised: 4 January 2017 / Accepted: 19 January 2017 / Published: 27 January 2017
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Abstract

A liquid metal based microfluidic system was proposed and demonstrated for the generation and sorting of liquid metal droplets. This micro system utilized silicon oil as the continuous phase and Ga66In20.5Sn13.5 (66.0 wt % Ga, 20.5 wt % In, 13.5 wt % Sn, melting point: 10.6 °C) as the dispersed phase to generate liquid metal droplets on a three-channel F-junction generator. The F-junction is an updated design similar to the classical T-junction, which has a special branch channel added to a T-junction for the supplement of 30 wt % aqueous NaOH solution. To perform active sorting of liquid metal droplets by dielectrophoresis (DEP), the micro system utilized liquid-metal-filled microchannels as noncontact electrodes to induce electrical fields through the droplet channel. The electrode channels were symmetrically located on both sides of the droplet channel in the same horizontal level. According to the results, the micro system can generate uniformly spherical liquid metal droplets, and control the flow direction of the liquid metal droplets. To better understand the control mechanism, a numerical simulation of the electrical field was performed in detail in this work. View Full-Text
Keywords: microfluidics; liquid metal; droplets; dielectrophoresis microfluidics; liquid metal; droplets; dielectrophoresis
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Tian, L.; Gao, M.; Gui, L. A Microfluidic Chip for Liquid Metal Droplet Generation and Sorting. Micromachines 2017, 8, 39.

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