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Open AccessArticle

The Effect of Oil Viscosity on Droplet Generation Rate and Droplet Size in a T-Junction Microfluidic Droplet Generator

by Junyi Yao 1, 1, Hyun Soo Kim 2,* and Jaewon Park 1,*
1
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China
2
Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials, Daegu Research Center for Medical Devices and Rehabilitation, Daegu 42994, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2019, 10(12), 808; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10120808
Received: 28 September 2019 / Revised: 9 November 2019 / Accepted: 21 November 2019 / Published: 23 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IMCO 2019)
There have been growing interests in droplet-based microfluidics due to its capability to outperform conventional biological assays by providing various advantages, such as precise handling of liquid/cell samples, fast reaction time, and extremely high-throughput analysis/screening. The droplet-based microfluidics utilizes the interaction between the interfacial tension and the fluidic shear force to break continuous fluids into uniform-sized segments within a microchannel. In this paper, the effect of different viscosities of carrier oil on water-in-oil emulsion, particularly how droplet size and droplet generation rate are affected, has been investigated using a commonly used T-junction microfluidic droplet generator design connected to a pressure-controlled pump. We have tested mineral oils with four different viscosities (5, 7, 10, and 15 cSt) to compare the droplet generation under five different flow pressure conditions (i.e., water flow pressure of 30–150 mbar and oil flow pressure of 40–200 mbar). The results showed that regardless of the flow pressure levels, the droplet size decreased as the oil viscosity increased. Average size of the droplets decreased by approximately 32% when the viscosity of the oil changed from 5 to 15 cSt at the flow pressure of 30 mbar for water and 40 mbar for oil. Interestingly, a similar trend was observed in the droplet generation rate. Droplet generation rate and the oil viscosity showed high linear correlation (R2 = 0.9979) at the water flow pressure 30 mbar and oil flow pressure 40 mbar. View Full-Text
Keywords: oil viscosity; T-junction droplet generator; droplet generation rate; droplet size oil viscosity; T-junction droplet generator; droplet generation rate; droplet size
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yao, J.; Lin, F.; Kim, H.S.; Park, J. The Effect of Oil Viscosity on Droplet Generation Rate and Droplet Size in a T-Junction Microfluidic Droplet Generator. Micromachines 2019, 10, 808.

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