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Open AccessArticle

Prediction of Droplet Production Speed by Measuring the Droplet Spacing Fluctuations in a Flow-Focusing Microdroplet Generator

by Wen Zeng 1,2,*, Dong Xiang 1,* and Hai Fu 1
1
Department of Fluid Control and Automation, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Fluid Power and Mechatronic Systems, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2019, 10(12), 812; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10120812
Received: 24 October 2019 / Revised: 18 November 2019 / Accepted: 20 November 2019 / Published: 25 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics for Soft Matter and Mechanobiology )
In a flow-focusing microdroplet generator, by changing the flow rates of the two immiscible fluids, production speed can be increased from tens to thousands of droplets per second. However, because of the nonlinearity of the flow-focusing microdroplet generator, the production speed of droplets is difficult to quantitatively study for the typical flow-focusing geometry. In this paper, we demonstrate an efficient method that can precisely predict the droplet production speed for a wide range of fluid flow rates. While monodisperse droplets are formed in the flow-focusing microchannel, droplet spacing as a function of time was measured experimentally. We discovered that droplet spacing changes periodically with time during each process of droplet generation. By comparing the frequency of droplet spacing fluctuations with the droplet production speed, precise predictions of droplet production speed can be obtained for different flow conditions in the flow-focusing microdroplet generator. View Full-Text
Keywords: droplet; production speed; spacing; fluctuations; flow-focusing droplet; production speed; spacing; fluctuations; flow-focusing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zeng, W.; Xiang, D.; Fu, H. Prediction of Droplet Production Speed by Measuring the Droplet Spacing Fluctuations in a Flow-Focusing Microdroplet Generator. Micromachines 2019, 10, 812.

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