Liquid crystallography:3D microdroplet arrangements using microfluidics

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Monodisperse liquid particles (femtolitre oil droplets) are shown to self-organize into three-dimensional (3D) close-packed face-centered cubic (fcc) arrangements. Droplets were formed at a nanochannel-microchannel interface, and the formation of these arrangements occurred at certain flow-rate ratios of oil and water. The remarkably robust and stable structures formed in two different 'crystallographic' orientations of a face-centered cubic lattice, fcc(100) and fcc(111), as evidenced by the occurrence of square and hexagonal patterns at the plane adjacent to the channel wall. The orientation was found to depend on the oil-to-water flow-rate ratio. Similar to solid state crystals, 'crystallographic' features were observed, such as dislocation lines and defects. The 3D arrays presented in this work could provide platforms for a number of applications
Original languageUndefined
Article number10.1039/b908498c
Pages (from-to)2708-2712
Number of pages5
JournalSoft matter
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • EWI-16446
  • Pattern formation
  • emulstion
  • Photonic cyrstal
  • Titania
  • IR-68303
  • templates
  • physics microfspheres
  • Device
  • Integration
  • METIS-258669
  • channels

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