Study of the geometry in a 3D flow-focusing device

Elena Castro-Hernandez, Maarten Kok, Michel Versluis, David Fernandez Rivas

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We present a numerical and experimental study on a non-planar three-dimensional design of a microfluidic flow-focusing device for the well-controlled generation of monodisperse micron-sized droplets. Three relevant geometric parameters were identified: the distance between the inner inlet channel and the outlet channel, the width of the outlet channel, and its length. Simulation data extracted from a full parameter study and finite element simulations yielded four optimum designs that were then fabricated using soft lithography techniques. Under the predicted operating conditions, micro-droplets of a size of ∼1μm in diameter are obtained from a channel 50μm in width. This work represents an important breakthrough in the practical use of flow-focusing devices delivering a ratio of constriction to droplet size of 50 times, with the advantage of reduced clogging of the micro-channel, greatly improving the control and reliability of the device.
Original languageEnglish
Article number40
JournalMicrofluidics and nanofluidics
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2016

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