Visualization and quantification of the onset and the extent of viscous fingering in micro-pillar array columns

Wim de Malsche, Jeff Op de Beeck, Johannes G.E. Gardeniers, Gert Desmet

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New experimental data of the viscous fingering (VF) process have been generated by studying the VF process in perfectly ordered pillar array columns instead of in the traditionally employed packed bed columns. A detailed quantitative analysis of the contribution of VF to the observed band broadening could be made by following the injected species bands using a fluorescence microscope equipped with a CCD-camera. For a viscosity contrast of 0.16 cP, a plate height increase of about 1 μm can be observed, while for a contrast of respectively 0.5 cP and 1 cP, additional plate height contributions of the order of 5–20 μm were observed. Citing these values is however futile without noting that they also depend extremely strongly on the injection volume of injected sample. It was found that, for a given viscosity contrast of 0.314 cP, the maximal plate height increase varied between 0.5 μm and 18 μm if the injection volume was varied between 3.0 nl and 32.7 nl. These values furthermore also strongly vary with the distance along the column axis.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)5511-5517
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of chromatography A
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • METIS-257549
  • IR-94256

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