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© Research
Publication : Physical review letters

Trapping microfluidic drops in wells of surface energy

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Physical review letters - 15 Sep 2011

Dangla R, Lee S, Baroud CN

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 22026771

Phys. Rev. Lett. 2011 Sep;107(12):124501

A small hole etched in the top of a wide microchannel creates a well of surface energy for a confined drop. This produces an attractive force F(γ) equal to the energy gradient, which is estimated from geometric arguments. We use the drag F(d) from an outer flow to probe the trapping mechanism. When F(d)<F(γ), the drop deforms but remains anchored to the hole. Its shape provides information about the pressure field. At higher flow velocities, the drop detaches, defining a critical capillary number for which F(d)=F(γ). The measured anchoring force agrees with the geometric model.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22026771