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Flow-assisted droplet assembly in a 3D microfluidic channel
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Mechanics. KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Centres, Linné Flow Center, FLOW. KTH, Centres, SeRC - Swedish e-Science Research Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4222-012x
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Mechanics. KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Centres, Linné Flow Center, FLOW. KTH, Centres, SeRC - Swedish e-Science Research Centre. KTH Mech, INTERFACE Ctr, SE-10044 Stockholm, Sweden..ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4317-1726
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Mechanics. KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Centres, Linné Flow Center, FLOW. KTH, Centres, SeRC - Swedish e-Science Research Centre. KTH Mech, INTERFACE Ctr, SE-10044 Stockholm, Sweden..ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4346-4732
2019 (English)In: Soft Matter, ISSN 1744-683X, E-ISSN 1744-6848, Vol. 15, no 16, p. 3451-3460Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Self-assembly of soft matter, such as droplets or colloids, has become a promising scheme to engineer novel materials, model living matter, and explore non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. In this article, we present detailed numerical simulations of few non-Brownian droplets in various flow conditions, specifically, focusing on their self-assembly within a short distance in a three-dimensional (3D) microfluidic channel, cf. [Shen et al., Adv. Sci., 2016, 3(6), 1600012]. Contrary to quasi two-dimensional (q2D) systems, where dipolar interaction is the key mechanism for droplet rearrangement, droplets in 3D confinement produce much less disturbance to the underlying flow, thus experiencing weaker dipolar interactions. Using confined simple shear and Poiseuille flows as reference flows, we show that the droplet dynamics is mostly affected by the shear-induced cross-stream migration, which favors chain structures if the droplets are under an attractive depletion force. For more compact clusters, such as three droplets in a triangular shape, our results suggest that an inhomogeneous cross-sectional inflow profile is further required. Overall, the accelerated self-assembly of a small-size droplet cluster results from the combined effects of strong depletion forces, confinement-mediated shear alignments, and fine-tuned inflow conditions. The deterministic nature of the flow-assisted self-assembly implies the possibility of large throughputs, though calibration of all different effects to directly produce large droplet crystals is generally difficult.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY , 2019. Vol. 15, no 16, p. 3451-3460
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-252637DOI: 10.1039/c8sm02479kISI: 000468007600014PubMedID: 30958490Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85064601819OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-252637DiVA, id: diva2:1321908
Note

QC 20190610

Available from: 2019-06-10 Created: 2019-06-10 Last updated: 2020-02-27Bibliographically approved
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Ge, ZhouyangTammisola, OutiBrandt, Luca

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