Microfluidic method for creating monodisperse viscous single emulsions via core–shell templating
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Creating droplets with viscous media in microfluidic devices is extremely problematic due to the early onset of jetting. This report presents a method of creating highly monodisperse single emulsions of high viscosity (≈100 cP for both dispersed and continuous phases) using glass-based microfluidics. This method utilises a three-phase flow technique, where internal water droplets are introduced into a would-be-jetting oil stream forcing the system into a quasi-dripping regime to produce highly monodisperse core–shell drops that later rupture to form single drops. Emulsions with droplet diameters between 75 and 120 μm with a C v < 2 % were created at flow rates of up to 500 μl/h using this three-phase technique where similar emulsions using the standard two-phase technique could not be obtained. The rate of addition of internal droplets to induce a quasi-dripping mode was found to be similar to the dominant perturbation frequencies required to rupture a jet according to Plateau–Rayleigh instability theory.
KeywordsMonodisperse Viscous droplets Core–shell Droplet templating Dripping Jetting
We acknowledge the use made of Vision Research Phantom V7.1 which was borrowed from the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) Engineering Instrument Pool.
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