Development of a rapid manufacturable microdroplet generator with pneumatic control
This paper presents a T-junction microdroplet generator equipped with a pneumatic actuation for controlling the droplet size. The multi-layer device is compatible with rapid manufacturing using a desktop-based laser cutter to fabricate the fluidic and pneumatic layers. A T-junction fluidic layer sits at the bottom and the control layer consists of a pneumatic chamber, as well as inlet and outlet channels are placed at the top. Our results with pneumatic control showed that the generated droplet size is inversely proportional to the pressure inside the pneumatic chamber. Pneumatic pressure of up to 0.4 MPa showed a 38% reduction in droplet size compared to without control. The droplet size can additionally be regulated by controlling the relative flow rates of the continuous and dispersed fluid. Pneumatic actuation is advantageous, as it does not require additional fluid usage and the flow rate does not need to be ramped up to decrease the droplet size. The device presented in this paper with pneumatic control and fabrication ease provides an attractive method for microdroplet manipulation.
Nagesh, Gnanesh; Wang, Hualong; Ting, David S.K.; and Ahamed, Mohammed Jalal. (2021). Development of a rapid manufacturable microdroplet generator with pneumatic control. Microsystem Technologies, 27 (8), 3095-3103.