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Generation of Monodisperse Femtoliter Droplets by Shape-Induced Shear

This invention relates to a method for creating individual femtoliter scale aqueous droplets on demand at a microfabricated junction between an aqueous and oil channel in the absence of oil cross flow, based on a localized increase in the oil channel height relative to that of the aqueous channel. The increase permits a droplet to attain its lowest energy spherical shape, which creates an interfacial tension induced force on the droplet sufficient to detach it from the junction orifice. Monodisperse droplets could be created at regular intervals under constant pressure conditions, allowing each droplet to be tracked and manipulated individually in real time, or pressure pulses could be applied to generate one, two or more droplets per pulse reproducibly, without the need for additional actuation or detection equipment.

Center for Nanophase Matls Sciences Div
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Phone: (865) 241-3808
Nanophase Materials
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