An unbounded approach to microfluidics using the Rayleigh–Plateau instability of viscous threads directly drawn in a bath

Lingzhi Cai, Joel Marthelot, P. T. Brun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We study the droplet-forming instability of a thin jet extruded from a nozzle moving horizontally below the surface of an isoviscous immiscible fluid bath. While this interfacial instability is a classic problem in fluid mechanics, it has never been studied in the context of the deposition of a thread into a reservoir, an open-sky version of microfluidics. As the nozzle translates through the reservoir, drops may form at the nozzle (dripping) or further downstream (jetting). We first focus on rectilinear printing paths and derive a scaling law to rationalize the transition between dripping and jetting. We then leverage the flexibility of our system and study the dynamics of breakup when printing sinusoidal paths. We unravel a methodology to control both the size of the drops formed by the instability and the distance that separates them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22966-22971
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume116
Issue number46
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 12 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Keywords

  • 3-dimensional printing
  • Architected soft material
  • Instability
  • Liquid inclusion

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