We describe a technique that measures ultralow interfacial tensions using paramagnetic spheres in a co-flow microfluidic device designed with a magnetic section. Our method involves tuning the distance between the co-flowing interface and the magnet's center, and observing the behavior of the spheres as they approach the liquid-liquid interface-the particles either pass through or are trapped by the interface. Using threshold values of the magnet-to-interface distance, we make estimates of the two-fluid interfacial tension. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this technique for measuring very low interfacial tensions, O(10-6-10-5) N m-1, by testing solutions of different surfactant concentrations, and we show that our results are comparable with measurements made using a spinning drop tensiometer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering