Thermally mediated droplet formation in microchannels

Nam Trung Nguyen, Teck Hui Ting, Yit Fatt Yap, Teck Neng Wong, John Chee Kiong Chai, Wee Liat Ong, Junlong Zhou, Say Hwa Tan, Levent Yobas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Precise dispensing of microdroplets is an important process for droplet-based microfluidics. The droplet formation by shear force between two immiscible fluids depends on their flow rates, the viscosities, and the interfacial tension. In this letter, the authors report the use of integrated microheater and temperature sensor for controlling the droplet formation process. The technique exploits the dependency on temperature of viscosities and interfacial tension. Using a relatively low heating temperature ranging from 25 to 70 °C, the droplet diameter can be adjusted to over two times of its original value. The relatively low temperature range makes sure that this concept is applicable for droplets containing biological samples.

Original languageBritish English
Article number084102
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2007


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