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Trapping microfluidic drops in wells of surface energy

Abstract : A small hole etched in the top of a wide microchannel creates a well of surface energy for a confined drop. This produces an attractive force F ? equal to the energy gradient, which is estimated from geometric arguments. We use the drag Fd from an outer flow to probe the trapping mechanism. When Fd < F?, the drop deforms but remains anchored to the hole. Its shape provides information about the pressure field. At higher flow velocities, the drop detaches, defining a critical capillary number for which Fd=F?. The measured anchoring force agrees with the geometric model. © 2011 American Physical Society.
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Rémi Dangla, Sunyon Lee, Charles Baroud. Trapping microfluidic drops in wells of surface energy. Physical Review Letters, American Physical Society, 2011, 107 (12), pp.124501. ⟨10.1103/physrevlett.107.124501⟩. ⟨hal-00998003⟩



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