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Interfacial Rheology Through Microfluidics

Authors

  • Jeffrey D. Martin,

    Corresponding author
    1. Complex Fluids Group, Polymers Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Dr., Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8542, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. Present Address: Unilever Research and Development 40 Merritt Blvd., Trumbull, CT, 06611, USA
    • Complex Fluids Group, Polymers Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Dr., Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8542, USA.
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  • Joie N. Marhefka,

    1. Complex Fluids Group, Polymers Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Dr., Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8542, USA
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  • Kalman B. Migler,

    1. Complex Fluids Group, Polymers Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Dr., Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8542, USA
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  • Steven D. Hudson

    Corresponding author
    1. Complex Fluids Group, Polymers Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Dr., Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8542, USA
    • Complex Fluids Group, Polymers Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Dr., Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8542, USA.
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Abstract

The bulk properties and structural characteristics of emulsions arise substantially from their interfacial rheology, which depends strongly on surfactant mass transfer and its coupling to flow. Typical methods used to measure such properties often employ simpler flows and larger drops than those encountered in typical processing applications. Mass transfer mechanisms are governed by droplet size; therefore experimentation at length scales typical of those encountered in applications is desired. Utilizing a microfluidic approach allows high-throughput experimentation at relevant length scales and with adjustable flow dynamics. Using a microfluidic device that facilitates the measurement of interfacial tension in two-phase droplet flows, particle tracers are also used to determine the droplet internal circulation velocity as a measure of interfacial mobility. Combining these measurements in a single device, the coupling between interfacial tension, interfacial retardation, and surfactant mass transfer is explored and mass transfer coefficients and interfacial mobility are measured for a two-phase system containing a diffusing surfactant. Such a device is also used to probe the deformability of elastic capsules and viscoelastic biological cells.

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