Engineering the Flow of Liquid Two-Phase Systems by Passive Noise Control

Zeyi Zhang, Tiantian Kong, Chunmei Zhou, Liqiu Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate a passive noise-control approach to engineering the two-phase flow in a microfluidic coflow system. The presence or absence of the jet breakup is studied for two immiscible oil phases, in a straight microchannel (referred to as the J device in the main text), an expansion microchannel (the W device) and a microchannel with the expansion-contraction geometry (the S device), respectively. We show that the jet breaks into droplets, in the jetting regime and the dripping regime (also referred to as the widening-jetting regime) for the straight channel and expansion channel, respectively, while a stable long jet does not break for the expansion-contraction geometry. As the inner phase passes the expansion-contraction functional unit, the random noise on the interface is significantly reduced and the hydrodynamic instability is suppressed, for a range of experimental parameters including flow rates, device geometry, liquid viscosity, and interfacial tension. We further present scale-up devices with multiple noise-control units and achieve decimeter-long yet stable jets. Our simple, effective, and robust noise-control approach can benefit microfluidic applications such as microfiber fabrication, interface chemical reaction, and on-chip distance transportation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number024036
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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