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Real-time droplet caliper for digital microfluidics

Abstract : We developed an optical, microfabrication-free approach for performing real-time measurements of individual droplet characteristics (frequency of production, velocity, and length) flowing in a transparent microfluidic channel. Our approach consists in an interpretation of the differential signal produced by a pair of photodiodes connected head-to-tail due to the variations of illumination at the passage of a droplet. We checked the relevance of this zero-background method by comparing results to video measurements, and observed a very good agreement at rates up to the kHz range. Moreover, since the measured values are stored in a simple text file, flow characterization over very long times (several hours) becomes accessible. We applied this facility to perform three examples of longterm studies: stationary regimes, transient regimes, and the effect of an external forcing. Several unexpected features, like long-period fluctuations, can thus be evidenced.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 29, 2012 - 3:08:48 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 21, 2021 - 3:34:04 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, September 30, 2012 - 2:35:44 AM


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Matthieu Robert de Saint Vincent, Sébastien Cassagnère, Joël Plantard, Jean-Pierre Delville. Real-time droplet caliper for digital microfluidics. Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, Springer Verlag, 2012, 13 (2), pp.261-271. ⟨10.1007/s10404-012-0955-1⟩. ⟨hal-00713184⟩



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