Elucidating the mechanism of step-emulsification

Kavli Affiliate: David A. Weitz

| First 5 Authors: Andrea Montessori, Marco Lauricella, Sauro Succi, Elad Stolovicki, David A. Weitz

| Summary:

Three-dimensional, time-dependent direct simulations of step emulsification
micro-devices highlight two essential mechanisms for droplet formation: first,
the onset of an adverse pressure gradient driving a back-flow of the continuous
phase from the external reservoir to the micro-channel. Second, the striction
of the flowing jet which leads to its subsequent rupture. It is also shown that
such a rupture is delayed and eventually suppressed by increasing the flow
speed of the dispersed phase within the channel, due to the stabilising effect
of dynamic pressure. This suggests a new criterion for dripping-jetting
transition, based on local values of the Capillary and Weber numbers.

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