AIChE Journal, Vol.48, No.8, 1639-1644, 2002
Silicon array of elongated through-holes for monodisperse emulsion droplets
Monodisperse emulsions are of great significance in both scientific and industrial fields, since they have advantages such as their better stability and simplified physical properties. A novel micromachined emulsification device has been developed for monodisperse emulsion droplets. It has uniformly sized through-holes, called straightthrough microchannel (MC), on a silicon microchip. An oblong straightthrough MC successfully yielded monodisperse oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion droplets with an average droplet diameter of 32.5 mum and a coefficient of variation below 2% by forcing the dispersed phase into the continuous phase through the straightthrough MC. On the other hand, a circular straightthrough MC yielded polydisperse emulsion droplets. Straightthrough MC emulsification revealed that an elongated cross-sectional shape in the oblong straightthrough MC contributes significantly to the spontaneous formation of monodisperse emulsion droplets without any turbulent mixing.