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Mixing characterization inside microdroplets engineered on a microcoalescer

F. Sarrazin, L. Prat, N. Di Miceli, D. R. Link, G. Cristobal and D. A. Weitz — Chemical Engineering Science 62 (2007) 1042

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We use a microdevice where microdroplets of reagents are generated and coalesce in a carrier continuous phase. The work focuses on the characterization of the mixing step inside the droplets, in the perspective to use them for chemical kinetic data acquisition. A dye and water are used, and an acid ?base instantaneous chemical reaction is monitored thanks to a colored indicator. Acquisitions are done with a high-speed camera coupled to a microscope and a mixing parameter is calculated by image analysis. Different angles of bended channels and different ways of coalescence are compared. It is shown that the homogenization of the droplets can be reached in less than 10 ms after coalescence. This is achieved by forcing the droplets to coalesce in a ?shifted ? way, and later by adding 45° operator angle bends along the channel.