A Caltech Library Service

Experimental test of scaling of mixing by chaotic advection in droplets moving through microfluidic channels

Song, Helen and Bringer, Michelle R. and Tice, Joshua D. and Gerdts, Cory J. and Ismagilov, Rustem F. (2003) Experimental test of scaling of mixing by chaotic advection in droplets moving through microfluidic channels. Applied Physics Letters, 83 (22). pp. 4664-4666. ISSN 0003-6951. PMCID PMC2025702. doi:10.1063/1.1630378.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


This letter describes an experimental test of a simple argument that predicts the scaling of chaotic mixing in a droplet moving through a winding microfluidic channel. Previously, scaling arguments for chaotic mixing have been described for a flow that reduces striation length by stretching, folding, and reorienting the fluid in a manner similar to that of the baker’s transformation. The experimentally observed flow patterns within droplets (or plugs) resembled the baker’s transformation. Therefore, the ideas described in the literature could be applied to mixing in droplets to obtain the scaling argument for the dependence of the mixing time, t ∼ (aw/U)log(Pe), where w [m] is the cross-sectional dimension of the microchannel, a is the dimensionless length of the plug measured relative to w, U [m s^−1] is the flow velocity, Pe is the Péclet number (Pe = wU/D), and D [m^2 s^−1] is the diffusion coefficient of the reagent being mixed. Experiments were performed to confirm the scaling argument by varying the parameters w, U, and D. Under favorable conditions, submillisecond mixing has been demonstrated in this system.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Ismagilov, Rustem F.0000-0002-3680-4399
Additional Information:© 2003 American Institute of Physics. Received 11 July 2003; accepted 6 October 2003. This work was supported by ONR Young Investigator Award (N00014-03-10482), the Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award, the Research Innovation Award from Research Corporation, the NIH (R01 EB001903), Chicago MRSEC funded by NSF, and Predoctoral Training Grant (H.S.) of the NIH (GM 08720). This work was performed at the Chicago MRSEC Microfluidic Facility. Photolithography was performed (by H.S.) at MAL of UIC. We thank Prof. H. A. Stone, Prof. A. D. Stroock, and Prof. J. M. Ottino for helpful discussions.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Office of Naval Research (ONR)N00014-03-10482
Camille and Henry Dreyfus FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Research CorporationUNSPECIFIED
NIHR01 EB001903
NIHGM 08720
Subject Keywords:microchannels; flows; mixing, diffusion, chaos, scaling phenomena, microfluidics, channel flow, drops
Issue or Number:22
Classification Code:PACS 47.52.+j Chaos in fluid dynamics 47.60.-i Flow phenomena in quasi-one-dimensional systems 45.70.Mg Granular flow: mixing, segregation and stratification 47.55.D- Drops and bubbles 47.85.Np Fluidics 66.10.C- Diffusion and thermal diffusion
PubMed Central ID:PMC2025702
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130821-160731877
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:40870
Deposited By: Whitney Barlow
Deposited On:28 Aug 2013 21:02
Last Modified:02 Jun 2023 21:54

Repository Staff Only: item control page