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Oil-in-water microfluidics on the colloidal scale: new routes to self-assembly and glassy packings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)788-794
Number of pages7
JournalSoft Matter
Volume13
Issue number4
Early online date22 Dec 2016
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 22 Dec 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 22 Dec 2016
DatePublished (current) - 28 Jan 2017

Abstract

We have developed norland optical adhesive (NOA) flow focusing devices, making use of the excellent solvent compatibility and surface properties of NOA to generate micron scale oil-in-water emulsions with polydispersities as low as 5%. While current work on microfluidic oil-in-water emulsification largely concerns the production of droplets with sizes on the order of 10s of micrometres, large enough that Brownian motion is negligible, our NOA devices can produce droplets with radii ranging from 2 μm to 12 μm. To demonstrate the utility of these emulsions as colloidal model systems we produce fluorescently labelled polydimethylsiloxane droplets suitable for particle resolved studies with confocal microscopy. We analyse the structure of the resulting emulsion in 3D using coordinate tracking and the topological cluster classification and reveal a new mono-disperse thermal system.

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