Micro scale liquid metal droplets have been hailed as the potential key building blocks of future micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). However, most of the current liquid metal enabled systems involve millimeter scale droplets, which are manually injected onto the desired locations of the microchip. Despite its simplicity, this method is impractical for patterning large arrays or complex systems based on microscale droplets. Here, we present a microfluidic chip, which integrates continuous generation of micro scale galinstan droplets in glycerol, and the hydrodynamic transfer of these droplets into sodium hydroxide(NaOH) solution. Observation via high-speed imaging along with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis are utilised to comprehend the lateral migration of droplets from the glycerol to NaOH fluid. This platform is simple, can be readily integrated into other microfluidic systems, and creates flexibility by separating the continuous phase for droplet generation from the eventual target carrier fluid within a monolithic chip.
Gol, Berrak, Francisco J. Tovar-Lopez, Michael E. Kurdzinski, Shi-Yang Tang, Phred Petersen, Arnan Mitchell, Khashayar Khoshmanesh