Microbubble formation and pinch-off scaling exponent in flow-focusing devices

We investigate the gas jet breakup and the resulting microbubble formation in a
microfluidic flow-focusing device using ultra high-speed imaging at 1 million frames/s. In recent experiments [Dollet et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 034504 (2008)] it was found that in the final stage of the collapse the radius of the neck scales with time with a 1/3 power-law exponent, which suggested that gas inertia and the Bernoulli suction effect become important. Here, ultra high-speed imaging was used to capture the complete bubble contour and quantify the gas ow through the neck. It revealed that the resulting decrease in pressure, due to Bernoulli suction, is too low to account for an accelerated pinch-off. The high temporal resolution images enable us to approach the final moment of pinch-off to within 1 µs. We observe that the final moment of bubble pinch-off is characterized by a scaling exponent of 0:41 plus or minus 0:01. This exponent is approximately 2/5, which can be derived, based on the observation that during the collapse the neck becomes less slender, due to the exclusive driving through liquid inertia.

van Hoeve, W., B. Dollet, M. Versluis, D. Lohse

Physics of Fluidics






(USA): 800-640-6380
(Intl): +001-607-272-5070