Acoustic separation of oil droplets, colloidal particles and their mixtures in a microfluidic cell

Ivan Uriev Vakarelski, Erqiang Li, Amr I. Abdel-Fattah, Sigurdur T Thoroddsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Here we report direct macroscopic and microscopic observations of acoustic driven separation of dodecane oil droplets in water in the presence and absence of colloidal silica particles suspended in the water phase. The experiments were conducted in a simple rectangular channel glass microfluidic cell in which an ultrasound standing wave pattern was generated at 300 KHz frequency. The separation process of both oil droplets and colloidal particles inside the cell was recorded using a high-speed video camera equipped with a macro-objective lens for macroscopic observation or with a high-speed camera attached to an inverted optical microscope for a higher resolution microscopic observation. We characterize the clustering process in the case of emulsion droplets or solid colloidal particles and ultimately demonstrate the emulsion droplets separation from the solid particles in the mixtures based on their different acoustic contrast factors. Finally, we conduct proof of concept experiment to show that the same approach can be used in a continuous fluid flow process.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-147
Number of pages10
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
StatePublished - Jun 19 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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