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Concurrent droplet charging and sorting by electrostatic actuation
14.D. R. Link, E. Grasland-Mongrain, A. Duri, F. Sarrazin, Z. D. Cheng, G. Cristobal, M. Marquez, and D. A. Weitz, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 45, 2556 (2006).
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This paper presents a droplet-based microfluidic device for concurrent droplet charging and sorting by electrostatic actuation. Water-in-oil droplets can be charged on generation by synchronized electrostatic actuation. Then, simultaneously, the precharged droplets can be electrostatically steered into any designated laminar streamline, thus they can be sorted into one of multiple sorting channels one by one in a controlled fashion. In this paper, we studied the size dependence of the water droplets under various relative flow rates of water and oil. We demonstrated the concurrent charging and sorting of up to 600 droplets/s by synchronized electrostatic actuation. Finally, we investigated optimized voltages for stable droplet charging and sorting. This is an essential enabling technology for fast, robust, and multiplexed sorting of microdroplets, and for the droplet-based microfluidic systems.
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