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MEMS: From Micro Devices to Wireless Systems

Vol. 7, Special Issue, October 2009, pp.136-149





Simulation of Droplet Dynamics and Mixing in Microfluidic Devices Using a VOF-Based Method



Flow Science Inc., 683 Harkle Rd, Ste A, Santa Fe, NM 87505, USA

Tel.: 505-982-0088, fax: 505-982-5551

E-mail: anurag@flow3d.com



Received: 28 August 2009   /Accepted: 28 September 2009   /Published: 12 October 2009


Abstract: This paper demonstrates that the Volume of Fluid (TruVOF®) method in FLOW-3D®  general purpose CFD software) is an effective tool for studying droplet dynamics and mixing in microfluidic devices. The first example studied is a T-junction where flow patterns for both droplet generation and passive mixing are analyzed. The second example studied is a co-flowing device where the formation and breakup of bubbles is simulated. The effect of viscosity on bubble formation is also analyzed. For a T-junction the bubble size is corroborated with experimental data. Both the bubble size and frequency are studied and corroborated with experimental data for a co-flowing device. The third example studied is the electrowetting phenomenon observed in a small water droplet resting on a dielectric material. The steady-state contact angle is plotted against the voltage applied. The results are compared with both the Young-Lippmann curve and experimental results.


Keywords: Droplet-based microfluidic devices, Co-flowing devices, T-junction, Electrowetting, Volume of fluid method


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