Droplet fusion by alternating current (AC) field electrocoalescence in microchannels

Max Chabert, Kevin D. Dorfman, Jean Louis Viovy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


We present a system for the electrocoalescence of microfluidic droplets immersed in an immiscible solvent, where the undeformed droplet diameters are comparable to the channel diameter. The electrodes are not in direct contact with the carrier liquid or the droplets, thereby minimizing the risk of cross-contamination between different coalescence events. Results are presented for the coalescence of buffered aqueous droplets in both quiescent and flowing fluorocarbon streams, and on-flight coalescence is demonstrated. The capillary-based system presented here is readily amenable to further miniaturization to any lab-on-a-chip application where the conductivity of the droplets is much greater than the conductivity of the stream containing them, and should aid in the further application of droplet microreactors to biological analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3706-3715
Number of pages10
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005


  • Coalescence
  • Contamination
  • Droplet

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