College of Science & Engineering
This group studies two-phase microscale fluid flows. They use microfluidic channels to study bubble/droplet generation, deformation, breakup, and coalescence in multiphase systems. MSI resources are used for two applications: to support optimization of the geometric design of the experimental channels, and to study, using computational simulations, flows that cannot be readily achieved experimentally.
First, to make these platforms, the researchers need to design a number of microfluidic devices to capture the bubbles/droplets of interest. Because there are varieties of design parameters available, they use computational fluid dynamics to narrow the design criteria and optimize the design prior to fabrication of the devise. Software like COMSOL Multiphysics and ANSYS Fluent is essential for this propose. Second, the use numerical simulation to study microfluidic flow to supplement their experiments, to understand dynamics under idealized conditions, such as no channel wall surface roughness. COMSOL Multiphysics has extraordinary advantages in terms of the interface among different physics modules and there are many methods to choose from depending on the research interest.