Publication Date

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Bradley M. Stone


computational fluid dynamics, droplets, fusion, microdroplets, microfluidics

Subject Areas



Microfluidics is a rapidly growing topic of interest for scientists, engineers, and medical researchers. The micrometer length scale constrains flow to a laminar behavior, allowing for a more predictable system. High-throughput experimentation is possible with laminar multiphase flow, specifically microdroplets. Manipulating microdroplets by generating, splitting, separating, and fusing provides a versatile environment for analysis in a variety of biological and chemical systems.

The process of design, fabrication, and testing of microfluidic systems is an iterative and tedious procedure. The purpose of this research was to utilize computational fluid dynamics software to expedite the fabrication and design process by simulating time-dependent data as droplets flow through a channel. The two-dimensional segmented flow investigated the effect of droplet generation by inspecting three different nozzle widths combined with four different post nozzle designs. Droplets were successfully generated in all nozzle widths and all post nozzle geometries, but certain nozzle and post nozzle geometries were found to be a more efficient combination. The three-dimensional project analyzes droplet generation and merging in a pillar induced merging chamber. Multiple droplets successfully merged in the three-dimensional analysis.