Removal of particles from the surface of a droplet

N. Aubry, Pushpendra Singh, S. Nudurupati, M. Janjua

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We present a technique to concentrate particles on the surface of a drop, separate different types of particles, and remove them from the drop by subjecting the drop to a uniform electric field. The particles are moved under the action of the dielectrophoretic force which arises due to the non-uniformity of the electric field on the surface of the drop. Experiments show that depending on the dielectric constants of the fluids and the particles, particles aggregate either near the poles or near the equator of the drop. When particles aggregate near the poles and the dielectric constant of the drop is greater than that of the ambient fluid, the drop deformation is larger than that of a clean drop. In this case, under a sufficiently strong electric field the drop develops conical ends and particles concentrated at the poles eject out by a tip streaming mechanism, thus leaving the drop free of particles. On the other hand, when particles aggregate near the equator, it is shown that the drop can be broken into three major droplets, with the middle droplet carrying all particles and the two larger sized droplets on the sides being free of particles. The method also allows us to separate particles for which the sign of the Clausius-Mossotti factor is different, making particles of one type aggregate at the poles and of the second type aggregate at the equator. The former are removed from the drop by increasing the electric field strength, leaving only the latter inside the drop.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2008 Proceedings of the ASME Fluids Engineering Division Summer Conference, FEDSM 2008
Number of pages10
EditionPART B
StatePublished - Sep 21 2009
Event2008 ASME Fluids Engineering Division Summer Conference, FEDSM 2008 - Jacksonville, FL, United States
Duration: Aug 10 2008Aug 14 2008


Other2008 ASME Fluids Engineering Division Summer Conference, FEDSM 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityJacksonville, FL

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Mechanical Engineering


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