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ERIC Number: EJ923687
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Visualizing Chemical Phenomena in Microdroplets
Lee, Sunghee; Wiener, Joseph
Journal of Chemical Education, v88 n2 p151-157 Feb 2011
Phenomena that occur in microdroplets are described to the undergraduate chemistry community. Droplets having a diameter in the micrometer range can have unique and interesting properties, which arise because of their small size and, especially, their high surface area-to-volume ratio. Students are generally unfamiliar with the characteristics of small droplets. However, with the increasing importance of miniaturization in chemistry and biochemistry, especially in the burgeoning field of microdroplet microfluidics, it would be beneficial for students to become aware of some of the features that differentiate chemistry on a small scale. To better acquaint students with these features, microdroplet systems that model microfluidics in a "stop-action" manner are described. Using a micropipet manipulation technique combined with video microscopy, chemical reactions and physical phenomena that occur in one or more individual water droplets surrounded by an immiscible liquid are shown. Real-time visualizations of the unfolding chemical phenomena at the single, isolated droplet level are provided. The outcomes of various types of physical and chemical phenomena, including redox reactions, precipitation reaction, interfacial extraction of metals, solubility of water in oils, and crystallization are illustrated. Each system is understood as a dramatic exploitation of the small size of microdroplets having a large surface area-to-volume ratio. (Contains 11 figures and 1 table.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A