Microfluidic Devices for the Study of Ice Nucleating Particles

We are developing microfluidic devices for the measurement of atmospheric ice nucleating particle (INP) concentrations towards extraordinarily high throughput and statistical rigour using monodisperse droplets.

Immersion mode ice nucleation studies comprise techniques involving the freezing of supercooled droplets containing INPs in order to identify, characterise and quantify INPs. However, cold stage techniques are typically limited to tens to hundreds of droplets, while ideally a much greater number of droplets should be analysed to ensure statistically useful data. It has previously been shown that microfluidic devices can be employed for ice nucleation studies thanks to the ability to generate very monodisperse water-in-oil droplets at high production rates [1,2]. Here, we are developing microfluidic devices for the generation of droplets with controlled sizes at rates of >1000 s-1 towards atmospheric INP field studies with high statistical rigour (Fig. 1a).

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