Effect of Droplet Size in Acrylamide-Based Microgel Formation by Microfluidics


Polymer microgels with sizes of some tens to hundreds of micrometers can be formed with exquisite control by droplet-based microfluidic templating. This study presents a systematic assessment of the effect of the premicrogel droplet size on the ability of production of such microgels. The focus is on two popular acrylamide-derivatives at a fixed monomer concentration and external polymerization temperature. An exponential dependence of the success of droplet gelation on the droplet size is found, which can be rationalized in view of the balance between production and transfer of heat within and from the droplets on basis of a simple Arrhenius argument.
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