The subject of fluid dynamics of microfluidic devices such as instability, droplet formation, and control has gained considerable momentum in recently years. This is due partially to the fact that modern developments in the design and utilization of microfluidic devices for fluid transport have found many applications such as drug design and diagnostic devices in biomedicine and microdrop generators for image printing. Furthermore, the new development of nonlinear dynamics of droplets has created a new paradigm of scaling and instability theory that opened a new approach to this classic phenomenon. The utility of a microfluidic device is linked directly to its ability to control microdroplets in precision and speed for desired functionalities. An example of such a device is Kodak’s Continuous Inkjet System, which is capable of stimulating drop breakup of jets of complex fluids with unprecedented precision, speed, and selectivity. We will utilize such a microfluidic device to discuss some of the fluid dynamics topics in microfluidic devices, and to illustrate that the fluid dynamic behavior of such a device is not only influenced by the device architecture, but also by the fluidic properties and by the way the fluid is energized to induce the drop formation and movement. The topics will include a discussion of fluid properties relative to jet modulation, wavelength dependencies, thermal modulation schemes, satellite drop formation, and aerodynamic effects.

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