ADVANCED BIOCHEMICAL REACTORS – DROPLETS OF LEVITATING CLUSTERS

Alexander A. Fedorets

Leonid A. Dombrovsky


Droplet clusters levitating above a locally heated water surface were discovered by Alexander Fedorets 20 years ago. Experimental and theoretical study of this fascinating phenomenon continued for many years and was marked by a number of interesting scientific results, some of which can be found in several articles of the same branch of Thermopedia and also in key journal papers given in the list of references. All experiments were carried out at the University of Tyumen (Russia), whereas physical and computational modeling was made in collaboration with our colleagues and co-authors from the USA and Israel. The results obtained were widely published in leading international journals and summarized in a monograph “Levitating Droplet Clusters” (Begell House, 2023).

Our research group has developed a method for generating equilibrium clusters of several nearly identical droplets of a given composition, size, and temperature. This allows the droplets to be used as micron-sized reactors for promising biochemical studies. The use of microdroplets is very promising because the effect of strong acceleration of organic reactions in thin films and small droplets is known. In addition, it is very convenient to use a laboratory setup including modern spectral-optical diagnostics and computer data processing to control reactions in stable droplets containing a semitransparent aqueous solution.

A schematic of the working volume used to generate clusters of levitating droplets is shown below. A flexible printing by a dispenser (1) is used to supply initial droplets into a volume above a water layer (2) heated by a laser beam (3). External infrared irradiation (4) is necessary to suppress the excessive condensational growth of droplets.

We believe that with the current state of the art, it has become feasible to develop a series of laboratory systems that can be used in universities and research centers to perform unique studies of chemical and microbiological processes in individual microdroplets.

Read more about this research on Thermopedia:
DIVERSITY OF LEVITATING DROPLET CLUSTERS
DROPLET CLUSTERS LEVITATING OVER THE HEATED WATER SURFACE
INFRARED STABILIZATION OF DROPLET CLUSTERS
SELF-STABILIZATION OF DROPLET CLUSTERS
OPTICAL MEASUREMENTS OF THE LEVITATION HEIGHT OF DROPLET CLUSTERS


REFERENCES

Dombrovsky, L.A., Fedorets, A.A., Medvedev, D.N. (2016) The Use of Infrared Irradiation to Stabilize Levitating Clusters of Water Droplets, Infrared Phys. Techn., 75: 124–132.

Fedorets, A.A., Frenkel, M., Shulzinger, E., Dombrovsky, L.A., Bormashenko, E., Nosonovsky, M. (2017) Self-Assembled Levitating Clusters of Water Droplets: Pattern-Formation and Stability, Sci. Reports, 7: 1888.

Fedorets, A.A., Bormashenko, E., Dombrovsky, L.A., Nosonovsky, M. (2019) Droplet Clusters: Nature-Inspired Biological Reactors and Aerosols, Philos. Trans. Royal Soc. A, 377: 20190121.

Dombrovsky, L.A., Fedorets, A.A., Levashov, V.Yu., Kryukov, A.P., Bormashenko, E., Nosonovsky M. (2020) Stable Cluster of Identical Water Droplets Formed Under the Infrared Irradiation: Experimental Study and Theoretical Modeling, Int. J. Heat Mass Transf., 161: 120255.

Fedorets, A.A., Dombrovsky, L.A., Gabyshev, D.N., Bormashenko, E., Nosonovsky, M. (2020) Effect of External Electric Field on Dynamics of Levitating Water Droplets, Int. J. Therm. Sci., 153: 106375.

Fedorets, A.A., Shcherbakov, D.V., Levashov, V.Yu., Dombrovsky, L.A. (2022) Self-Stabilization of Droplet Clusters Levitating over Heated Salt Water, Int. J. Thermal Sci., 182: 107822.

Fedorets, A.A., Dombrovsky, L.A. (2023) Levitating Droplet Clusters: From the Discovery to Potential Applications, Academia Engineering, 1: 1–6.

Verweise

  1. Dombrovsky, L.A., Fedorets, A.A., Medvedev, D.N. (2016) The Use of Infrared Irradiation to Stabilize Levitating Clusters of Water Droplets, Infrared Phys. Techn., 75: 124–132.
  2. Fedorets, A.A., Frenkel, M., Shulzinger, E., Dombrovsky, L.A., Bormashenko, E., Nosonovsky, M. (2017) Self-Assembled Levitating Clusters of Water Droplets: Pattern-Formation and Stability, Sci. Reports, 7: 1888.
  3. Fedorets, A.A., Bormashenko, E., Dombrovsky, L.A., Nosonovsky, M. (2019) Droplet Clusters: Nature-Inspired Biological Reactors and Aerosols, Philos. Trans. Royal Soc. A, 377: 20190121.
  4. Dombrovsky, L.A., Fedorets, A.A., Levashov, V.Yu., Kryukov, A.P., Bormashenko, E., Nosonovsky M. (2020) Stable Cluster of Identical Water Droplets Formed Under the Infrared Irradiation: Experimental Study and Theoretical Modeling, Int. J. Heat Mass Transf., 161: 120255.
  5. Fedorets, A.A., Dombrovsky, L.A., Gabyshev, D.N., Bormashenko, E., Nosonovsky, M. (2020) Effect of External Electric Field on Dynamics of Levitating Water Droplets, Int. J. Therm. Sci., 153: 106375.
  6. Fedorets, A.A., Shcherbakov, D.V., Levashov, V.Yu., Dombrovsky, L.A. (2022) Self-Stabilization of Droplet Clusters Levitating over Heated Salt Water, Int. J. Thermal Sci., 182: 107822.
  7. Fedorets, A.A., Dombrovsky, L.A. (2023) Levitating Droplet Clusters: From the Discovery to Potential Applications, Academia Engineering, 1: 1–6.
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