Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 17: A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-G) has developed a novel method of controlling the lifetime of droplets containing suspended nanoparticles.

This has extensive range of engineering applications such as biological sample diagnostics, ink-jet printing and surface patterning, said a statement issued today by IIT-G.

The suspended nanoparticles are magnetically active, thereby enabling the flexibility of being under control in a magnetic forcing environment. The research was carried out by Dr Pranab Kumar Mondal, Assistant Professor in IIT-G’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and his PhD scholar Sudip Shyam, in collaboration with Dr Balkrishna Mehta of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Bhilai, for exploring the species transport between droplets.

With the advent of miniaturisation, effective transfer of mass between species has attracted significant attention of global communities because of its wide range of industrial applicability.

In particular, rapid evaporation and mixing between droplets has an extensive range of engineering applications.

The research revealed that the mixing between two droplets can be attenuated significantly under the actuation of the magnetic field.

This novel method showed a significant enhancement of around 80 per cent in the overall mixing time between the droplets in comparison to the case where no external force is applied.

The research outcomes could be potentially beneficial in the area of biomedical diagnostics, whereby rapid and efficient mixing between fluids is of utmost importance.

In addition to that, the research also revealed that the magnetic field can be successfully used in altering the lifetime of a droplet containing suspended magnetic nanoparticles. The research has shown that the evaporation rate of the droplet can be successfully controlled by varying the applied magnetic field frequency.

The IIT-G statement further said that the inferences drawn from this study could have far-reaching implications ranging from biomedical engineering to surface patterning.

The result of the research work was recently published in Soft Matter, a journal belonging to the prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry.