Effect of electric field non-uniformity on droplets coalescence

Shirui Luo, Jarrod Schiffbauer, Tengfei Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electric field assisted coalescence is one of the most efficient methods for water-in-oil emulsion separation. In this paper, we experimentally study water droplet evolution in an oil phase under different electric field configurations. We determine that non-uniform fields can enhance the performance of electrocoalescence compared to uniform fields. The analysis indicates that the enhanced coalescence is due to the combined effects of dipole-dipole interaction between droplets and dielectrophoresis between individual droplets and the applied non-uniform field. The present study shows that a non-uniform electric field and the induced dielectrophoretic effect can accelerate the coalescence and phase separation of micro-emulsions. These results may provide useful guidance in designing an optimum electrode configuration for efficient electrocoalescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29786-29796
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number43
StatePublished - Nov 21 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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