Disorder and transport


Iteration of simple building rules and feedbacks are key features of self-organization. Besides these equilibrium processes, disorder is another specificity found in “soft matter” systems. Out of equilibrium patterns can emerge from a variety of physical mechanisms that include non-linear couplings between transport and structure, time delayed feedbacks and iteration of simple building rules.

Transport of two-phase fluids in microfluidics devices

Contacts : Pascal Panizza, Laurent Courbin

Flows of deformable objects in microfluidics networks or porous media are ubiquitous in nature as well as in industry. Illustrative examples include blood circulation, flows of foams and emulsions through porous rocks for enhanced oil recovery and transport of droplets used in digital microfluidics applications. Because of time-delayed feedbacks resulting from non-linear couplings between the flow and the structure of these fluids, these systems exhibit complex dynamics, also observed in traffic flows and in cellular automata [1]. We study the complex dynamics of droplet traffic, the nonlinear cooperative droplet break-ups [2] resulting from object-to-object hydrodynamic interaction in confined ducts and the emergence of commensurability-driven structural defects in double emulsions produced with microfluidics [3].


  1. D. A. Sessoms, A. Amon, L. Courbin, et P. Panizza, Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 154501 (2010), Complex dynamics of droplet trafic at a bifurcating path: Periodicity, multistability, and selection rules.
  2. A. Schmit, L. Salkin, L. Courbin, et P. Panizza, Soft Matter 11, 2454 (2015), Cooperative breakups induced by drop-to-drop interactions in one-dimensional flows of drops against micro-obstacles.
  3. A. Schmit, L. Salkin, L. Courbin, et P. Panizza, Soft Matter 10, 4743 (2014),Commensurability-driven structural defects in double emulsions produced with two-step microfluidic techniques.