Breakup of thin films of micro-magnetic drops in perpendicular fields

Ching-Yao Chen*, L. W. Lo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


New modes of striking drop breakup instabilities of a thin film of micro-magnetic drops are experimentally observed under a constant perpendicular field. These modes are shown to depend strongly on the initial sizes of drops. Three modes of well-ordered breakup instability patterns are recorded for drop sizes ranging from diameter d = 400 to 1400 μm. Mode I instability (d ≤ 400 μ m) shows a fully evolved central droplet associated with numerous incompletely developed droplets in a formation of evenly distributed waves at a separated outer fluid annulus. These waves at the outer annulus are further destabilized and fully evolve into Mode II instability (500 μ m ≤ d ≤ 1000 μ m) which forms an additional outer circular array of droplets. A more vigorous Mode III instability with an additional array of droplets in the middle region and smaller secondary droplets in the outer array is observed for an even bigger initial drop size (1100 μ m ≤ d ≤ 1400 μ m). For drop sizes d ≥ 1500 μ m, a more complex Mode IV instability is recorded, which shows disorderly arrangements of numerous droplets in the middle region and derivative droplets at the outer array. Contrast to the first three modes of instabilities with the numbers of breakup droplets remaining almost constant before evolving into the next state, Mode IV instability has the number of breakup droplets increasing gradually.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-447
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2006


  • Droplet breakup
  • Interfacial instability
  • Magnetic fluids

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