2001 Volume 17 Issue 1 Pages 89-93
We utilized microchip technology and found that the multilayer flow of liquids can be formed in microchannels. Liquid/liquid interfaces were formed parallel to the side wall of the microchannels, because the surface tension and friction force are stronger than the force of gravity. A water/ethylacetate/water interface was formed in a 70-µm-wide and 30-µm-deep channel. The interface was observed to be quite stable and to be maintained for a distance of more than 18 cm. As an example of a multilayer flow application, we demonstrated the liquid/liquid extraction of Co-dimethylaminophenol complex in a microchannel. The solvent-extraction process of the complex into m-xylene in the multilayer flow was found to reach equilibrium in 4 s, while it took 60 s in a simple two-phase extraction.