Packing of emulsion droplets: Structural and functional motifs for multi-cored microcapsules

Shin Hyun Kim, Hyerim Hwang, Che Ho Lim, Jae Won Shim, Seung Man Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Advances in microfl uidic emulsification have enabled the creation of multiphase emulsion drops, which have emerged as promising templates for producing functional microcapsules. However, most previous microencapsulation methods have limitations in terms of capsule stability, functionality, and simplicity of fabrication procedures. Here, we report a simple single-step encapsulation technique that uses an optofl uidic platform to efficiently and precisely encapsulate a specific number of emulsion droplets in photocurable shell droplets. In particular, we show, for the first time, that densely confined core droplets within an oily shell droplet rearrange into a unique configuration that minimizes the interfacial energy, as confirmed here from theory. These structures are then consolidated into multi-cored microcapsules with structural and mechanical stability through in situ photopolymerization of the shell in a continuous mode, which are capable of isolating active materials and releasing them in a controlled manner using well-defined nanohole arrays or nanoscopic silver architectures on thin membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1608-1615
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number9
StatePublished - 10 May 2011


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