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The Microscale Physicochemical Hydrodynamics Laboratory (µPHYL) is directed by Professor Chuan-Hua Chen and located at Hudson Hall 181 and 183 (parking: PG-IV) at Duke University. Our research deals with experimental and theoretical investigations of small-scale physicochemical hydrodynamics, where transport and interfacial phenomena closely interact with each other. Through manipulation of interfacial tension, e.g. actively using electric fields or passively using surface structures, we are developing innovative solutions for applications ranging from bioanalytical assays to microelectronics cooling (overview figure). For further information about the research at µPHYL, visit the research and publications pages.


Aug 8, 2017

Our work on ballistospore launching has been reported by a few media outlets, including New Scientist [pdf] and Physics World [pdf].

Jul 27, 2017

Our work on the ballistospore launching mechanism is reported in The New York Times in an article entitled "Fungi physics: how those spores launch just right". [pdf]

Jun 30, 2017

Our paper entitled "Asymmetric drop coalescence launches fungal ballistospores with directionality" is in press at Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Congratulations to lab alumni Fangjie and Roger on their joint numerical and experimental work! This paper concludes an arduous journey to unveil the mechanism of ballistospore launching. It has been eight years since an anonymous PRL reviewer pointed us to the analogy between ballistospore launching and droplet jumping, both induced by drop coalescence. [pdf]

Sep 1, 2007 Onward

µPHYL News Archive


Mail: 178 Hudson Hall, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708-0300  |  Tel: 919-660-5343  |  Email: chuanhua.chen@duke.edu

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science | Pratt School of Engineering | Duke University