Microfluidic ice nucleation study of Snomax

I designed, fabricated and tested microfluidic devices, thin-film platinum sensors and custom PCBs for high-throughput, contactless droplet generation and freezing study of ice nucleating particles. While designing the devices, I considered designs from literature survey, factors affecting the resolution of the photolithography process, as well as accuracy and operational variability of the injection pumps. I selected optimized designs with the aid of CFD and heat transfer analysis while considering ease of fabrication, usability and device reliability.

I conducted experiments on the model ice nucleating particle Snomax (a bacteria-derived product used in ski slopes to make snow). I benchmarked my system against literature data and performed tests to modify the ice nucleation behavior by aging or heat-treating the samples. I also investigated the molecular behavior of Snomax by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).


  • Roy P., House M. & Dutcher C.; Multi-pronged approach for high throughput detection of ice nucleation in a microfluidic device. Micromachines, In preparation.

  • Roy P. & Dutcher C.; Droplet microfluidics for phase transitions as functions of temperature and relative humidity. 72nd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, November 22-24, 2020, Virtual Conference. Virtual presentation.

  • Roy P. & Dutcher C.; Temperature dependent phase separation and ice nucleation studies of model aerosols using droplet microfluidics. American Association for Aerosol Research 38th Annual Conference, October 5-9, 2020, Virtual Conference. Virtual presentation.