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Numerical analysis of field-modulated electroosmotic flows in microchannels with arbitrary numbers and configurations of discrete electrodes.

Authors
  • Chao, Kan
  • Chen, Bo
  • Wu, Jiankang
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biomedical Microdevices
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2010
Volume
12
Issue
6
Pages
959–966
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10544-010-9450-1
PMID: 20668948
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The formation of an electric double layer and electroosmosis are important theoretic foundations associated with microfluidic systems. Field-modulated electroosmotic flows in microchannels can be obtained by applying modulating electric fields in a direction perpendicular to a channel wall. This paper presents a systematic numerical analysis of modulated electroosmotic flows in a microchannel with discrete electrodes on the basis of the Poisson equation of electric fields in a liquid-solid coupled domain, the Navier-Stokes equation of liquid flow, and the Nernst-Planck equation of ion transport. These equations are nonlinearly coupled and are simultaneously solved numerically for the electroosmotic flow velocity, electric potential, and ion concentrations in the microchannel. A number of numerical examples of modulated electroosmotic flows in microchannels with discrete electrodes are presented, including single electrodes, symmetric/asymmetric double electrodes, and triple electrodes. Numerical results indicate that chaotic circulation flows, micro-vortices, and effective fluid mixing can be realized in microchannels by applying modulating electric fields with various electrode configurations. The interaction of a modulating field with an applied field along the channel is also discussed.

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