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Electrokinetic Assisted Mixing in a Microchannel with Lateral Electrodes

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Mixing of fluids in microchannels is challenging due to the inherent laminar nature of the fluid flows. This work presents numerical investigations of an active micromixer with an array of lateral electrode pattern along the microchannel. The proposed micromixer is simulated using a numerical model that solves the coupled flow, electric field and diffusion equations with appropriate boundary conditions. The geometry of the micromixer is illustrated and the numerical model is described. The simulation model is validated by comparing the model predictions with experimental results. The performance of the active micromixer is compared with that of an equivalent passive micromixer indicating the advantage. An extensive parametric study is carried out to investigate mixing performance of the proposed micromixer with respect to various geometrical and operational parameters. The layout of the electrodes parallel and staggered electrode arrangements are studied and compared. Effects of electric potential, Reynolds number, Peclet number, Zeta potential, electrode arrangements, gap between electrodes, and number electrode pairs on the mixing performance is studied and discussed.

Keywords: Electro-osmotic flow; Electrokinetic; Micro fluidic mixing; Zeta potential; active micromixing; chaotic advection; cross-sectional geometry; dissipative forces; electro-osmotic velocity; microchannel; microscale; mixing; non-zero electric field; perturbs; recirculation zone

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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  • Micro and Nanosystems publish significant original work, topical reviews and guest edited issues ranging from technologies and systems to product innovation and new manufacturing processes with features at the micro and nanoscale. Applications for micro and nanosystems in areas such as health, environmental, food, security and consumer goods will be covered. The topics to be addressed will include Lab-on-a-chip, microfluidics, nano-biotechnology, micro and nanomanufacturing, printed electronics and MEMS.
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