, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp 589-599
Date: 22 Aug 2007

Chaotic mixing using periodic and aperiodic sequences of mixing protocols in a micromixer

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Abstract

We conducted a numerical study on mixing in a barrier embedded micromixer with an emphasis on the effect of periodic and aperiodic sequences of mixing protocols on mixing performance. A mapping method was employed to investigate mixing in various sequences, enabling us to qualitatively observe the progress of mixing and also to quantify both the rate and the final state of mixing. First, we introduce the design concept of the four mixing protocols and the route to achieve chaotic mixing of the mixer. Then, several periodic sequences consisting of the four mixing protocols are used to investigate the mixing performance depending on the sequence. Chaotic mixing was observed, but with different mixing rates and different final mixing states significantly influenced by the specific sequence of mixing protocols and inertia. As for the effect of inertia, the higher the Reynolds number the larger the rotational motion of the fluid leading to faster mixing. We found that a sequence showing the best mixing performance at a certain Reynolds number is not always superior to other sequences in a different Reynolds number regime. A properly chosen aperiodic sequence results in faster and more uniform mixing than periodic sequences.