, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 493-505
Date: 12 Feb 2008

Microfluidic mixing via transverse electrokinetic effects in a planar microchannel

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A new micromixer incorporating integrated electrodes deposited on the bottom surface of a glass/PDMS microchannel is used to induce a localized, perpendicular electric field within pressure driven axial flow. The presence of the electric field drives electro-osmotic flow in the transverse direction along the channel walls, creating helical motion that serves to mix the fluid. A numerical model is used to describe the three-dimensional flow field, where characterization is performed via particle tracking of passive tracer particles, and the conditional entropy (S lc) is utilized to approximate the extent of mixing along cross-sectional planes. The geometrical parameters and operating conditions of the numerical model are used to fabricate an experimental device, and fluorescence microscopy measurements are used to verify mixing of rhodamine B across the width of the microchannel for a wide range of fluid flow rates. The results demonstrate that under certain operating conditions and selective placement of the electrode gaps along the width of the microchannel, efficient mixing can be achieved within 6 mm of the inlet.