Inertial microfluidics with multi-particle collision dynamics
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- Prohm, C., Gierlak, M. & Stark, H. Eur. Phys. J. E (2012) 35: 80. doi:10.1140/epje/i2012-12080-3
Using the method of multi-particle collision dynamics (MPCD), we investigate inertial focussing in microfluidic channels that gives rise to the Segré-Silberberg effect. At intermediate Reynolds numbers, we model the motion of a spherical colloid in a circular microchannel under pressure-driven flow. We determine the radial distribution function and show how its width and the location of its maximum are strongly influenced by the colloid size and the Reynolds number of the Poiseuille flow. We demonstrate that MPCD is well suited for calculating mean values for the lift force acting on the colloid in the cross-sectional plane and for its mean axial velocity. We introduce a Langevin equation for the cross-sectional motion whose steady state is the Boltzmann distribution that contains the integrated lift force as potential energy. It perfectly coincides with the simulated radial distribution function.