Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 355–365 | Cite as

3D3C velocimetry measurements of an electrothermal microvortex using wavefront deformation PTV and a single camera

  • Aloke Kumar
  • Christian Cierpka
  • Stuart J. Williams
  • Christian J. Kähler
  • Steven T. Wereley
Research Paper


We study the three-dimensional fluid transport in an electrothermal microvortex (EMV), by using wavefront deformation particle-tracking velocimetry (PTV) developed at Universität der Bundeswehr München. By using a cylindrical lens in conjunction with a microscope objective lens, systematic wavefront deformations in the particle images are created. The particles are observed by a single camera and appear as ellipses. The elliptical nature of the particle images encodes out-of-plane information regarding the particle’s position. This new technique is ideally suited for measuring transport in the EMV and provides full three-dimensional, time-resolved particle trajectories with Lagrangian velocity and acceleration. Measurements reveal the toroidal nature of the EMV and the experimentally obtained velocities are used to validate a simplistic model, which describes the interaction between the applied laser illumination and the microfluidic device. The model allows one to conduct numerical simulations of the complex fluid transport in the EMV.


Vortex Particle Image Velocimetry Particle Image Axial Velocity Tracer Particle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



A. Kumar acknowledges support from the Bilsland Dissertation and the Josephine De Kármán Fellowships. Financial support from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) in frame of the priority program SPP 1147 is gratefully acknowledged by C. Cierpka.

Supplementary material

10404_2010_674_MOESM1_ESM.mpg (4.3 mb)
Supplementary Movie 1: Tracer particles undergo three-dimensional motion. Video is real time. Supplementary material 1 (MPG 4440 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aloke Kumar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christian Cierpka
    • 3
  • Stuart J. Williams
    • 4
  • Christian J. Kähler
    • 3
  • Steven T. Wereley
    • 1
  1. 1.Birck Nanotechnology Center, School of Mechanical EngineeringPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Biosciences DivisionOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA
  3. 3.Institut für Strömungsmechanik und AerodynamikUniversität der Bundeswehr MünchenNeubibergGermany
  4. 4.School of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

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