Biomedical Microdevices

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 959–966 | Cite as

Numerical analysis of field-modulated electroosmotic flows in microchannels with arbitrary numbers and configurations of discrete electrodes

Article

Abstract

The formation of an electric double layer and electroosmosis are important theoretic foundations associated with microfluidic systems. Field-modulated electroosmotic flows in microchannels can be obtained by applying modulating electric fields in a direction perpendicular to a channel wall. This paper presents a systematic numerical analysis of modulated electroosmotic flows in a microchannel with discrete electrodes on the basis of the Poisson equation of electric fields in a liquid–solid coupled domain, the Navier–Stokes equation of liquid flow, and the Nernst-Planck equation of ion transport. These equations are nonlinearly coupled and are simultaneously solved numerically for the electroosmotic flow velocity, electric potential, and ion concentrations in the microchannel. A number of numerical examples of modulated electroosmotic flows in microchannels with discrete electrodes are presented, including single electrodes, symmetric/asymmetric double electrodes, and triple electrodes. Numerical results indicate that chaotic circulation flows, micro-vortices, and effective fluid mixing can be realized in microchannels by applying modulating electric fields with various electrode configurations. The interaction of a modulating field with an applied field along the channel is also discussed.

Keywords

Electric double layer Modulated electroosmotic flow Microchannel Micro-vortices Fluid mixing 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mechanics Department of HuazhongUniversity of Science & Technology, Wuhan National Laboratory for OptoelectronicsWuhanChina

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