Electrohydrodynamic linear stability of two immiscible fluids in channel flow

Electrochimica Acta 04/2006; 51206585(85). DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2006.02.002

ABSTRACT The electrohydrodynamic instability of the interface between two viscous fluids with different electrical properties in plane Poiseuille flow has recently found applications in mixing and droplet formation in microfluidic devices. In this paper, we perform the stability analysis in the case where the fluids are assumed to be leaky dielectrics. The two-layer system is subjected to an electric field normal to the interface between the two fluids. We make no assumption on the magnitude of the ratio of fluid to electric time scales, and thus solve the full conservation equation for the interfacial charge. The electric field is found to be either stabilizing or destabilizing, and the influence of the various parameters of the problem on the interface stability is thoroughly analyzed.

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