DC-biased AC-electroosmotic and AC-electrothermal flow mixing in microchannels

Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), 3 Research Link, Singapore 117602.
Lab on a Chip (Impact Factor: 5.75). 04/2009; 9(6):802-9. DOI: 10.1039/b813639d
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This paper presents a novel approach of mixing two laminar flowing streams in microchannels. The mixer consists of a pair of electrodes disposed along a fluidic channel. By energizing the electrodes with a DC-biased (2.5 V) AC voltage (20 Vpp), an electrokinetic flow is induced with a flow profile perpendicular to that of the incoming laminar streams of liquids to be mixed. As a result, the flow lines of the incoming streams and the induced flow are forced to crossover and very efficient stirring and mixing at short mixing length can be achieved. The mixer can be operated from the AC-electroosmotic (ACEO) (sigma=1 mS/m, f=100 kHz) to the AC-electrothermal (ACET) (sigma=500 mS/m, f=500 kHz) flow regimes. The mixing efficiency in the ACEO regime was 92%, with a mixing length of 600 microm (Q=2 microL/min), an estimated mixing time of 69 ms and an induced ACEO flow velocity of approximately 725 microm/s. The mixing efficiency in the ACET regime was 65% for a mixing length of approximately 1200 microm. The mixer is efficient and suitable for mixing reagents in a fluid media from low to high conductivity as required in diverse microfluidic applications.

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