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Nonlinear Dynamics of Electrokinetic Instabilities

[+] Author Affiliations
Jonathan D. Posner, Juan G. Santiago

Stanford University

Paper No. IMECE2005-79845, pp. 209-212; 4 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Fluids Engineering
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4219-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Electrokinetic instabilities are generated by a coupling of electric fields and ionic conductivity gradients. This coupling results in an electric body force in the bulk liquid that can generate temporal, convective, and absolute flow instabilities. In this work, we perform a parametric experimental study of convective instabilities in cross-shaped microchannels using epifluorescence microscopy and high speed digital imaging. We report temporal power spectra and spatiotemporal maps as a function of the applied field. The spectral analyses reveal that disturbances induced by electrokinetic instability are purely sinuous at the onset of instability and exhibit higher-order harmonics, frequency bifurcations, and continuous power spectra with increasing electric Rayleigh number. Electrokinetic instabilities (EKI) in cross-shaped channels are relevant to injections for field amplified sample stacking, electrokinetic flows at the intersections in multi-dimensional assay devices, and systems with indeterminate sample chemistry.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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