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Numerical Simulation of Fluid Flows and Mixing in Microchannels Induced by Internal Electrodes

[+] Author Affiliations
Bettina Wälter, Peter Ehrhard

Dortmund University of Technology, Dortmund, Germany

Paper No. ICNMM2009-82016, pp. 161-169; 9 pages
  • ASME 2009 7th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels
  • ASME 2009 7th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels and Minichannels
  • Pohang, South Korea, June 22–24, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4349-9 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3850-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


We investigate the influence of internal electrodes onto the flow field, governed by electroosmosis and electrophoresis in a modular rectangular microchannel. As internal electrodes can be positioned at lower distances, they can be operated at lower voltages and still ensure strong electrical field strength. Even at lower voltages, electrode reactions influence the species concentration fields, and the crucial question arises, whether at the electrodes all species can be kept in dissolution or whether some species are released in gaseous form. The position and charge of multiple internal electrodes is a further focus of our investigations: wall-tangential electrical field components are responsible for pumping, wall-normal electrical field components are responsible for mixing. Hence, an optimized position and charge of all electrodes will lead to an optimized electrical field, designed to fulfill the desired tasks of the modular microchannel. The mathematical model for the numerical treatment relies on a first-principle description of the EDL and the electrical forces caused by the electrical field between the internal electrodes. Hence, the so-called Debye-Hückel approximation is avoided. The governing system of equations consists of a Poisson equation for the electrical potential, the continuity and Navier-Stokes equations for the flow field, species transport equations, based on the Nernst-Planck equation, and a charge transport equation. Further, a model for the electrode reactions, based on the Butler-Volmer equation, is in place. The simulations are time-dependent and two-dimensional in nature and employ a FVM.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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