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A Numerical Case Study of Fluid Mixing in Microchannels: The Electro-Osmotic Driven Micro-Mixer

[+] Author Affiliations
Kai Kang, Rene Chevray

Columbia University, New York, NY

Paper No. ICMM2004-2411, pp. 773-779; 7 pages
  • ASME 2004 2nd International Conference on Microchannels and Minichannels
  • ASME 2nd International Conference on Microchannels and Minichannels
  • Rochester, New York, USA, June 17–19, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4164-2
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


Flow in microchannels is usually slow and the mixing of several fluids is poor if only relying on diffusion. A microchannel mixer with a simple design that is capable of rapid mixing is important for practical applications such as biochemistry analysis. In this study, a general numerical approach to analyze microchannel flow is proposed. The method is based on numerical particle tracking and computer graphics techniques. As a case study, an electro-osmotic driven microchannel mixer is considered with four geometric configurations. The microchannel has a repeated oblique-angled stripe pattern of zeta potential coatings on its floor. The comparison of the particle residence time distributions gives some indication of the mixers’ performances. The efficiency of mixing two flow streams at Péclet numbers 2 × 105 and 2 × 104 is then evaluated using the developed procedure. The results indicate that the stripe length ratio is one of the parameters that can be optimized for better mixing. Of the three stripe length ratios evaluated, the configuration with the stripe length ratio 2.0 is found to be the best. In addition, this case study demonstrates that the developed numerical technique is suitable for expeditious parametric optimization of mixer design.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME
Topics: Fluids , Microchannels



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