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Electroosmotic Micromixer

Application ID: 485

Microlaboratories for biochemical applications often require rapid mixing of different fluid streams. At the microscale, flow is usually highly ordered laminar flow, and the lack of turbulence makes diffusion the primary mechanism for mixing.

While diffusional mixing of small molecules (and therefore of rapidly diffusing species) can occur in a matter of seconds over distances of tens of micrometers, mixing of larger molecules such as peptides, proteins, and high molecular-weight nucleic acids can require equilibration times from minutes to hours over comparable distances. Such delays are impractically long for many chemical analyses. These problems have led to an intense search for more efficient mixers for microfluidic systems.

This model takes advantage of electroosmosis to mix fluids. The system applies a time-dependent electric field, and the resulting electroosmosis perturbs the parallel streamlines in the otherwise highly ordered laminar flow.

This model is included as an example in the following products:

Microfluidics Module

The combination of COMSOL® products required to model your application depends on several factors and may include boundary conditions, material properties, physics interfaces, and part libraries. Particular functionality may be common to several products. To determine the right combination of products for your modeling needs, review the Specification Chart and make use of a free evaluation license. The COMSOL Sales and Support teams are available for answering any questions you may have regarding this.