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Microfluidic devices are increasingly utilized in numerous industries, including that of medicine, for their abilities to pump and mix fluid at a microscale. Within these devices, microchannels paired with microelectrodes enable the mixing and transportation of ionized fluid. The ionization process charges the microchannel and manipulates the fluid with an electric field. Although complex in operation at the microscale, microchannels within microfluidic devices are easy to produce and economical. This paper uses simulations to convey helpful insights into the analysis of electrokinetic microfluidic device phenomena. The simulations in this paper use the Navier–Stokes and Poisson Nernst–Planck equations solved using COMSOL to determine the maximum attainable fluid velocity with an electric potential applied to the microchannel and the most suitable frequency or voltage to use for transporting the fluid. Alternating current electroosmosis (ACEO) directs and provides velocity to the ionized fluid. ACEO can also mix the fluid at low frequencies for the purpose of dispersing particles. DC electroosmosis (DCEO) applies voltage along the microchannel to create an electric field that ionizes fluid within the microchannel, making it a cost-effective method for transporting fluid. This paper explores a method for an alternate efficient utilization of microfluidic devices for efficient mixing and transportation of ionized fluid and analyzes the electrokinetic phenomena through simulations using the Navier–Stokes and Poisson Nernst–Planck equations. The results provide insights into the parameters at play for transporting the fluid using alternating current electroosmosis (ACEO) and DC electroosmosis (DCEO).


© 2023 by the authors.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.

Original Publication Citation

Dutta, D., Smith, K., & Palmer, X. (2023). Long-range ACEO phenomena in microfluidic channel. Surfaces, 6(2), 145-163.


0000-0002-1289-5302 (Palmer)