Electrophoresis plays an important role in many applications, which, however, has so far been extensively studied in Newtonian fluids only. This work presents the first experimental investigation of particle electrophoresis in viscoelastic polyethylene oxide (PEO) solutions through a microchannel constriction under pure DC electric fields. An oscillatory particle motion is observed in the constriction region, which is distinctly different from the particle behavior in a polymer-free Newtonian fluid. This stream-wise particle oscillation continues until a sufficient number of particles form a chain to pass through the constriction completely. It is speculated that such an unexpected particle oscillating phenomenon is a consequence of the competition between electrokinetic force and viscoelastic force induced in the constriction. The electric field magnitude, particle size, and PEO concentration are all found to positively affect this viscoelasticity-related particle oscillation due to their respective influences on the two forces. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.
Original Publication Citation
Lu, X. Y., Patel, S., Zhang, M., Joo, S. W., Qian, S. Z., Ogale, A., & Xuan, X. C. (2014). An unexpected particle oscillation for electrophoresis in viscoelastic fluids through a microchannel constriction. Biomicrofluidics, 8(2), 021802. doi:10.1063/1.4866853
Lu, Xinyu; Patel, Saurin; Zhang, Meng; Joo, Sang Woo; Qian, Shizhi; Ogale, Amod; and Xuan, Xiangchun, "An Unexpected Particle Oscillation for Electrophoresis in Viscoelastic Fluids Through a Microchannel Constriction" (2014). Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Faculty Publications. 29.