Sharp corners are an inherent component of most planar microfluidic systems, and thus their influence on flow within the microchannel is of significant interest. Here, we demonstrate that in electrokinetically driven devices, the presence of a sharp corner may result in localized vortices due to nonlinear induced-charge electro-osmosis (ICEO) and/or electrothermal forces. Application of an alternating-current electric field enables quantification of the nonlinear ICEO ejection-flow effect by isolating it from linear electro-osmotic background flow which is present under dc forcing. The hydrodynamic flow in the vicinity of a sharp channel corner is analyzed using experimental micro-particle-image-velocimetry and numerical simulations for different buffer concentrations, frequencies, and applied voltages. Divergence from the purely ICEO flow with increasing buffer conductivity is shown to be a result of increasing electrothermal effects due to Joule heating.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)