Optimization of an Active Electrokinetic Micromixer Based on the Number and Arrangement of Microelectrodes


1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Borujerd Branch, Islamic Azad University, Borujerd, Iran

2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 0C3, Canada

3 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ayatollah Ozma Borujerdi, Borujerd, Iran

4 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, 84156-83111, Iran


This paper reports enhancement of mixing process via electroosmotic phenomenon using a microelectrode system, which is structured by aligning a number of electrodes placed on the walls of a mixing chamber integrated within a T-Shape micromixer. A number of electrodes are dispositioned on the inner and outer loops of the annular mixing chamber, and different design patterns based on a variety of arrangements for these electrodes are investigated using numerical methods. The electric potentials on the microelectrodes are time-dependent, and this is found to be a key element for chaotic mixing. Also, it is deduced that due to the impact of the applied AC electric field and the induced surface charge on the fluid particles, a number of vortices are generated in the aqueous solution. These vortices significantly enhance the mixing of the species in the mixing chamber. In order to find an optimum pattern based on electrode dispositioning and the number of electrodes, effects of the geometric configuration of the microelectrodes are analyzed and the mixing effects for different design patterns are investigated via comparing the associated flow structure, concentration transport mechanism, and the mixing performance. Analyzing different designs, an optimum pattern based on the electrode arrangement and the number of electrodes is found to be the case for which the electrodes are placed on the inner and outer loops of the mixing chamber in a cross-like pattern.