Design of interactively time-pulsed microfluidic mixers in microchips using numerical simulation

Lung Ming Fu, Chien Hsiung Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we propose a novel technique in which driving voltages are applied interactively to the respective inlet fluid flows of three configurations of a microfluidic device, namely T-shaped, double-T-shaped, and double-cross-shaped configurations, to induce electroosmotic flow (EOF) velocity variations in such a way as to develop a rapid mixing effect in the microchannel. In these configurations a microfluidic mixer apply only one electrokinetic driving force, which drives the sample fluids and simultaneously produces a periodic switching frequency. It requires no other external driving force to induce perturbations to the flow field. The effects of the main applied electric field, the interactive frequency, and the pullback electric field on the mixing performance are thoroughly examined numerically. The optimal interactive frequency range for a given set of micromixer parameters is identified for each type of control mode. The numerical results confirm that micromixers operating at an optimal interactive frequency are capable of delivering a significantly enhanced mixing performance. Furthermore, it is shown that the optimal interactive frequency depends upon the magnitude of the main applied electric field. The interactively pulsed mixers developed in this study have a strong potential for use in lab-on-a-chip systems. They involve a simpler fabrication process than either passive or active on-chip mixers and require less human intervention in operation than their bulky external counterparts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-429
Number of pages10
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics, Part 1: Regular Papers and Short Notes and Review Papers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jan 10

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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