Capillary electrophoresis (CE) has been a powerful separation technique in biology and biochemistry. This technique has been implemented into microfluidic devices, i.e. CE chips, using microfabrication techniques. Based upon high electric fields, samples can be separated and detected quickly. This study aimed to design arrayed-electrodes to generate a moving electric field for DNA separation in CE chips and simulate the electrode dimension effects in the uniformity and distribution of the electric field. Additional alternating electrode pairs can further reduce the required driving voltage by orders of magnitude but yet generate the necessary electric field to separate the samples. Finite element analysis was used to simulate the electric field characteristics of the CE chips with different types of arrayed electrodes. The arrayed electrode styles studied were single-side electrodes, double-banked electrodes, and combined electrodes. The characteristics of various electrode dimensions and intervals in the electric field were analyzed. Double-banked electrodes generate a more uniform electric field inside the channel than the single-side electrode design. Combined electrodes use a single-side electrode layout but provide better uniformity and higher electric field strength than a single-side electrode layout in certain high channels. This work has demonstrated techniques for simulating the electric field characteristics of different arrayed-electrode layouts inside different high channels for using and designing moving electric field driven CE chips.
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