(212a) Remotely Powered Microfluidic Pumps And Mixers Based On Miniature Diodes | AIChE

(212a) Remotely Powered Microfluidic Pumps And Mixers Based On Miniature Diodes


Petsev, D. N. - Presenter, University of New Mexico
Chang, S. T. - Presenter, Sandia National Laboratories
Velev, O. D. - Presenter, North Carolina State University

The precise control of fluid transport in microchannels is of paramount importance for the successful design and operation of fluidic devices. We have recently demonstrated1 that using miniature diodes embedded in the walls of fluidic microchannels in combination with AC field is a very simple and convenient tool to manipulate the flows in microchannels. Our focus is on two particular problems briefly described below

Mixing. Due to the low Reynolds number of microflows, mixing of components is a real challenge. Due to the laminar character of the flow different solution tend to flow side by side and the only way for solutes to cross the streamlines is by diffusion. Using properly (anti-parallel) oriented diodes, placed alongside the channel walls, allows generating a vortex fluid motion by simply turning on a properly connected Alternate Current (AC) field source as shown in Figure 1.

Such vortex dramatically improves the mixing in the microfluidic device. Another advantage of this approach is that such diode mixer can easily be turned on and off through the AC field power source.

Separation. Using parallel oriented diodes and a combination of AC and Direct Current (DC) fields in a loop-shaped channel allows complete decoupling of the fluid electroosmosis from the analyte electrophoresis (Figure 2).

Balancing the electrophoretic and convective forces on the different analytes allows for a very easy and efficient separation in the lower part of the loop in the picture. The parallel oriented pair of diodes, powered by the applied AC field, acts as a miniature pump and drives the fluid in a circulatory motion in the closed loop. Any charged analytes, however, will not migrate in the AC field. Applying DC field to the fluidic device will not drive the fluid motion because this particular design (closed symmetric loop) cancels the electroosmotic driving force. Hence, combining the two fields (AC and DC) allows decoupling of the fluid flow from the particle electrophoretic migration. The electrophoretic migration of the charged analytes will be directed towards one of the electrodes (e.g., left to right ? see Figure 2), while the fluid will circulated pumped by the diodes. Therefore, in the lower part of the loop the analyte electrophoresis and fluid flow will be in opposite directions. Independently controlling the AC and DC field magnitudes allows separating species by effectively driving them in opposite directions.

1. S. T. Chang, V. N. Paunov, D. N. Petsev and O. D. Velev, "Self-Propelling Microdevices and Microfluidic Pumps Based on Remoutely Powered Miniature Semiconductor Diodes, Nature Materials, 6 (2007) p. 235.