In microfluidics, flows are laminar due to low Reynolds number (<1). Consequently, mixing between two liquids is mainly obtained by natural diffusion which may take a long time or equivalently requires centimetre length channels. However, it is possible to generate chaotic-like flows either by modifying the channel geometry or by creating an external perturbation of the flow. In this paper, an active micromixer is presented consisting on thermal actuation with heating resistors. In order to disturb the liquid flow, an oscillating transverse flow is generated by heating the liquid. Depending on the value of boiling point, either bubble expansion or volumetric dilatation controlled the transverse flow amplitude. The configuration is identical to the one of Dodge et al. , but the transversal oscillating flow is created by thermal actuation instead of pneumatic ones. A chaotic like mixing is then induced under particular conditions depending on volume expansion, liquid velocity, frequency of actuation… This solution presents the advantage to achieve mixing in a very short time (1 s) and along a short channel distance (channel width). It can also be integrated in a more complex device due to actuator integration with microfluidics.
A Thermally-Driven Micromixer Based on Fluid Volume Variation
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Franc¸ais, O, Jullien, MC, Rousseau, L, Poulichet, P, Desportes, S, Lefevre, JP, Chouai, A, & Delaire, J. "A Thermally-Driven Micromixer Based on Fluid Volume Variation." Proceedings of the ASME 8th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis. Volume 2: Automotive Systems, Bioengineering and Biomedical Technology, Fluids Engineering, Maintenance Engineering and Non-Destructive Evaluation, and Nanotechnology. Torino, Italy. July 4–7, 2006. pp. 685-692. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ESDA2006-95276
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