In this paper, a passive interdigital micromixer with the circular-sector obstacles is proposed and the mixing performance is estimated by numerical simulation. The tested Reynolds numbers range from 0.01 to 10. Flow recirculation or vortices seems impossible to generate to enhance the mixing at such low Reynolds numbers. Hence, molecular diffusion is the dominant mixing mechanism. Based on the diffusion principle, enlarging the mixing length, reducing the diffusion length and increasing the surface area between species are major methods to obtain mixing enhancement. In order to achieve rapid mixing, shortening the mixing length is necessary. However, the reduced mixing length induces the decreased mixing time which the species take to mix. The circular-section obstacles are placed in the straight microchannels to enlarge the contact surface area between species. The flow path is distorted after passing the obstacles so that the real mixing length increases compared with traditional T-shape micromixers. Furthermore, flow advection takes a part role in mixing since the velocity direction is no longer perpendicular to diffusion direction. Different geometries and layouts of obstacles are analyzed for optimization. The results of optimal design show the worst mixing efficiency, around 50%, occurs at Re = 1. In order to improve the lower limitation of mixing efficiency, the duplicated layouts of obstacles in lateral direction with interdigital inlet are applied to reduce the diffusion path and increase the interface area so that the mixing efficiency could be enhanced. The results show that the mixing efficiency could achieve 85% at Re ≤ 1 with a low pressure drop of 100 Pa. It has the potential to be used in applications with low Reynolds numbers.

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