A numerical study of flow in a novel viscous-based pumping device appropriate for microscale applications is described. The device, essentially consisting of a rotating cylinder eccentrically placed in a channel, is shown to be capable of generating a net flow against an externally imposed pressure gradient. Navier-Stokes Simulations at low Reynolds numbers are carried out using a finite-volume approach to study the influence of various geometric parameters. Slip effects for gas flows are also briefly investigated. The numerical results indicate that the generated flow rate is a maximum when the cylinder is in contact with a channel wall and that an optimum plate spacing exists. These observations are in excellent agreement, both qualitatively and quantitatively, with a previous experimental study. Furthermore, it is shown that effective pumping is obtained even for considerably higher Reynolds numbers, thereby extending the performance envelope of the proposed device to non-microscale applications as well. Finally, slip-flow effects appear to be significant only for Knudsen numbers greater than 0.1, which is important from the point of view of microscale applications.

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