Electromechanics and Electrokinetics

Among the unique properties of microfluidic devices is the ability to move liquids via electroosmosis. When the solid-liquid interface acquires a surface charge, an electrical double layer is formed as ions in the electrolyte solution align preferentially based on their charge. When this occurs, an electric field applied parallel to the wall will induce fluid flow.
Modeling and predicting the electrokinetic properties of microfluidic substrates that lead to electroosmosis is inherently difficult. The surface charges are a function of chemical reactions and adsorption/desorption processes, many of which are not fully understood. Further, the electrical double layer is often nanometers thick, and bulk fluid properties typically do not apply close to the wall, where the highest charge density (and therefore most of the action) resides.

Our work on the electrokinetic properties of microfluidic substrates includes (1) experimental characterization of interface properties, (2) chemical modification of interface properties, and (3) analytical and numerical modeling of double layer phenomena.

Archival Electrokinetics Publications

Electrokinetics Presentations

Figure Gallery

A selection of figures from relevant publications are below.  Click to open a carousel view.  Links to the original manuscript are in the captions.