Green, Nicolas G, Ramos, Antonio, Gonzalez, Antonio, Morgan, Hywel and Castellanos, Antonio
Fluid flow induced by non-uniform AC electric fields in electrolytes on microelectrodes III: Observation of streamlines and numerical simulation.
Physical Review E, 66, (026305), . (doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.66.026305).
The application of a nonuniform ac electric field to an electrolyte using coplanar microelectrodes results in steady fluid flow. The flow has its origin in the interaction of the tangential component of the nonuniform field with the induced charge in the electrical double layer on the electrode surfaces. Termed ac electro-osmosis, the flow has been studied experimentally and theoretically using linear analysis. This paper presents experimental observations of the fluid flow profile obtained by superimposing images of particle movement in a plane normal to the electrode surface. These experimental streamlines demonstrate that the fluid flow is driven at the surface of the electrodes. Experimental measurements of the impedance of the electrical double layer on the electrodes are also presented. The potential drop across the double layer at the surface of the electrodes is calculated numerically using a linear double layer model, and also using the impedance of the double layer obtained from experimental data. The ac electro-osmotic flow at the surface of the electrodes is then calculated using the Helmholtz-Smoluchowski formula. The bulk fluid flow driven by this surface velocity is numerically calculated as a function of frequency and good agreement is found between the numerical and experimental streamlines.
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