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Issue 9, 2010
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A unified scaling model for flow through a lattice of microfabricated posts

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Abstract

A scaling model is presented for low Reynolds number viscous flow within an array of microfabricated posts. Such posts are widely used in several lab-on-a-chip applications such as heat pipes, antibody arrays and biomolecule separation columns. Finite element simulations are used to develop a predictive model for pressure driven viscous flow through posts. The results indicate that the flow rate per unit width scales as ∼h1.17g1.33/d0.5 where h is the post height, d post diameter and g is the spacing between the posts. These results compare favorably to theoretical limits. The scaling is extended to capillary pressure driven viscous flows. This unified model is the first report of a scaling that incorporates both viscous and capillary forces in the microfabricated post geometry. The model is consistent with Washburn dynamics and was experimentally validated to within 8% using wetting on microfabricated silicon posts.

Graphical abstract: A unified scaling model for flow through a lattice of microfabricated posts

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Sep 2009, accepted on 14 Dec 2009 and first published on 09 Feb 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B919942J
Citation: Lab Chip, 2010,10, 1148-1152
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    A unified scaling model for flow through a lattice of microfabricated posts

    N. Srivastava, C. Din, A. Judson, N. C. MacDonald and C. D. Meinhart, Lab Chip, 2010, 10, 1148
    DOI: 10.1039/B919942J

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