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Issue 23, 2012
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Multi-vortical flow inducing electrokinetic instability in ion concentration polarization layer

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Abstract

In this work, we investigated multiple vortical flows inside the ion concentration polarization (ICP) layer that forms due to a coupling of applied electric fields and the semipermeable nanoporous junction between microchannels. While only a primary vortex near perm-selective membrane is traditionally known to lead to electrokinetic instability, multiple vortexes induced by the primary vortex were found to play a major role in the electrokinetic instability. The existence of multiple vortexes was directly confirmed by experiments using particle tracers and interdigitated electrodes were used to measure the local concentration profile inside the ICP layer. At larger applied electric fields, we observed aperiodic fluid motion due to electrokinetic instabilities which develop from a coupling of applied electric fields and electrical conductivity gradients induced by the ICP. The electrokinetic instability at micro–nanofluidic interfaces is important in the development of various electro-chemical–mechanical applications such as fuel cells, bio-analytical preconcentration methods, water purification/desalination and the fundamental study of ion electromigration through nanochannels and nonporous perm-selective membranes.

Graphical abstract: Multi-vortical flow inducing electrokinetic instability in ion concentration polarization layer

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Aug 2012, accepted on 24 Sep 2012 and first published on 26 Sep 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2NR32467A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2012,4, 7406-7410
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    Multi-vortical flow inducing electrokinetic instability in ion concentration polarization layer

    S. J. Kim, S. H. Ko, R. Kwak, J. D. Posner, K. H. Kang and J. Han, Nanoscale, 2012, 4, 7406
    DOI: 10.1039/C2NR32467A

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