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Issue 6, 2004
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Design and evaluation of a Dean vortex-based micromixer

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A mixer, based on the Dean vortex, is fabricated and tested in an on-chip format. When fluid is directed around a curve under pressure driven flow, the high velocity streams in the center of the channel experience a greater centripetal force and so are deflected outward. This creates a pair of counter-rotating vortices moving fluid toward the inner wall at the top and bottom of the channel and toward the outer wall in the center. For the geometries studied, the vortices were first seen at Reynolds numbers between 1 and 10 and became stronger as the flow velocity is increased. Vortex formation was monitored in channels with depth/width ratios of 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0. The lowest aspect ratio strongly suppressed vortex formation. Increasing the aspect ratio above 1 appeared to provide improved mixing. This design has the advantages of easy fabrication and low surface area.

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 May 2004, accepted on 05 Oct 2004 and first published on 11 Nov 2004

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B407170K
Citation: Lab Chip, 2004,4, 663-669
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    Design and evaluation of a Dean vortex-based micromixer

    P. B. Howell, Jr, D. R. Mott, J. P. Golden and F. S. Ligler, Lab Chip, 2004, 4, 663
    DOI: 10.1039/B407170K

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