Stretching and folding, diffusion, and breakup are three basic processes that occur while mixing fluids. Although stretching and folding the interface of two fluids by rotation enables the mixing at microscale level in both low and high Reynolds number flows, rotation is not as effective at a low Reynolds number as at a high Reynolds number. Therefore, developing a rapid micromixer for microfluidic systems that can be used at a low Reynolds number is a challenging task, because it can demonstrate the full potential of microfluidic systems in commercial markets. Here, to enhance the mixing efficiency of a micromixer based on passive rotation, we present a breakup method. The breakup method not only generates interface actively but also enhances the diffusion process at the interface. With our novel design, over 70% mixing can be achieved only after passing through a 4 mm long microchannel. In this work, the mixer was easily fabricated with polydimethylsiloxane by soft lithography and a self-aligned bonding method with methanol. We analyzed the flow in the micromixer using the computational fluid dynamics method. Also, we conducted quantitative analyses using a confocal scanning microscope and image processing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering