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Title: Ionic Origin of Electro-osmotic Flow Hysteresis
Authors: Lim, Chun Yee
Lim, An Eng
Lam, Yee Cheong
Keywords: Microfluids
Fluid dynamics
Mechanical engineering
Issue Date: 2016
Source: Lim, C. Y., Lim, A. E. & Lam, Y. C. (2016) Ionic origin of electro-osmotic flow hysteresis. Scientific Reports, 6, 22329-.
Series/Report no.: Scientific Reports
Abstract: Electro-osmotic flow, the driving of fluid at nano- or micro- scales with electric field, has found numerous applications, ranging from pumping to chemical and biomedical analyses in micro-devices. Electro-osmotic flow exhibits a puzzling hysteretic behavior when two fluids with different concentrations displace one another. The flow rate is faster when a higher concentration solution displaces a lower concentration one as compared to the flow in the reverse direction. Although electro-osmotic flow is a surface phenomenon, rather counter intuitively we demonstrate that electro-osmotic flow hysteresis originates from the accumulation or depletion of pH-governing minority ions in the bulk of the fluid, due to the imbalance of electric-field-induced ion flux. The pH and flow velocity are changed, depending on the flow direction. The understanding of electro-osmotic flow hysteresis is critical for accurate fluid flow control in microfluidic devices, and maintaining of constant pH in chemical and biological systems under an electric field.
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/srep22329
Schools: School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:MAE Journal Articles

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