A hybrid immersed boundary and immersed interface method for electrohydrodynamic simulations

Wei Fan Hu, Ming Chih Lai, Yuan Nan Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


In this paper, we develop a hybrid immersed boundary (IB) and immersed interface method (IIM) to simulate the dynamics of a drop under an electric field in Navier-Stokes flows. Within the leaky dielectric framework with piecewise constant electric properties in each fluid, the electric stress can be treated as an interfacial force on the drop interface. Thus, both the electric and capillary forces can be formulated in a unified immersed boundary framework. The electric potential satisfies a Laplace equation which is solved numerically by an augmented immersed interface method which incorporates the jump conditions naturally along the normal direction. The incompressible Navier-Stokes equations for the fluids are solved using a projection method on a staggered MAC grid and the potential is solved at the cell center. The interface is tracked in a Lagrangian manner with mesh control by adding an artificial tangential velocity to transport the Lagrangian markers to ensure that the spacing between markers is uniform throughout the computations. A series of numerical tests for the present scheme have been conducted to illustrate the accuracy and applicability of the method. We first compute the potential and its gradient (electric field) to perform the accuracy check for the present augmented IIM. We then check the convergence of the interfacial electric force and the fluid variables. We further run a series of simulations with different permittivity and conductivity ratios and compare with the results obtained by the small deformation theory and other numerical results in literature. In addition, we also study the electric effect for a drop under shear flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-61
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Electrohydrodynamics
  • Elliptic interface problem
  • Immersed boundary method
  • Immersed interface method
  • Leaky dielectric model
  • Navier-Stokes equations


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