TY - JOUR

T1 - Direct numerical simulation of particles in spatially varying electric fields

AU - Amah, Edison

AU - Janjua, Muhammad

AU - Singh, Pushpendra

N1 - Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

PY - 2018/9

Y1 - 2018/9

N2 - A numerical scheme is developed to simulate the motion of dielectric particles in the uniform and nonuniform electric fields of microfluidic devices. The motion of particles is simulated using a distributed Lagrange multiplier method (DLM) and the electric force acting on the particles is calculated by integrating the Maxwell stress tensor (MST) over the particle surfaces. One of the key features of the DLM method used is that the fluid-particle system is treated implicitly by using a combined weak formulation, where the forces and moments between the particles and fluid cancel, as they are internal to the combined system. The MST is obtained from the electric potential, which, in turn, is obtained by solving the electrostatic problem. In our numerical scheme, the domain is discretized using a finite element scheme and the Marchuk-Yanenko operator-splitting technique is used to decouple the difficulties associated with the incompressibility constraint, the nonlinear convection term, the rigid-body motion constraint and the electric force term. The numerical code is used to study the motion of particles in a dielectrophoretic cage which can be used to trap and hold particles at its center. If the particles moves away from the center of the cage, a resorting force acts on them towards the center. The MST results show that the ratio of the particle-particle interaction and dielectrophoretic forces decreases with increasing particle size. Therefore, larger particles move primarily under the action of the dielectrophoretic (DEP) force, especially in the high electric field gradient regions. Consequently, when the spacing between the electrodes is comparable to the particle size, instead of collecting on the same electrode by forming chains, they collect at different electrodes.

AB - A numerical scheme is developed to simulate the motion of dielectric particles in the uniform and nonuniform electric fields of microfluidic devices. The motion of particles is simulated using a distributed Lagrange multiplier method (DLM) and the electric force acting on the particles is calculated by integrating the Maxwell stress tensor (MST) over the particle surfaces. One of the key features of the DLM method used is that the fluid-particle system is treated implicitly by using a combined weak formulation, where the forces and moments between the particles and fluid cancel, as they are internal to the combined system. The MST is obtained from the electric potential, which, in turn, is obtained by solving the electrostatic problem. In our numerical scheme, the domain is discretized using a finite element scheme and the Marchuk-Yanenko operator-splitting technique is used to decouple the difficulties associated with the incompressibility constraint, the nonlinear convection term, the rigid-body motion constraint and the electric force term. The numerical code is used to study the motion of particles in a dielectrophoretic cage which can be used to trap and hold particles at its center. If the particles moves away from the center of the cage, a resorting force acts on them towards the center. The MST results show that the ratio of the particle-particle interaction and dielectrophoretic forces decreases with increasing particle size. Therefore, larger particles move primarily under the action of the dielectrophoretic (DEP) force, especially in the high electric field gradient regions. Consequently, when the spacing between the electrodes is comparable to the particle size, instead of collecting on the same electrode by forming chains, they collect at different electrodes.

KW - Dielectrophoresis

KW - Direct numerical simulations

KW - Distributed Lagrange multiplier method

KW - Maxwell stress tensor method

KW - Point-dipole method

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U2 - 10.3390/fluids3030052

DO - 10.3390/fluids3030052

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85063715957

VL - 3

JO - Fluids

JF - Fluids

SN - 2311-5521

IS - 3

M1 - 52

ER -