Experimental and numerical investigation of capillary flow in SU8 and PDMS microchannels with integrated pillars

AA Saha, SK Mitra, M Tweedie, SS Roy, JAD McLaughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microfluidic channels with integrated pillars are fabricated on SU8 and PDMS substrates to understand the capillary flow. Microscope in conjunction with high-speed camera is used to capture the meniscus front movement through these channels for ethanol and isopropyl alcohol, respectively. In parallel, numerical simulations are conducted, using volume of fluid method, to predict the capillary flow through the microchannels with different pillar diameter to height ratio, ranging from 2.19 to 8.75 and pillar diameter to pitch ratio, ranging from 1.44 to 2.6. The pillar size (diameter, pitch and height) and the physical properties of the fluid (surface tension and viscosity) are found to have significant influence on the capillary phenomena in the microchannel. The meniscus displacement is non-uniform due to the presence of pillars and the non-uniformity in meniscus displacement is observed to increase with decrease in pitch to diameter ratio. The surface area to volume ratio is observed to play major roles in the velocity of the capillary meniscus of the devices. The filling speed is observed to change more dramatically under different pillar heights upto 120 μm and the change is slow with further increase in the pillar height. The details pertaining to the fluid distribution (meniscus front shapes) are obtained from the numerical results as well as from experiments. Numerical predictions for meniscus front shapes agree well with the experimental observations for both SU8 and PDMS microchannels. It is observed that the filling time obtained experimentally matches very well with the simulated filling time. The presence of pillars creates uniform meniscus front in the microchannel for both ethanol and isopropyl alcohol. Generalized plots in terms of dimensionless variables are also presented to predict the performance parameters for the design of these microfluidic devices. The flow is observed to have a very low Capillary number, which signifies the relative importance of surface tension to viscous effects in the present study. © Springer
LanguageEnglish
Pages451
JournalMicrofluidics and Nanofluidics
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

Fingerprint

capillary flow
Capillary flow
menisci
microchannels
Microchannels
2-Propanol
Microfluidics
Fluids
Surface tension
Alcohols
Ethanol
isopropyl alcohol
High speed cameras
fluids
interfacial tension
alcohols
ethyl alcohol
Microscopes
Physical properties
Viscosity

Keywords

  • Capillary flow
  • Microchannel
  • Numerical
  • Three-dimensional

Cite this

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title = "Experimental and numerical investigation of capillary flow in SU8 and PDMS microchannels with integrated pillars",
abstract = "Microfluidic channels with integrated pillars are fabricated on SU8 and PDMS substrates to understand the capillary flow. Microscope in conjunction with high-speed camera is used to capture the meniscus front movement through these channels for ethanol and isopropyl alcohol, respectively. In parallel, numerical simulations are conducted, using volume of fluid method, to predict the capillary flow through the microchannels with different pillar diameter to height ratio, ranging from 2.19 to 8.75 and pillar diameter to pitch ratio, ranging from 1.44 to 2.6. The pillar size (diameter, pitch and height) and the physical properties of the fluid (surface tension and viscosity) are found to have significant influence on the capillary phenomena in the microchannel. The meniscus displacement is non-uniform due to the presence of pillars and the non-uniformity in meniscus displacement is observed to increase with decrease in pitch to diameter ratio. The surface area to volume ratio is observed to play major roles in the velocity of the capillary meniscus of the devices. The filling speed is observed to change more dramatically under different pillar heights upto 120 μm and the change is slow with further increase in the pillar height. The details pertaining to the fluid distribution (meniscus front shapes) are obtained from the numerical results as well as from experiments. Numerical predictions for meniscus front shapes agree well with the experimental observations for both SU8 and PDMS microchannels. It is observed that the filling time obtained experimentally matches very well with the simulated filling time. The presence of pillars creates uniform meniscus front in the microchannel for both ethanol and isopropyl alcohol. Generalized plots in terms of dimensionless variables are also presented to predict the performance parameters for the design of these microfluidic devices. The flow is observed to have a very low Capillary number, which signifies the relative importance of surface tension to viscous effects in the present study. {\circledC} Springer",
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Experimental and numerical investigation of capillary flow in SU8 and PDMS microchannels with integrated pillars. / Saha, AA; Mitra, SK; Tweedie, M; Roy, SS; McLaughlin, JAD.

In: Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, Vol. 7, No. 4, 01.2009, p. 451.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Experimental and numerical investigation of capillary flow in SU8 and PDMS microchannels with integrated pillars

AU - Saha, AA

AU - Mitra, SK

AU - Tweedie, M

AU - Roy, SS

AU - McLaughlin, JAD

PY - 2009/1

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N2 - Microfluidic channels with integrated pillars are fabricated on SU8 and PDMS substrates to understand the capillary flow. Microscope in conjunction with high-speed camera is used to capture the meniscus front movement through these channels for ethanol and isopropyl alcohol, respectively. In parallel, numerical simulations are conducted, using volume of fluid method, to predict the capillary flow through the microchannels with different pillar diameter to height ratio, ranging from 2.19 to 8.75 and pillar diameter to pitch ratio, ranging from 1.44 to 2.6. The pillar size (diameter, pitch and height) and the physical properties of the fluid (surface tension and viscosity) are found to have significant influence on the capillary phenomena in the microchannel. The meniscus displacement is non-uniform due to the presence of pillars and the non-uniformity in meniscus displacement is observed to increase with decrease in pitch to diameter ratio. The surface area to volume ratio is observed to play major roles in the velocity of the capillary meniscus of the devices. The filling speed is observed to change more dramatically under different pillar heights upto 120 μm and the change is slow with further increase in the pillar height. The details pertaining to the fluid distribution (meniscus front shapes) are obtained from the numerical results as well as from experiments. Numerical predictions for meniscus front shapes agree well with the experimental observations for both SU8 and PDMS microchannels. It is observed that the filling time obtained experimentally matches very well with the simulated filling time. The presence of pillars creates uniform meniscus front in the microchannel for both ethanol and isopropyl alcohol. Generalized plots in terms of dimensionless variables are also presented to predict the performance parameters for the design of these microfluidic devices. The flow is observed to have a very low Capillary number, which signifies the relative importance of surface tension to viscous effects in the present study. © Springer

AB - Microfluidic channels with integrated pillars are fabricated on SU8 and PDMS substrates to understand the capillary flow. Microscope in conjunction with high-speed camera is used to capture the meniscus front movement through these channels for ethanol and isopropyl alcohol, respectively. In parallel, numerical simulations are conducted, using volume of fluid method, to predict the capillary flow through the microchannels with different pillar diameter to height ratio, ranging from 2.19 to 8.75 and pillar diameter to pitch ratio, ranging from 1.44 to 2.6. The pillar size (diameter, pitch and height) and the physical properties of the fluid (surface tension and viscosity) are found to have significant influence on the capillary phenomena in the microchannel. The meniscus displacement is non-uniform due to the presence of pillars and the non-uniformity in meniscus displacement is observed to increase with decrease in pitch to diameter ratio. The surface area to volume ratio is observed to play major roles in the velocity of the capillary meniscus of the devices. The filling speed is observed to change more dramatically under different pillar heights upto 120 μm and the change is slow with further increase in the pillar height. The details pertaining to the fluid distribution (meniscus front shapes) are obtained from the numerical results as well as from experiments. Numerical predictions for meniscus front shapes agree well with the experimental observations for both SU8 and PDMS microchannels. It is observed that the filling time obtained experimentally matches very well with the simulated filling time. The presence of pillars creates uniform meniscus front in the microchannel for both ethanol and isopropyl alcohol. Generalized plots in terms of dimensionless variables are also presented to predict the performance parameters for the design of these microfluidic devices. The flow is observed to have a very low Capillary number, which signifies the relative importance of surface tension to viscous effects in the present study. © Springer

KW - Capillary flow

KW - Microchannel

KW - Numerical

KW - Three-dimensional

U2 - 10.1007/s10404-008-0395-0

DO - 10.1007/s10404-008-0395-0

M3 - Article

VL - 7

SP - 451

JO - Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

T2 - Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

JF - Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

SN - 1613-4982

IS - 4

ER -