Design method for micromixers considering influence of channel confluence and bend on diffusion length

Nobuaki Aoki, Ryota Umei, Atsufumi Yoshida, Kazuhiro Mae

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    43 Citations (Scopus)


    In micromixers, fluids deform through convection generated by variations in the shape of a channel, e.g., channel confluence and bend. This deformation enhances the mixing performance of the micromixer. In this study, we consider the effect of deformation on mixing performance in terms of a reduction in diffusion length, which is equivalent to the size of the fluid segments formed through fluid deformation. Based on improvements in the mixing rate through convection, we establish a design method that enables a micromixer to achieve a desired rapid mixing rate. For this purpose, we correlate the mixing performance of micromixers having various channel shapes and fluid velocities with the diffusion length; the equivalent mixing rate is obtained using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. The results of the CFD simulations reveal that the combination of fluid collision and channel bend after the development of the velocity profile of confluent flow is effective at enhancing the mixing rate. To establish a design method for a micromixer, we define and employ the energy dissipation rate based on the pressure drop profile in microchannels. The relationship between the segment size and the energy dissipation rate based on channel shape has been derived and integrated into the design method.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)643-650
    Number of pages8
    JournalChemical Engineering Journal
    Issue number2-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar 1


    • Bend
    • Computation fluid dynamics
    • Confluence
    • Diffusion length
    • Energy dissipation rate
    • Micromixer

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Chemistry(all)
    • Environmental Chemistry
    • Chemical Engineering(all)
    • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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