Microfluidics differ from conventional fluid flows in that viscous forces dominate. As a result, microfluidics offer unprecedented control over fluid flows. The precise manipulation of fluids can be applied anywhere from healthcare in medical diagnostics to pharmaceutical companies miniaturizing reactions to reduce reagent consumption. In order to apply microfluidics as a comprehensive solution, unit operations must be performed such as mixing, sorting and dilution. This work investigates the fabrication and characterization of bubble-driven micromixers using inertial micropump technology. Unlike macroscopic fluid flows with turbulence, transport phenomena become restricted in microfluidics. Active mixing approaches apply external forces (such as thermal or electric) to enhance mixing. A pulse sent to the fabricated microheater will form a vapor bubble. As this vapor bubble collapses, the disruption in the fluids cause mixing. The micromixer design was verified to mix fluids using particle tracking software. Still images of the bubble formation and collapse were obtained by using a stroboscopic laser effect.
Rolleston, Matthew David
"Fabrication and Characterization of Bubble-driven Micromixers,"
Journal of the Microelectronic Engineering Conference: Vol. 24
, Article 37.
Available at: https://scholarworks.rit.edu/ritamec/vol24/iss1/37