Main content area

Measurement of electroosmotic and electrophoretic velocities using pulsed and sinusoidal electric fields

Sadek, Samir H., Pimenta, Francisco, Pinho, Fernando T., Alves, Manuel A.
Electrophoresis 2017 v.38 no.7 pp. 1022-1037
electric field, electroosmosis, electrophoresis, polydimethylsiloxane, polystyrenes, pulsed electric fields, velocimetry, viscoelasticity
In this work, we explore two methods to simultaneously measure the electroosmotic mobility in microchannels and the electrophoretic mobility of micron‐sized tracer particles. The first method is based on imposing a pulsed electric field, which allows to isolate electrophoresis and electroosmosis at the startup and shutdown of the pulse, respectively. In the second method, a sinusoidal electric field is generated and the mobilities are found by minimizing the difference between the measured velocity of tracer particles and the velocity computed from an analytical expression. Both methods produced consistent results using polydimethylsiloxane microchannels and polystyrene micro‐particles, provided that the temporal resolution of the particle tracking velocimetry technique used to compute the velocity of the tracer particles is fast enough to resolve the diffusion time‐scale based on the characteristic channel length scale. Additionally, we present results with the pulse method for viscoelastic fluids, which show a more complex transient response with significant velocity overshoots and undershoots after the start and the end of the applied electric pulse, respectively.