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Conditions for similitude between the fluid velocity and electric field in electroosmotic flow

Description: Electroosmotic flow is fluid motion driven by an electric field acting on the net fluid charge produced by charge separation at a fluid-solid interface. Under many conditions of practical interest, the resulting fluid velocity is proportional to the local electric field, and the constant of proportionality is everywhere the same. Here the authors show that the main conditions necessary for this similitude are a steady electric field, uniform fluid and electric properties, an electric Debye layer that is thin compared to any physical dimension, and fluid velocities on all inlet and outlet boundaries that satisfy the Helmholtz-Smoluchowski relation normally applicable to fluid-solid boundaries. Under these conditions, the velocity field can be determined directly from the Laplace equation governing the electric potential, without solving either the continuity or momentum equations. Three important consequences of these conditions are that the fluid motion is everywhere irrotational, that fluid velocities in two-dimensional channels bounded by parallel planes are independent of the channel depth, and that such flows exhibit no dependence on the Reynolds number.
Date: April 1, 1999
Creator: Cummings, E. B.; Griffiths, S. K.; Nilson, R. H. & Paul, P. H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department