Project Details


0954840DrazerThe research goal is to develop an integrated research and education program dedicated to investigate the complex transport phenomena that arises in the motion of suspended particles in spatially periodic systems, as well as the translation of these phenomena into new principles for the manipulation of suspended particles in fluidic devices. The objective is to develop a unified description of the deterministic and stochastic transport of individual particles as they move through spatially periodic systems in both single phase and two phase systems.The proposed fundamental studies will provide the foundations for the rational design of novel microfluidic separation devices, that go beyond the miniaturization of macroscopic methods, and fully exploit the dominant physical phenomena at small scales, such as Brownian motion and colloid surface interactions. To harness these complex phenomena we will take advantage of the superior control provided by current fabrication techniques to determine the geometrical structure and surface chemistry of planar microfluidic devices. The strategy is to create specific periodic patterns that dictate the behavior of the suspended particles by inducing spatial partitioning on individual species and/or controlling non linear hydrodynamic effects, and/or by creating selective surface-particle interactions and/or by directing their Brownian motion. In this project we investigate a challenging problem in the area of transport phenomena in particulate systems. That is, understanding the deterministic and stochastic behavior of suspended colloids in periodic systems that have anisotropic and heterogeneous properties. Contributions to this field could impact a broad range of disciplines, from a better understanding of colloid enhanced transport of pollutants in underground water reservoirs, to making progress in traditional analytical methods such as volume averaging techniques. The results will also impact the growing area of lab on a chip devices, which promises to revolutionize the chemical sciences, by providing novel methods to manipulate suspended species.The project will integrate research and education with the development of web based virtual experiments on particle transport in microfluidic devices. The labs will give the users an exciting look into state of the art developments in engineering. At the same time, the labs will provide a platform to understand key concepts in transport phenomena. A second aspect of the integration between research and education is the design of simple experiments that demonstrate the fundamental phenomena that control the transport in microfluidic systems, but at a macroscopic scale. Specifically, we are developing experiments on the sedimentation of steel balls in planar, transparent, periodic porous media fabricated from LEGO pieces.
Effective start/end date9/1/1212/31/14


  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))

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