Ultrafast electrokinetics

Mehrnaz Rouhi Youssefi, Francisco Javier Diez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The influence of a high electric field applied on both fluid flow and particle velocities is quantified at large Peclet numbers. The experiments involved simultaneous particle image velocimetry and flow rate measurements. These are conducted in polydimethylsiloxane channels with spherical nonconducting polystyrene particles and DI water as the background flow. The high electric field tests produced up to three orders of magnitude higher electrokinetic velocities than any previous reports. The maximum electroosmotic velocity and electrophoretic velocity measured were 3.55 and 2.3 m/s. Electrophoretic velocities are measured over the range of 100 V/cm < E < 250 000 V/cm. The results are separated according to the different nonlinear theoretical models, including low and high Peclet numbers, and weak and strong concentration polarization. They show good agreement with the models. Such fast velocities could be used for flow separation, mixing, transport, control, and manipulation of suspended particles as well as microthrust generation among other applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)692-698
Number of pages7
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


  • Electroosmotic velocity
  • Electrophoretic velocity
  • High electric fields
  • MicroPIV


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