Electrochemical MHD for Microfluidics Applications


To investigate the feasibility of using magnetic fields for flow control in microfluidic devices, we employed potential sweep and potential step voltammetry in CFD simulations of the electrochemical magnetohydrodynamics (ECMHD) of a redox system. For all cases, the faradaic current at the working electrode was computed. Using time-varying boundary conditions based on the Butler-Volmer electrode kinetics model, we studied the interplay of Lorentz force, convection and redox species concentration distribution. The concentration contours obtained show strong effect of magnetoconvection due to Lorentz force. The evolution of the flow field in a two-dimensional electrochemical cell shows gradual development of a vortex structure with time. The potential step simulations have been validated by comparing with the approximate one-dimensional analytical solution for the diffusion only case. The cyclic voltammograms obtained from the potential sweep simulation have been compared with published experimental data. The results agree well. Simulations of a channelless microfluidic cell show that ECMHD is suitable for pumping, mixing and flow control.

Meeting Name

Aerospace Sciences Meeting Including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition (2010: Jan. 4-7, Orlando, FL)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Second Department


Keywords and Phrases

Flow Control; Potential Step Voltammetry; Potential Sweep Voltammetry; Magnetic fields; Microfluidic devices

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2010 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

07 Jan 2010

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