Gregersen, Misha Marie4; Okkels, Fridolin3; Bazant, M. Z.5; Bruus, Henrik6
1 Theoretical Microfluidics Group, Theory Section, Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark2 Theory Section, Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark3 Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark4 Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Technical University of Denmark5 unknown6 Department of Physics, Technical University of Denmark
For a dielectric solid surrounded by an electrolyte and positioned inside an externally biased parallel-plate capacitor, we study numerically how the resulting induced-charge electro-osmotic (ICEO) flow depends on the topology and shape of the dielectric solid. In particular, we extend existing conventional electrokinetic models with an artificial design field to describe the transition from the liquid electrolyte to the solid dielectric. Using this design field, we have succeeded in applying the method of topology optimization to find system geometries with non-trivial topologies that maximize the net induced electro-osmotic flow rate through the electrolytic capacitor in the direction parallel to the capacitor plates. Once found, the performance of the topology-optimized geometries has been validated by transferring them to conventional electrokinetic models not relying on the artificial design field. Our results show the importance of the topology and shape of the dielectric solid in ICEO systems and point to new designs of ICEO micropumps with significantly improved performance.