Recent experiments have demonstrated that ac electrokinetic micropumps permit integrable, local, and fast pumping (velocities similar to mm/s) with low driving voltage of a few volts only. However, they also displayed many quantitative and qualitative discrepancies with existing theories. We therefore extend the latter theories to account for three experimentally relevant effects: (i) vertical confinement of the pumping channel, (ii) Faradaic currents from electrochemical reactions at the electrodes, and (iii) nonlinear surface capacitance of the Debye layer. We report here that these effects indeed affect the pump performance in a way that we can rationalize by physical arguments.
Physical Review E (statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics), 2006, Vol 73, Issue 5