We consider laminar flow in channels constrained geometrically to remain between two parallel planes; this geometry is typical of microchannels obtained with a single step by current microfabrication techniques. For pressure-driven Stokes flow in this geometry and assuming that the channel dimensions change slowly in the streamwise direction, we show that the velocity component perpendicular to the constraint plane cannot be zero unless the channel has both constant curvature and constant cross-sectional width. This result implies that it is, in principle, possible to design "planar mixers," i.e., passive mixers for channels that are constrained to lie in a flat layer using only streamwise variations of their in-plane dimensions. Numerical results are presented for the case of a channel with sinusoidally varying width.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computational Mechanics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes