Transport of airborne particles in straight and curved microchannels

A.M. Schaap, W.C. Chu, B. Stoeber

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9 Citations (Scopus)
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The measurement of airborne particles is important for environmental and exposure monitoring. Microfluidic technologies present potential advantages for aerosol monitoring but have been applied very little to the handling of airborne particles. In this paper, we examine the flow focusing and cross-streamline diffusion of aerosols in straight microchannels, and the size-based lateral displacement of aerosols caused by centrifugal forces in a curved channel. We present calculations, simulations, and experimental results verifying the models: measurements of the focusing and diffusion of 0.2 µm and 0.75 µm particles in straight channels and of the size-dependent lateral displacement of particles between 0.2 µm and 2 µm in curved channels are demonstrated and shown to match well with the simulations. We observe lateral dispersion of the particles: particles closer to the top and bottom wall of the channel experience less lateral displacement than particles near the center due to the flow velocity distribution across the channel cross section. These results confirm that the microchannel techniques presented are a viable method for the size-based manipulation of airborne particles.
Original languageEnglish
Article number083301
Pages (from-to)083301-1/14
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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