Field amplified sample stacking (FASS) is used to increase sample concentrations in electrokinetic flows. The technique uses conductivity gradients to establish a non-uniform electric field that accumulates ions within a conductivity gradient, and can be readily integrated with capillary electrophoresis. Conductivity gradients also cause gradients in near-wall electroosmotic flow velocities. These velocity gradients generate internal pressure gradients that drive secondary, dispersive flows. This dispersion leads to a significant reduction in the efficiency of sample stacking. This paper presents an experimental investigation of internally generated pressure gradients in FASS using micron-resolution particle image velocimetry (μPIV). We measure velocity fields of particles seeded into an electrokinetic FASS flow field in a glass microchannel with a single buffer–buffer interface. μPIV allows for the direct quantification of local, instantaneous pressure gradients by analyzing the curvature of velocity profiles. Measurements show internally generated pressure-driven velocities on the order of 1mm/s for a typical applied electric field of 100 V/cm and a conductivity ratio of 10. A one-dimensional (1D) analytical model for the temporal development of the internal pressure gradient generation is proposed which is useful in estimating general trends in flow dynamics.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 17, 2007
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