Best Paper Winner – No. 1.
Phil Kinnane October 19, 2011
Heat Transfer also plays a part in lab on chip
The Program Committee actually has quite a bit of work to do in a COMSOL Conference. Not only are they required to review papers that touch on their area of expertise, but for most of them who attend, they are also Session Chairs. As our experts, it is their duty to judge the best papers.
Two of the winners of this award were Sophie Loire and Paul Kauffmann from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In their study titled “Study of AC Eletrothermal Phenomena Models”, they investigated electrokinetic flows, which are flows driven by an electric field. Applications of this phenomenon include mixing, concentration, and pumping in labs-on-chips as well as other microfluidics applications.
While this is an area that has been modeled by many people, Loire and Kauffmann take into account far more than just the electrokinetic flow. They also investigate the effects of heat transfer and natural convection. Using COMSOL, they numerically solve these new systems of coupled equations and compare them to experimental results, showing that heat transfer has a significant effect on the system at higher flowrates.
Reading the paper, I was very impressed with the succinct and logical presentation of the equations that define the system. It is certainly a ready reckoner for anyone wanting to fully model electrokinetic flows and systems.
Well done Sofie and Paul.