Effects of shear and walls on the diffusion of colloids in microchannels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

283 Downloads (Pure)


Colloidal suspensions flowing through microchannels were studied for the effects of both the shear flow and the proximity of walls on the particles' self-diffusion. Use of hydrostatic pressure to pump micron-sized silica spheres dispersed in water-glycerol mixture through poly(dimethylsiloxane) channels with a cross section of 30×24μm 2 , allowed variation in the local Peclet number (Pe) from 0.01 to 50. To obtain the diffusion coefficients, image-time series from a confocal scanning laser microscope were analyzed with a method that, after finding particle trajectories, subtracts the instantaneous advective displacements and subsequently measures the slopes of the mean squared displacement in the flow (x) and shear (y) directions. For dilute suspensions, the thus obtained diffusion coefficients (D x and D y ) are close to the free diffusion coefficient at all shear rates. In concentrated suspensions, a clear increase with the Peclet number (for Pe > 10) is found, that is stronger for D x than for D y . This effect of shear-induced collisions is counteracted by the contribution of walls, which cause a strong local reduction in D x and D y .
Original languageEnglish
Article number052305
JournalPhysical review E: Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics
Issue number052305
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • METIS-312102
  • IR-97579


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of shear and walls on the diffusion of colloids in microchannels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this