Experimental optimization of flow distributors for pressure-driven separations and reactions in flat-rectangular microchannels

Joris Vangelooven, Stefan Schlautmann, Frederik Detobel, Johannes G.E. Gardeniers, Gert Desmet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report on the results of an experimental study established to optimize the design of microfabricated flow distributors for use in pressure-driven separations and reactions in flat-rectangular channels. For this purpose, the performance of a wide variety of possible flow distributor designs etched in glass/silicon wafers was compared, using CCD camera detection to study the shape and variance of the bands eluting from them. The best performance was obtained with radially interconnected distributors with a diverging inlet section and filled with diamond-shaped pillars, oriented perpendicular to the main flow direction and with a high transversal over axial aspect ratio. It was found that the best distributor designs start with a diverging section containing some 10−12 subsequent rows of high aspect ratio pillars (with a transversal width making up 10−15% of the final channel width) and with a divergence angle selected such that the sloped side-walls run parallel with the sides of the diamond-shaped pillars. After this zone, one or more regions with pillars with a smaller aspect ratio should be provided to increase the number of exit points. To prevent the formation of dead zones in these subsequent zones, so-called distributor wedges can be used to prevent the formation of any dead zones in the wake of the large aspect ratio pillars of the preceding section
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-477
Number of pages11
JournalAnalytical chemistry
Volume83
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • IR-94207
  • METIS-273072

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