Modeling an integrated, high flow rate MEMS ferrofluid pump

Mao, L., Koser, H.
Department of Electrical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT

We present a FEMLAB modeling study of an integrated, high-flow rate microfluidic pump for ferrofluids. Initial studies of these microfluidic devices have been performed using a onedimensional setup in MATLAB and later confirmed by corresponding simulations with FEMLAB 3.1 in partial differential equation (PDE) mode.

It is determined that maximum flow velocity is achieved when the product of the excitation wave number and the height of the ferrofluid channel approaches unity, and the excitation frequency is close to the reciprocal of the Brownian relaxation time constant of the magnetic nanoparticles. FEMLAB has also enabled the study of these devices in two-dimensions, coupling electromagnetic fields into the full magnetic relaxation relations implemented in PDE mode and full Navier-Stokes equations describing the flow dynamics.

The results from the two-dimensional FEMLAB simulations are in excellent agreement with experimentally obtained data.