The performance of micro-mixers is evaluated in terms of deviations from perfectly mixed state and mixing length (i.e., device length required to achieve perfect mixing). Different variations of T-mixer are reported for improved mixing performance, including geometric constrictions/obstacles embedded in the channel wall, heterogeneously charged walls, grooves on channel base, etc. Most of the reported designs provide improved mixing at the expense of reduced flow rate; there exists therefore a tradeoff between mixing and transport. The reduced flow rate, which affects species residence time, is unfortunately not taken into account in most micro-mixing performance analyses. This issue is addressed by the comparative mixing index (CMI), which evaluates mixing performance more appropriately by normalizing the effect of residence time among different designs. In this study, the performance of several mixing strategies are evaluated based on the CMI; these are mixer designs that incorporate (a) physical constrictions, (b) induced charge electro-osmotic (ICEO) effects, and (c) heterogeneously charged walls. The present analysis clearly identifies conditions under which a given mixer design is superior to a T-mixer.
- Mixing index