Electrochemically-active conducting polymers (ECP) swell or shrink in response to ion and solvent incorporation or ejection as a result of electrochemical reaction of the polymer. As a consequence, they are, in principle, attractive materials to consider for inducing fluid motion of electrolytes in microfluidic systems. When anodic potential is applied to an electrode attached to one end of ECP strip, the oxidation process starts from the electrode and proceeds along the polymer, propagating as a wave. This wave is driven as a consequence of the electrochemical reactions and would be coupled to a propagating front of compositional change. This property of the ECP can be used to design pumps and mixers for microfluidic systems. We in this paper set up a 2-D transport model to explain this wave phenomenon that includes both diffusion and electro-migration, that is coupled to the reaction at the polymer-solution interface, and that also includes the effects of change of polymer conductivity on the charge transport in the polymer layer. We explore the design for a microfluidic pump that uses this process and its efficiency to pump electrolytes.
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- Design of a microfluidic pump, based on conducting polymers
David. E. Williams
- Springer New York
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