Design and evaluation of a passive alcove-based microfluidic mixer

Tsuyoshi Egawa, Jorge L. Durand, Eric Y. Hayden, Denis L. Rousseau, Syun Ru Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


A novel passive microfluidic silicon mixer has been designed, optimized and fabricated. The architecture of the mixer consists of a simple "T" junction, made up by a 20 μm wide by 82 μm deep channel, followed by three repeats of an alcove, each with a triangular obstruction, arranged in a zigzag fashion. Numerical simulations were employed to optimize the geometry, particularly the dimensions of the alcoves, the relative orientation and the spacing between them, and the degree of intrusion associated with them. The simulation results demonstrate that chaotic flow due to recirculation within the alcoves results in transverse velocity that promotes effective fluid mixing. The microfluidic mixer with the simulation-optimized geometry was fabricated with photolithographic techniques and characterized by optical imaging, fluorescence, and Raman microscope spectroscopy. At a sample flow rate of 20 μL/s, the mixer exhibits a short mixing deadtime of ∼22 μs and a high mixing efficiency under both low and high viscosity conditions. The alcove-based microfluidic silicon mixer offers unique advantages for its short deadtime and slow sample consumption rate. In addition, it provides a valuable component for laboratory-on-a-chip applications for its ease of development into multiple networks for massively parallel analytical processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1622-1627
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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