Numerical-asymptotic models for the manipulation of viscous films via dielectrophoresis

Chappell, D.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-5819-0271 and O'Dea, R.D. ORCID: 0000-0002-1284-9103, 2020. Numerical-asymptotic models for the manipulation of viscous films via dielectrophoresis. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 901: A35. ISSN 0022-1120

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The effect of an externally applied electric field on the motion of an interface between two viscous dielectric fluids is investigated. We first develop a powerful, efficient and widely applicable boundary integral method to compute the interface dynamics in a general multiphysics model comprising coupled Laplace and Stokes flow problems in a periodic half-space. In particular, we exploit the relevant Stokes and Laplace Green's functions to reduce the problem to one defined on the interfacial part of the domain alone. Secondly, motivated by recent experimental work that seeks to underpin the development of switchable liquid optical devices, we concentrate on a fluid–air interface and derive asymptotic approximations suitable to describe the behaviour of a thin film of fluid above an array of electrodes. In this case, the problem is reduced to a single nonlinear partial differential equation describing the film height, coupled to the electrostatic problem via suitable numerical solution or via an asymptotic formula for electrostatic forcing. Comparison against numerical simulations of the full problem shows that the reduced models successfully capture key features of the film dynamics in appropriate regimes; all three approaches are shown to reproduce experimental results.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Creators: Chappell, D.J. and O'Dea, R.D.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date: 25 October 2020
Volume: 901
ISSN: 0022-1120
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 09 Sep 2020 14:59
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:16

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