Schematic diagram of HP-LPBF melting process.

Modeling and numerical studies of high-precision laser powder bed fusion

Yi Wei ;Genyu Chen;Nengru Tao;Wei Zhou
https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0191504

In order to comprehensively reveal the evolutionary dynamics of the molten pool and the state of motion of the fluid during the high-precision laser powder bed fusion (HP-LPBF) process, this study aims to deeply investigate the specific manifestations of the multiphase flow, solidification phenomena, and heat transfer during the process by means of numerical simulation methods. Numerical simulation models of SS316L single-layer HP-LPBF formation with single and double tracks were constructed using the discrete element method and the computational fluid dynamics method. The effects of various factors such as Marangoni convection, surface tension, vapor recoil, gravity, thermal convection, thermal radiation, and evaporative heat dissipation on the heat and mass transfer in the molten pool have been paid attention to during the model construction process. The results show that the molten pool exhibits a “comet” shape, in which the temperature gradient at the front end of the pool is significantly larger than that at the tail end, with the highest temperature gradient up to 1.69 × 108 K/s. It is also found that the depth of the second track is larger than that of the first one, and the process parameter window has been determined preliminarily. In addition, the application of HP-LPBF technology helps to reduce the surface roughness and minimize the forming size.

Topics

Heat transferNonequilibrium thermodynamicsSolidification processComputer simulationDiscrete element methodLasersMass transferFluid mechanicsComputational fluid dynamicsMultiphase flows

I. INTRODUCTION

Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) has become a research hotspot in the field of additive manufacturing of metals due to its advantages of high-dimensional accuracy, good surface quality, high density, and high material utilization.1,2 With the rapid development of electronics, medical, automotive, biotechnology, energy, communication, and optics, the demand for microfabrication technology is increasing day by day.3 High-precision laser powder bed fusion (HP-LPBF) is one of the key manufacturing technologies for tiny parts in the fields of electronics, medical, automotive, biotechnology, energy, communication, and optics because of its process characteristics such as small focal spot diameter, small powder particle size, and thin powder layup layer thickness.4–13 Compared with LPBF, HP-LPBF has the significant advantages of smaller focal spot diameter, smaller powder particle size, and thinner layer thickness. These advantages make HP-LPBF perform better in producing micro-fine parts, high surface quality, and parts with excellent mechanical properties.

HP-LPBF is in the exploratory stage, and researchers have already done some exploratory studies on the focal spot diameter, the amount of defocusing, and the powder particle size. In order to explore the influence of changing the laser focal spot diameter on the LPBF process characteristics of the law, Wildman et al.14 studied five groups of different focal spot diameter LPBF forming 316L stainless steel (SS316L) processing effect, the smallest focal spot diameter of 26 μm, and the results confirm that changing the focal spot diameter can be achieved to achieve the energy control, so as to control the quality of forming. Subsequently, Mclouth et al.15 proposed the laser out-of-focus amount (focal spot diameter) parameter, which characterizes the distance between the forming plane and the laser focal plane. The laser energy density was controlled by varying the defocusing amount while keeping the laser parameters constant. Sample preparation at different focal positions was investigated, and their microstructures were characterized. The results show that the samples at the focal plane have finer microstructure than those away from the focal plane, which is the effect of higher power density and smaller focal spot diameter. In order to explore the influence of changing the powder particle size on the characteristics of the LPBF process, Qian et al.16 carried out single-track scanning simulations on powder beds with average powder particle sizes of 70 and 40 μm, respectively, and the results showed that the melt tracks sizes were close to each other under the same process parameters for the two particle-size distributions and that the molten pool of powder beds with small particles was more elongated and the edges of the melt tracks were relatively flat. In order to explore the superiority of HP-LPBF technology, Xu et al.17 conducted a comparative analysis of HP-LPBF and conventional LPBF of SS316L. The results showed that the average surface roughness of the top surface after forming by HP-LPBF could reach 3.40 μm. Once again, it was verified that HP-LPBF had higher forming quality than conventional LPBF. On this basis, Wei et al.6 comparatively analyzed the effects of different laser focal spot diameters on different powder particle sizes formed by LPBF. The results showed that the smaller the laser focal spot diameter, the fewer the defects on the top and side surfaces. The above research results confirm that reducing the laser focal spot diameter can obtain higher energy density and thus better forming quality.

LPBF involves a variety of complex systems and mechanisms, and the final quality of the part is influenced by a large number of process parameters.18–24 Some research results have shown that there are more than 50 factors affecting the quality of the specimen. The influencing factors are mainly categorized into three main groups: (1) laser parameters, (2) powder parameters, and (3) equipment parameters, which interact with each other to determine the final specimen quality. With the continuous development of technologies such as computational materials science and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), the method of studying the influence of different factors on the forming quality of LPBF forming process has been shifted from time-consuming and laborious experimental characterization to the use of numerical simulation methods. As a result, more and more researchers are adopting this approach for their studies. Currently, numerical simulation studies on LPBF are mainly focused on the exploration of molten pool, temperature distribution, and residual stresses.

  1. Finite element simulation based on continuum mechanics and free surface fluid flow modeling based on fluid dynamics are two common approaches to study the behavior of LPBF molten pool.25–28 Finite element simulation focuses on the temperature and thermal stress fields, treats the powder bed as a continuum, and determines the molten pool size by plotting the elemental temperature above the melting point. In contrast, fluid dynamics modeling can simulate the 2D or 3D morphology of the metal powder pile and obtain the powder size and distribution by certain algorithms.29 The flow in the molten pool is mainly affected by recoil pressure and the Marangoni effect. By simulating the molten pool formation, it is possible to predict defects, molten pool shape, and flow characteristics, as well as the effect of process parameters on the molten pool geometry.30–34 In addition, other researchers have been conducted to optimize the laser processing parameters through different simulation methods and experimental data.35–46 Crystal growth during solidification is studied to further understand the effect of laser parameters on dendritic morphology and solute segregation.47–54 A multi-scale system has been developed to describe the fused deposition process during 3D printing, which is combined with the conductive heat transfer model and the dendritic solidification model.55,56
  2. Relevant scholars have adopted various different methods for simulation, such as sequential coupling theory,57 Lagrangian and Eulerian thermal models,58 birth–death element method,25 and finite element method,59 in order to reveal the physical phenomena of the laser melting process and optimize the process parameters. Luo et al.60 compared the LPBF temperature field and molten pool under double ellipsoidal and Gaussian heat sources by ANSYS APDL and found that the diffusion of the laser energy in the powder significantly affects the molten pool size and the temperature field.
  3. The thermal stresses obtained from the simulation correlate with the actual cracks,61 and local preheating can effectively reduce the residual stresses.62 A three-dimensional thermodynamic finite element model investigated the temperature and stress variations during laser-assisted fabrication and found that powder-to-solid conversion increases the temperature gradient, stresses, and warpage.63 Other scholars have predicted residual stresses and part deflection for LPBF specimens and investigated the effects of deposition pattern, heat, laser power, and scanning strategy on residual stresses, noting that high-temperature gradients lead to higher residual stresses.64–67 

In short, the process of LPBF forming SS316L is extremely complex and usually involves drastic multi-scale physicochemical changes that will only take place on a very small scale. Existing literature employs DEM-based mesoscopic-scale numerical simulations to investigate the effects of process parameters on the molten pool dynamics of LPBF-formed SS316L. However, a few studies have been reported on the key mechanisms of heating and solidification, spatter, and convective behavior of the molten pool of HP-LPBF-formed SS316L with small laser focal spot diameters. In this paper, the geometrical properties of coarse and fine powder particles under three-dimensional conditions were first calculated using DEM. Then, numerical simulation models for single-track and double-track cases in the single-layer HP-LPBF forming SS316L process were developed at mesoscopic scale using the CFD method. The flow genesis of the melt in the single-track and double-track molten pools is discussed, and their 3D morphology and dimensional characteristics are discussed. In addition, the effects of laser process parameters, powder particle size, and laser focal spot diameter on the temperature field, characterization information, and defects in the molten pool are discussed.

II. MODELING

A. 3D powder bed modeling

HP-LPBF is an advanced processing technique for preparing target parts layer by layer stacking, the process of which involves repetitive spreading and melting of powders. In this process, both the powder spreading and the morphology of the powder bed are closely related to the results of the subsequent melting process, while the melted surface also affects the uniform distribution of the next layer of powder. For this reason, this chapter focuses on the modeling of the physical action during the powder spreading process and the theory of DEM to establish the numerical model of the powder bed, so as to lay a solid foundation for the accuracy of volume of fluid (VOF) and CFD.

1. DEM

DEM is a numerical technique for calculating the interaction of a large number of particles, which calculates the forces and motions of the spheres by considering each powder sphere as an independent unit. The motion of the powder particles follows the laws of classical Newtonian mechanics, including translational and rotational,38,68–70 which are expressed as follows:����¨=���+∑��ij,

(1)����¨=∑�(�ij×�ij),

(2)

where �� is the mass of unit particle i in kg, ��¨ is the advective acceleration in m/s2, And g is the gravitational acceleration in m/s2. �ij is the force in contact with the neighboring particle � in N. �� is the rotational inertia of the unit particle � in kg · m2. ��¨ is the unit particle � angular acceleration in rad/s2. �ij is the vector pointing from unit particle � to the contact point of neighboring particle �⁠.

Equations (1) and (2) can be used to calculate the velocity and angular velocity variations of powder particles to determine their positions and velocities. A three-dimensional powder bed model of SS316L was developed using DEM. The powder particles are assumed to be perfect spheres, and the substrate and walls are assumed to be rigid. To describe the contact between the powder particles and between the particles and the substrate, a non-slip Hertz–Mindlin nonlinear spring-damping model71 was used with the following expression:�hz=��������+��[(�����ij−�eff����)−(�����+�eff����)],

(3)

where �hz is the force calculated using the Hertzian in M. �� and �� are the radius of unit particles � and � in m, respectively. �� is the overlap size of the two powder particles in m. ��⁠, �� are the elastic constants in the normal and tangential directions, respectively. �ij is the unit vector connecting the centerlines of the two powder particles. �eff is the effective mass of the two powder particles in kg. �� and �� are the viscoelastic damping constants in the normal and tangential directions, respectively. �� and �� are the components of the relative velocities of the two powder particles. ��� is the displacement vector between two spherical particles. The schematic diagram of overlapping powder particles is shown in Fig. 1.

FIG. 1.

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Schematic diagram of overlapping powder particles.

Because the particle size of the powder used for HP-LPBF is much smaller than 100 μm, the effect of van der Waals forces must be considered. Therefore, the cohesive force �jkr of the Hertz–Mindlin model was used instead of van der Waals forces,72 with the following expression:�jkr=−4��0�*�1.5+4�*3�*�3,

(4)1�*=(1−��2)��+(1−��2)��,

(5)1�*=1��+1��,

(6)

where �* is the equivalent Young’s modulus in GPa; �* is the equivalent particle radius in m; �0 is the surface energy of the powder particles in J/m2; α is the contact radius in m; �� and �� are the Young’s modulus of the unit particles � and �⁠, respectively, in GPa; and �� and �� are the Poisson’s ratio of the unit particles � and �⁠, respectively.

2. Model building

Figure 2 shows a 3D powder bed model generated using DEM with a coarse powder geometry of 1000 × 400 × 30 μm3. The powder layer thickness is 30 μm, and the powder bed porosity is 40%. The average particle size of this spherical powder is 31.7 μm and is normally distributed in the range of 15–53 μm. The geometry of the fine powder was 1000 × 400 × 20 μm3, with a layer thickness of 20 μm, and the powder bed porosity of 40%. The average particle size of this spherical powder is 11.5 μm and is normally distributed in the range of 5–25 μm. After the 3D powder bed model is generated, it needs to be imported into the CFD simulation software for calculation, and the imported geometric model is shown in Fig. 3. This geometric model is mainly composed of three parts: protective gas, powder bed, and substrate. Under the premise of ensuring the accuracy of the calculation, the mesh size is set to 3 μm, and the total number of coarse powder meshes is 1 704 940. The total number of fine powder meshes is 3 982 250.

FIG. 2.

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Three-dimensional powder bed model: (a) coarse powder, (b) fine powder.

FIG. 3.

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Geometric modeling of the powder bed computational domain: (a) coarse powder, (b) fine powder.

B. Modeling of fluid mechanics simulation

In order to solve the flow, melting, and solidification problems involved in HP-LPBF molten pool, the study must follow the three governing equations of conservation of mass, conservation of energy, and conservation of momentum.73 The VOF method, which is the most widely used in fluid dynamics, is used to solve the molten pool dynamics model.

1. VOF

VOF is a method for tracking the free interface between the gas and liquid phases on the molten pool surface. The core idea of the method is to define a volume fraction function F within each grid, indicating the proportion of the grid space occupied by the material, 0 ≤ F ≤ 1 in Fig. 4. Specifically, when F = 0, the grid is empty and belongs to the gas-phase region; when F = 1, the grid is completely filled with material and belongs to the liquid-phase region; and when 0 < F < 1, the grid contains free surfaces and belongs to the mixed region. The direction normal to the free surface is the direction of the fastest change in the volume fraction F (the direction of the gradient of the volume fraction), and the direction of the gradient of the volume fraction can be calculated from the values of the volume fractions in the neighboring grids.74 The equations controlling the VOF are expressed as follows:𝛻����+�⋅(��→)=0,

(7)

where t is the time in s and �→ is the liquid velocity in m/s.

FIG. 4.

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Schematic diagram of VOF.

The material parameters of the mixing zone are altered due to the inclusion of both the gas and liquid phases. Therefore, in order to represent the density of the mixing zone, the average density �¯ is used, which is expressed as follows:72�¯=(1−�1)�gas+�1�metal,

(8)

where �1 is the proportion of liquid phase, �gas is the density of protective gas in kg/m3, and �metal is the density of metal in kg/m3.

2. Control equations and boundary conditions

Figure 5 is a schematic diagram of the HP-LPBF melting process. First, the laser light strikes a localized area of the material and rapidly heats up the area. Next, the energy absorbed in the region is diffused through a variety of pathways (heat conduction, heat convection, and surface radiation), and this process triggers complex phase transition phenomena (melting, evaporation, and solidification). In metals undergoing melting, the driving forces include surface tension and the Marangoni effect, recoil due to evaporation, and buoyancy due to gravity and uneven density. The above physical phenomena interact with each other and do not occur independently.

FIG. 5.

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Schematic diagram of HP-LPBF melting process.

  1. Laser heat sourceThe Gaussian surface heat source model is used as the laser heat source model with the following expression:�=2�0����2exp(−2�12��2),(9)where � is the heat flow density in W/m2, �0 is the absorption rate of SS316L, �� is the radius of the laser focal spot in m, and �1 is the radial distance from the center of the laser focal spot in m. The laser focal spot can be used for a wide range of applications.
  2. Energy absorptionThe formula for calculating the laser absorption �0 of SS316L is as follows:�0=0.365(�0[1+�0(�−20)]/�)0.5,(10)where �0 is the direct current resistivity of SS316L at 20 °C in Ω m, �0 is the resistance temperature coefficient in ppm/°C, � is the temperature in °C, and � is the laser wavelength in m.
  3. Heat transferThe basic principle of heat transfer is conservation of energy, which is expressed as follows:𝛻𝛻𝛻�(��)��+�·(��→�)=�·(�0����)+��,(11)where � is the density of liquid phase SS316L in kg/m3, �� is the specific heat capacity of SS316L in J/(kg K), 𝛻� is the gradient operator, t is the time in s, T is the temperature in K, 𝛻�� is the temperature gradient, �→ is the velocity vector, �0 is the coefficient of thermal conduction of SS316L in W/(m K), and  �� is the thermal energy dissipation term in the molten pool.
  4. Molten pool flowThe following three conditions need to be satisfied for the molten pool to flow:
    • Conservation of mass with the following expression:𝛻�·(��→)=0.(12)
    • Conservation of momentum (Navier–Stokes equation) with the following expression:𝛻𝛻𝛻𝛻���→��+�(�→·�)�→=�·[−pI+�(��→+(��→)�)]+�,(13)where � is the pressure in Pa exerted on the liquid phase SS316L microelement, � is the unit matrix, � is the fluid viscosity in N s/m2, and � is the volumetric force (gravity, atmospheric pressure, surface tension, vapor recoil, and the Marangoni effect).
    • Conservation of energy, see Eq. (11)
  5. Surface tension and the Marangoni effectThe effect of temperature on the surface tension coefficient is considered and set as a linear relationship with the following expression:�=�0−��dT(�−��),(14)where � is the surface tension of the molten pool at temperature T in N/m, �� is the melting temperature of SS316L in K, �0 is the surface tension of the molten pool at temperature �� in Pa, and σdσ/ dT is the surface tension temperature coefficient in N/(m K).In general, surface tension decreases with increasing temperature. A temperature gradient causes a gradient in surface tension that drives the liquid to flow, known as the Marangoni effect.
  6. Metal vapor recoilAt higher input energy densities, the maximum temperature of the molten pool surface reaches the evaporation temperature of the material, and a gasification recoil pressure occurs vertically downward toward the molten pool surface, which will be the dominant driving force for the molten pool flow.75 The expression is as follows:��=0.54�� exp ���−���0���,(15)where �� is the gasification recoil pressure in Pa, �� is the ambient pressure in kPa, �� is the latent heat of evaporation in J/kg, �0 is the gas constant in J/(mol K), T is the surface temperature of the molten pool in K, and Te is the evaporation temperature in K.
  7. Solid–liquid–gas phase transitionWhen the laser hits the powder layer, the powder goes through three stages: heating, melting, and solidification. During the solidification phase, mutual transformations between solid, liquid, and gaseous states occur. At this point, the latent heat of phase transition absorbed or released during the phase transition needs to be considered.68 The phase transition is represented based on the relationship between energy and temperature with the following expression:�=�����,(�<��),�(��)+�−����−����,(��<�<��)�(��)+(�−��)����,(��<�),,(16)where �� and �� are solid and liquid phase density, respectively, of SS316L in kg/m3. �� and �� unit volume of solid and liquid phase-specific heat capacity, respectively, of SS316L in J/(kg K). �� and ��⁠, respectively, are the solidification temperature and melting temperature of SS316L in K. �� is the latent heat of the phase transition of SS316L melting in J/kg.

3. Assumptions

The CFD model was computed using the commercial software package FLOW-3D.76 In order to simplify the calculation and solution process while ensuring the accuracy of the results, the model makes the following assumptions:

  1. It is assumed that the effects of thermal stress and material solid-phase thermal expansion on the calculation results are negligible.
  2. The molten pool flow is assumed to be a Newtonian incompressible laminar flow, while the effects of liquid thermal expansion and density on the results are neglected.
  3. It is assumed that the surface tension can be simplified to an equivalent pressure acting on the free surface of the molten pool, and the effect of chemical composition on the results is negligible.
  4. Neglecting the effect of the gas flow field on the molten pool.
  5. The mass loss due to evaporation of the liquid metal is not considered.
  6. The influence of the plasma effect of the molten metal on the calculation results is neglected.

It is worth noting that the formulation of assumptions requires a trade-off between accuracy and computational efficiency. In the above models, some physical phenomena that have a small effect or high difficulty on the calculation results are simplified or ignored. Such simplifications make numerical simulations more efficient and computationally tractable, while still yielding accurate results.

4. Initial conditions

The preheating temperature of the substrate was set to 393 K, at which time all materials were in the solid state and the flow rate was zero.

5. Material parameters

The material used is SS316L and the relevant parameters required for numerical simulations are shown in Table I.46,77,78

TABLE I.

SS316L-related parameters.

PropertySymbolValue
Density of solid metal (kg/m3�metal 7980 
Solid phase line temperature (K) �� 1658 
Liquid phase line temperature (K) �� 1723 
Vaporization temperature (K) �� 3090 
Latent heat of melting (⁠ J/kg⁠) �� 2.60×105 
Latent heat of evaporation (⁠ J/kg⁠) �� 7.45×106 
Surface tension of liquid phase (N /m⁠) � 1.60 
Liquid metal viscosity (kg/m s) �� 6×10−3 
Gaseous metal viscosity (kg/m s) �gas 1.85×10−5 
Temperature coefficient of surface tension (N/m K) ��/�T 0.80×10−3 
Molar mass (⁠ kg/mol⁠) 0.05 593 
Emissivity � 0.26 
Laser absorption �0 0.35 
Ambient pressure (kPa) �� 101 325 
Ambient temperature (K) �0 300 
Stefan–Boltzmann constant (W/m2 K4� 5.67×10−8 
Thermal conductivity of metals (⁠ W/m K⁠) � 24.55 
Density of protective gas (kg/m3�gas 1.25 
Coefficient of thermal expansion (/K) �� 16×10−6 
Generalized gas constant (⁠ J/mol K⁠) 8.314 

III. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

With the objective of studying in depth the evolutionary patterns of single-track and double-track molten pool development, detailed observations were made for certain specific locations in the model, as shown in Fig. 6. In this figure, P1 and P2 represent the longitudinal tangents to the centers of the two melt tracks in the XZ plane, while L1 is the transverse profile in the YZ plane. The scanning direction is positive and negative along the X axis. Points A and B are the locations of the centers of the molten pool of the first and second melt tracks, respectively (x = 1.995 × 10−4, y = 5 × 10−7, and z = −4.85 × 10−5).

FIG. 6.

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Schematic diagram of observation position.

A. Single-track simulation

A series of single-track molten pool simulation experiments were carried out in order to investigate the influence law of laser power as well as scanning speed on the HP-LPBF process. Figure 7 demonstrates the evolution of the 3D morphology and temperature field of the single-track molten pool in the time period of 50–500 μs under a laser power of 100 W and a scanning speed of 800 mm/s. The powder bed is in the natural cooling state. When t = 50 μs, the powder is heated by the laser heat and rapidly melts and settles to form the initial molten pool. This process is accompanied by partial melting of the substrate and solidification together with the melted powder. The molten pool rapidly expands with increasing width, depth, length, and temperature, as shown in Fig. 7(a). When t = 150 μs, the molten pool expands more obviously, and the temperature starts to transfer to the surrounding area, forming a heat-affected zone. At this point, the width of the molten pool tends to stabilize, and the temperature in the center of the molten pool has reached its peak and remains largely stable. However, the phenomenon of molten pool spatter was also observed in this process, as shown in Fig. 7(b). As time advances, when t = 300 μs, solidification begins to occur at the tail of the molten pool, and tiny ripples are produced on the solidified surface. This is due to the fact that the melt flows toward the region with large temperature gradient under the influence of Marangoni convection and solidifies together with the melt at the end of the bath. At this point, the temperature gradient at the front of the bath is significantly larger than at the end. While the width of the molten pool was gradually reduced, the shape of the molten pool was gradually changed to a “comet” shape. In addition, a slight depression was observed at the top of the bath because the peak temperature at the surface of the bath reached the evaporation temperature, which resulted in a recoil pressure perpendicular to the surface of the bath downward, creating a depressed region. As the laser focal spot moves and is paired with the Marangoni convection of the melt, these recessed areas will be filled in as shown in Fig. 7(c). It has been shown that the depressed regions are the result of the coupled effect of Marangoni convection, recoil pressure, and surface tension.79 By t = 500 μs, the width and height of the molten pool stabilize and show a “comet” shape in Fig. 7(d).

FIG. 7.

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Single-track molten pool process: (a) t = 50  ��⁠, (b) t = 150  ��⁠, (c) t = 300  ��⁠, (d) t = 500  ��⁠.

Figure 8 depicts the velocity vector diagram of the P1 profile in a single-track molten pool, the length of the arrows represents the magnitude of the velocity, and the maximum velocity is about 2.36 m/s. When t = 50 μs, the molten pool takes shape, and the velocities at the two ends of the pool are the largest. The variation of the velocities at the front end is especially more significant in Fig. 8(a). As the time advances to t = 150 μs, the molten pool expands rapidly, in which the velocity at the tail increases and changes more significantly, while the velocity at the front is relatively small. At this stage, the melt moves backward from the center of the molten pool, which in turn expands the molten pool area. The melt at the back end of the molten pool center flows backward along the edge of the molten pool surface and then converges along the edge of the molten pool to the bottom center, rising to form a closed loop. Similarly, a similar closed loop is formed at the front end of the center of the bath, but with a shorter path. However, a large portion of the melt in the center of the closed loop formed at the front end of the bath is in a nearly stationary state. The main cause of this melt flow phenomenon is the effect of temperature gradient and surface tension (the Marangoni effect), as shown in Figs. 8(b) and 8(e). This dynamic behavior of the melt tends to form an “elliptical” pool. At t = 300 μs, the tendency of the above two melt flows to close the loop is more prominent and faster in Fig. 8(c). When t = 500 μs, the velocity vector of the molten pool shows a stable trend, and the closed loop of melt flow also remains stable. With the gradual laser focal spot movement, the melt is gradually solidified at its tail, and finally, a continuous and stable single track is formed in Fig. 8(d).

FIG. 8.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Vector plot of single-track molten pool velocity in XZ longitudinal section: (a) t = 50  ��⁠, (b) t = 150  ��⁠, (c) t = 300  ��⁠, (d) t = 500  ��⁠, (e) molten pool flow.

In order to explore in depth the transient evolution of the molten pool, the evolution of the single-track temperature field and the melt flow was monitored in the YZ cross section. Figure 9(a) shows the state of the powder bed at the initial moment. When t = 250 μs, the laser focal spot acts on the powder bed and the powder starts to melt and gradually collects in the molten pool. At this time, the substrate will also start to melt, and the melt flow mainly moves in the downward and outward directions and the velocity is maximum at the edges in Fig. 9(b). When t = 300 μs, the width and depth of the molten pool increase due to the recoil pressure. At this time, the melt flows more slowly at the center, but the direction of motion is still downward in Fig. 9(c). When t = 350 μs, the width and depth of the molten pool further increase, at which time the intensity of the melt flow reaches its peak and the direction of motion remains the same in Fig. 9(d). When t = 400 μs, the melt starts to move upward, and the surrounding powder or molten material gradually fills up, causing the surface of the molten pool to begin to flatten. At this time, the maximum velocity of the melt is at the center of the bath, while the velocity at the edge is close to zero, and the edge of the melt starts to solidify in Fig. 9(e). When t = 450 μs, the melt continues to move upward, forming a convex surface of the melt track. However, the melt movement slows down, as shown in Fig. 9(f). When t = 500 μs, the melt further moves upward and its speed gradually becomes smaller. At the same time, the melt solidifies further, as shown in Fig. 9(g). When t = 550 μs, the melt track is basically formed into a single track with a similar “mountain” shape. At this stage, the velocity is close to zero only at the center of the molten pool, and the flow behavior of the melt is poor in Fig. 9(h). At t = 600 μs, the melt stops moving and solidification is rapidly completed. Up to this point, a single track is formed in Fig. 9(i). During the laser action on the powder bed, the substrate melts and combines with the molten state powder. The powder-to-powder fusion is like the convergence of water droplets, which are rapidly fused by surface tension. However, the fusion between the molten state powder and the substrate occurs driven by surface tension, and the molten powder around the molten pool is pulled toward the substrate (a wetting effect occurs), which ultimately results in the formation of a monolithic whole.38,80,81

FIG. 9.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Evolution of single-track molten pool temperature and melt flow in the YZ cross section: (a) t = 0  ��⁠, (b) t = 250  ��⁠, (c) t = 300  ��⁠, (d) t = 350  ��⁠, (e) t = 400  ��⁠, (f) t = 450  ��⁠, (g) t = 500  ��⁠, (h) t = 550  ��⁠, (i) t = 600  ��⁠.

The wetting ability between the liquid metal and the solid substrate in the molten pool directly affects the degree of balling of the melt,82,83 and the wetting ability can be measured by the contact angle of a single track in Fig. 10. A smaller value of contact angle represents better wettability. The contact angle α can be calculated by�=�1−�22,

(17)

where �1 and �2 are the contact angles of the left and right regions, respectively.

FIG. 10.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Schematic of contact angle.

Relevant studies have confirmed that the wettability is better at a contact angle α around or below 40°.84 After measurement, a single-track contact angle α of about 33° was obtained under this process parameter, which further confirms the good wettability.

B. Double-track simulation

In order to deeply investigate the influence of hatch spacing on the characteristics of the HP-LPBF process, a series of double-track molten pool simulation experiments were systematically carried out. Figure 11 shows in detail the dynamic changes of the 3D morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool in the time period of 2050–2500 μs under the conditions of laser power of 100 W, scanning speed of 800 mm/s, and hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. By comparing the study with Fig. 7, it is observed that the basic characteristics of the 3D morphology and temperature field of the second track are similar to those of the first track. However, there are subtle differences between them. The first track exhibits a basically symmetric shape, but the second track morphology shows a slight deviation influenced by the difference in thermal diffusion rate between the solidified metal and the powder. Otherwise, the other characteristic information is almost the same as that of the first track. Figure 12 shows the velocity vector plot of the P2 profile in the double-track molten pool, with a maximum velocity of about 2.63 m/s. The melt dynamics at both ends of the pool are more stable at t = 2050 μs, where the maximum rate of the second track is only 1/3 of that of the first one. Other than that, the rest of the information is almost no significant difference from the characteristic information of the first track. Figure 13 demonstrates a detailed observation of the double-track temperature field and melts flow in the YZ cross section, and a comparative study with Fig. 9 reveals that the width of the second track is slightly wider. In addition, after the melt direction shifts from bottom to top, the first track undergoes four time periods (50 μs) to reach full solidification, while the second track takes five time periods. This is due to the presence of significant heat buildup in the powder bed after the forming of the first track, resulting in a longer dynamic time of the melt and an increased molten pool lifetime. In conclusion, the level of specimen forming can be significantly optimized by adjusting the laser power and hatch spacing.

FIG. 11.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Double-track molten pool process: (a) t = 2050  ��⁠, (b) t = 2150  ��⁠, (c) t = 2300  ��⁠, (d) t = 2500  ��⁠.

FIG. 12.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Vector plot of double-track molten pool velocity in XZ longitudinal section: (a) t = 2050  ��⁠, (b) t = 2150  ��⁠, (c) t = 2300  ��⁠, (d) t = 2500  ��⁠.

FIG. 13.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Evolution of double-track molten pool temperature and melt flow in the YZ cross section: (a) t = 2250  ��⁠, (b) t = 2300  ��⁠, (c) t = 2350  ��⁠, (d) t = 2400  ��⁠, (e) t = 2450  ��⁠, (f) t = 2500  ��⁠, (g) t = 2550  ��⁠, (h) t = 2600  ��⁠, (i) t = 2650  ��⁠.

In order to quantitatively detect the molten pool dimensions as well as the remolten region dimensions, the molten pool characterization information in Fig. 14 is constructed by drawing the boundary on the YZ cross section based on the isothermal surface of the liquid phase line. It can be observed that the heights of the first track and second track are basically the same, but the depth of the second track increases relative to the first track. The molten pool width is mainly positively correlated with the laser power as well as the scanning speed (the laser line energy density �⁠). However, the remelted zone width is negatively correlated with the hatch spacing (the overlapping ratio). Overall, the forming quality of the specimens can be directly influenced by adjusting the laser power, scanning speed, and hatch spacing.

FIG. 14.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Double-track molten pool characterization information on YZ cross section.

In order to study the variation rule of the temperature in the center of the molten pool with time, Fig. 15 demonstrates the temperature variation curves with time for two reference points, A and B. Among them, the red dotted line indicates the liquid phase line temperature of SS316L. From the figure, it can be seen that the maximum temperature at the center of the molten pool in the first track is lower than that in the second track, which is mainly due to the heat accumulation generated after passing through the first track. The maximum temperature gradient was calculated to be 1.69 × 108 K/s. When the laser scanned the first track, the temperature in the center of the molten pool of the second track increased slightly. Similarly, when the laser scanned the second track, a similar situation existed in the first track. Since the temperature gradient in the second track is larger than that in the first track, the residence time of the liquid phase in the molten pool of the first track is longer than that of the second track.

FIG. 15.

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Temperature profiles as a function of time for two reference points A and B.

C. Simulation analysis of molten pool under different process parameters

In order to deeply investigate the effects of various process parameters on the mesoscopic-scale temperature field, molten pool characteristic information and defects of HP-LPBF, numerical simulation experiments on mesoscopic-scale laser power, scanning speed, and hatch spacing of double-track molten pools were carried out.

1. Laser power

Figure 16 shows the effects of different laser power on the morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool at a scanning speed of 800 mm/s and a hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. When P = 50 W, a smaller molten pool is formed due to the lower heat generated by the Gaussian light source per unit time. This leads to a smaller track width, which results in adjacent track not lapping properly and the presence of a large number of unmelted powder particles, resulting in an increase in the number of defects, such as pores in the specimen. The surface of the track is relatively flat, and the depth is small. In addition, the temperature gradient before and after the molten pool was large, and the depression location appeared at the biased front end in Fig. 16(a). When P = 100 W, the surface of the track is flat and smooth with excellent lap. Due to the Marangoni effect, the velocity field of the molten pool is in the form of “vortex,” and the melt has good fluidity, and the maximum velocity reaches 2.15 m/s in Fig. 16(b). When P = 200 W, the heat generated by the Gaussian light source per unit time is too large, resulting in the melt rapidly reaching the evaporation temperature, generating a huge recoil pressure, forming a large molten pool, and the surface of the track is obviously raised. The melt movement is intense, especially the closed loop at the center end of the molten pool. At this time, the depth and width of the molten pool are large, leading to the expansion of the remolten region and the increased chance of the appearance of porosity defects in Fig. 16(c). The results show that at low laser power, the surface tension in the molten pool is dominant. At high laser power, recoil pressure is its main role.

FIG. 16.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Simulation results of double-track molten pool under different laser powers: (a) P = 50 W, (b) P = 100 W, (c) P = 200 W.

Table II shows the effect of different laser powers on the characteristic information of the double-track molten pool at a scanning speed of 800 mm/s and a hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. The negative overlapping ratio in the table indicates that the melt tracks are not lapped, and 26/29 indicates the melt depth of the first track/second track. It can be seen that with the increase in laser power, the melt depth, melt width, melt height, and remelted zone show a gradual increase. At the same time, the overlapping ratio also increases. Especially in the process of laser power from 50 to 200 W, the melting depth and melting width increased the most, which increased nearly 2 and 1.5 times, respectively. Meanwhile, the overlapping ratio also increases with the increase in laser power, which indicates that the melting and fusion of materials are better at high laser power. On the other hand, the dimensions of the molten pool did not change uniformly with the change of laser power. Specifically, the depth-to-width ratio of the molten pool increased from about 0.30 to 0.39 during the increase from 50 to 120 W, which further indicates that the effective heat transfer in the vertical direction is greater than that in the horizontal direction with the increase in laser power. This dimensional response to laser power is mainly affected by the recoil pressure and also by the difference in the densification degree between the powder layer and the metal substrate. In addition, according to the experimental results, the contact angle shows a tendency to increase and then decrease during the process of laser power increase, and always stays within the range of less than 33°. Therefore, in practical applications, it is necessary to select the appropriate laser power according to the specific needs in order to achieve the best processing results.

TABLE II.

Double-track molten pool characterization information at different laser powers.

Laser power (W)Depth (μm)Width (μm)Height (μm)Remolten region (μm)Overlapping ratio (%)Contact angle (°)
50 16 54 11 −10 23 
100 26/29 74 14 18 23.33 33 
200 37/45 116 21 52 93.33 28 

2. Scanning speed

Figure 17 demonstrates the effect of different scanning speeds on the morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool at a laser power of 100 W and a hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. With the gradual increase in scanning speed, the surface morphology of the molten pool evolves from circular to elliptical. When � = 200 mm/s, the slow scanning speed causes the material to absorb too much heat, which is very easy to trigger the overburning phenomenon. At this point, the molten pool is larger and the surface morphology is uneven. This situation is consistent with the previously discussed scenario with high laser power in Fig. 17(a). However, when � = 1600 mm/s, the scanning speed is too fast, resulting in the material not being able to absorb sufficient heat, which triggers the powder particles that fail to melt completely to have a direct effect on the bonding of the melt to the substrate. At this time, the molten pool volume is relatively small and the neighboring melt track cannot lap properly. This result is consistent with the previously discussed case of low laser power in Fig. 17(b). Overall, the ratio of the laser power to the scanning speed (the line energy density �⁠) has a direct effect on the temperature field and surface morphology of the molten pool.

FIG. 17.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Simulation results of double-track molten pool under different scanning speed: (a)  � = 200 mm/s, (b)  � = 1600 mm/s.

Table III shows the effects of different scanning speed on the characteristic information of the double-track molten pool under the condition of laser power of 100 W and hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. It can be seen that the scanning speed has a significant effect on the melt depth, melt width, melt height, remolten region, and overlapping ratio. With the increase in scanning speed, the melt depth, melt width, melt height, remelted zone, and overlapping ratio show a gradual decreasing trend. Among them, the melt depth and melt width decreased faster, while the melt height and remolten region decreased relatively slowly. In addition, when the scanning speed was increased from 200 to 800 mm/s, the decreasing speeds of melt depth and melt width were significantly accelerated, while the decreasing speeds of overlapping ratio were relatively slow. When the scanning speed was further increased to 1600 mm/s, the decreasing speeds of melt depth and melt width were further accelerated, and the un-lapped condition of the melt channel also appeared. In addition, the contact angle increases and then decreases with the scanning speed, and both are lower than 33°. Therefore, when selecting the scanning speed, it is necessary to make reasonable trade-offs according to the specific situation, and take into account the factors of melt depth, melt width, melt height, remolten region, and overlapping ratio, in order to achieve the best processing results.

TABLE III.

Double-track molten pool characterization information at different scanning speeds.

Scanning speed (mm/s)Depth (μm)Width (μm)Height (μm)Remolten region (μm)Overlapping ratio (%)Contact angle (°)
200 55/68 182 19/32 124 203.33 22 
1600 13 50 11 −16.67 31 

3. Hatch spacing

Figure 18 shows the effect of different hatch spacing on the morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool under the condition of laser power of 100 W and scanning speed of 800 mm/s. The surface morphology and temperature field of the first track and second track are basically the same, but slightly different. The first track shows a basically symmetric morphology along the scanning direction, while the second track shows a slight offset due to the difference in the heat transfer rate between the solidified material and the powder particles. When the hatch spacing is too small, the overlapping ratio increases and the probability of defects caused by remelting phenomenon grows. When the hatch spacing is too large, the neighboring melt track cannot overlap properly, and the powder particles are not completely melted, leading to an increase in the number of holes. In conclusion, the ratio of the line energy density � to the hatch spacing (the volume energy density E) has a significant effect on the temperature field and surface morphology of the molten pool.

FIG. 18.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Simulation results of double-track molten pool under different hatch spacings: (a) H = 0.03 mm, (b) H = 0.12 mm.

Table IV shows the effects of different hatch spacing on the characteristic information of the double-track molten pool under the condition of laser power of 100 W and scanning speed of 800 mm/s. It can be seen that the hatch spacing has little effect on the melt depth, melt width, and melt height, but has some effect on the remolten region. With the gradual expansion of hatch spacing, the remolten region shows a gradual decrease. At the same time, the overlapping ratio also decreased with the increase in hatch spacing. In addition, it is observed that the contact angle shows a tendency to increase and then remain stable when the hatch spacing increases, which has a more limited effect on it. Therefore, trade-offs and decisions need to be made on a case-by-case basis when selecting the hatch spacing.

TABLE IV.

Double-track molten pool characterization information at different hatch spacings.

Hatch spacing (mm)Depth (μm)Width (μm)Height (μm)Remolten region (μm)Overlapping ratio (%)Contact angle (°)
0.03 25/27 82 14 59 173.33 30 
0.12 26 78 14 −35 33 

In summary, the laser power, scanning speed, and hatch spacing have a significant effect on the formation of the molten pool, and the correct selection of these three process parameters is crucial to ensure the forming quality. In addition, the melt depth of the second track is slightly larger than that of the first track at higher line energy density � and volume energy density E. This is mainly due to the fact that a large amount of heat accumulation is generated after the first track, forming a larger molten pool volume, which leads to an increase in the melt depth.

D. Simulation analysis of molten pool with powder particle size and laser focal spot diameter

Figure 19 demonstrates the effect of different powder particle sizes and laser focal spot diameters on the morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool under a laser power of 100 W, a scanning speed of 800 mm/s, and a hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. In the process of melting coarse powder with small laser focal spot diameter, the laser energy cannot completely melt the larger powder particles, resulting in their partial melting and further generating excessive pore defects. The larger powder particles tend to generate zigzag molten pool edges, which cause an increase in the roughness of the melt track surface. In addition, the molten pool is also prone to generate the present spatter phenomenon, which can directly affect the quality of forming. The volume of the formed molten pool is relatively small, while the melt depth, melt width, and melt height are all smaller relative to the fine powder in Fig. 19(a). In the process of melting fine powders with a large laser focal spot diameter, the laser energy is able to melt the fine powder particles sufficiently, even to the point of overmelting. This results in a large number of fine spatters being generated at the edge of the molten pool, which causes porosity defects in the melt track in Fig. 19(b). In addition, the maximum velocity of the molten pool is larger for large powder particle sizes compared to small powder particle sizes, which indicates that the temperature gradient in the molten pool is larger for large powder particle sizes and the melt motion is more intense. However, the size of the laser focal spot diameter has a relatively small effect on the melt motion. However, a larger focal spot diameter induces a larger melt volume with greater depth, width, and height. In conclusion, a small powder size helps to reduce the surface roughness of the specimen, and a small laser spot diameter reduces the minimum forming size of a single track.

FIG. 19.

VIEW LARGEDOWNLOAD SLIDE

Simulation results of double-track molten pool with different powder particle size and laser focal spot diameter: (a) focal spot = 25 μm, coarse powder, (b) focal spot = 80 μm, fine powder.

Table V shows the maximum temperature gradient at the reference point for different powder sizes and laser focal spot diameters. As can be seen from the table, the maximum temperature gradient is lower than that of HP-LPBF for both coarse powders with a small laser spot diameter and fine powders with a large spot diameter, a phenomenon that leads to an increase in the heat transfer rate of HP-LPBF, which in turn leads to a corresponding increase in the cooling rate and, ultimately, to the formation of finer microstructures.

TABLE V.

Maximum temperature gradient at the reference point for different powder particle sizes and laser focal spot diameters.

Laser power (W)Scanning speed (mm/s)Hatch spacing (mm)Average powder size (μm)Laser focal spot diameter (μm)Maximum temperature gradient (×107 K/s)
100 800 0.06 31.7 25 7.89 
11.5 80 7.11 

IV. CONCLUSIONS

In this study, the geometrical characteristics of 3D coarse and fine powder particles were first calculated using DEM and then numerical simulations of single track and double track in the process of forming SS316L from monolayer HP-LPBF at mesoscopic scale were developed using CFD method. The effects of Marangoni convection, surface tension, recoil pressure, gravity, thermal convection, thermal radiation, and evaporative heat dissipation on the heat and mass transfer in the molten pool were considered in this model. The effects of laser power, scanning speed, and hatch spacing on the dynamics of the single-track and double-track molten pools, as well as on other characteristic information, were investigated. The effects of the powder particle size on the molten pool were investigated comparatively with the laser focal spot diameter. The main conclusions are as follows:

  1. The results show that the temperature gradient at the front of the molten pool is significantly larger than that at the tail, and the molten pool exhibits a “comet” morphology. At the top of the molten pool, there is a slightly concave region, which is the result of the coupling of Marangoni convection, recoil pressure, and surface tension. The melt flow forms two closed loops, which are mainly influenced by temperature gradients and surface tension. This special dynamic behavior of the melt tends to form an “elliptical” molten pool and an almost “mountain” shape in single-track forming.
  2. The basic characteristics of the three-dimensional morphology and temperature field of the second track are similar to those of the first track, but there are subtle differences. The first track exhibits a basically symmetrical shape; however, due to the difference in thermal diffusion rates between the solidified metal and the powder, a slight asymmetry in the molten pool morphology of the second track occurs. After forming through the first track, there is a significant heat buildup in the powder bed, resulting in a longer dynamic time of the melt, which increases the life of the molten pool. The heights of the first track and second track remained essentially the same, but the depth of the second track was greater relative to the first track. In addition, the maximum temperature gradient was 1.69 × 108 K/s during HP-LPBF forming.
  3. At low laser power, the surface tension in the molten pool plays a dominant role. At high laser power, recoil pressure becomes the main influencing factor. With the increase of laser power, the effective heat transfer in the vertical direction is superior to that in the horizontal direction. With the gradual increase of scanning speed, the surface morphology of the molten pool evolves from circular to elliptical. In addition, the scanning speed has a significant effect on the melt depth, melt width, melt height, remolten region, and overlapping ratio. Too large or too small hatch spacing will lead to remelting or non-lap phenomenon, which in turn causes the formation of defects.
  4. When using a small laser focal spot diameter, it is difficult to completely melt large powder particle sizes, resulting in partial melting and excessive porosity generation. At the same time, large powder particles produce curved edges of the molten pool, resulting in increased surface roughness of the melt track. In addition, spatter occurs, which directly affects the forming quality. At small focal spot diameters, the molten pool volume is relatively small, and the melt depth, the melt width, and the melt height are correspondingly small. Taken together, the small powder particle size helps to reduce surface roughness, while the small spot diameter reduces the forming size.

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Lab-on-a-Chip 시스템의 혈류 역학에 대한 검토: 엔지니어링 관점

Review on Blood Flow Dynamics in Lab-on-a-Chip Systems: An Engineering Perspective

  • Bin-Jie Lai
  • Li-Tao Zhu
  • Zhe Chen*
  • Bo Ouyang*
  • , and 
  • Zheng-Hong Luo*

Abstract

다양한 수송 메커니즘 하에서, “LOC(lab-on-a-chip)” 시스템에서 유동 전단 속도 조건과 밀접한 관련이 있는 혈류 역학은 다양한 수송 현상을 초래하는 것으로 밝혀졌습니다.

본 연구는 적혈구의 동적 혈액 점도 및 탄성 거동과 같은 점탄성 특성의 역할을 통해 LOC 시스템의 혈류 패턴을 조사합니다. 모세관 및 전기삼투압의 주요 매개변수를 통해 LOC 시스템의 혈액 수송 현상에 대한 연구는 실험적, 이론적 및 수많은 수치적 접근 방식을 통해 제공됩니다.

전기 삼투압 점탄성 흐름에 의해 유발되는 교란은 특히 향후 연구 기회를 위해 혈액 및 기타 점탄성 유체를 취급하는 LOC 장치의 혼합 및 분리 기능 향상에 논의되고 적용됩니다. 또한, 본 연구는 보다 정확하고 단순화된 혈류 모델에 대한 요구와 전기역학 효과 하에서 점탄성 유체 흐름에 대한 수치 연구에 대한 강조와 같은 LOC 시스템 하에서 혈류 역학의 수치 모델링의 문제를 식별합니다.

전기역학 현상을 연구하는 동안 제타 전위 조건에 대한 보다 실용적인 가정도 강조됩니다. 본 연구는 모세관 및 전기삼투압에 의해 구동되는 미세유체 시스템의 혈류 역학에 대한 포괄적이고 학제적인 관점을 제공하는 것을 목표로 한다.

KEYWORDS: 

1. Introduction

1.1. Microfluidic Flow in Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) Systems

Over the past several decades, the ability to control and utilize fluid flow patterns at microscales has gained considerable interest across a myriad of scientific and engineering disciplines, leading to growing interest in scientific research of microfluidics. 

(1) Microfluidics, an interdisciplinary field that straddles physics, engineering, and biotechnology, is dedicated to the behavior, precise control, and manipulation of fluids geometrically constrained to a small, typically submillimeter, scale. 

(2) The engineering community has increasingly focused on microfluidics, exploring different driving forces to enhance working fluid transport, with the aim of accurately and efficiently describing, controlling, designing, and applying microfluidic flow principles and transport phenomena, particularly for miniaturized applications. 

(3) This attention has chiefly been fueled by the potential to revolutionize diagnostic and therapeutic techniques in the biomedical and pharmaceutical sectorsUnder various driving forces in microfluidic flows, intriguing transport phenomena have bolstered confidence in sustainable and efficient applications in fields such as pharmaceutical, biochemical, and environmental science. The “lab-on-a-chip” (LOC) system harnesses microfluidic flow to enable fluid processing and the execution of laboratory tasks on a chip-sized scale. LOC systems have played a vital role in the miniaturization of laboratory operations such as mixing, chemical reaction, separation, flow control, and detection on small devices, where a wide variety of fluids is adapted. Biological fluid flow like blood and other viscoelastic fluids are notably studied among the many working fluids commonly utilized by LOC systems, owing to the optimization in small fluid sample volumed, rapid response times, precise control, and easy manipulation of flow patterns offered by the system under various driving forces. 

(4)The driving forces in blood flow can be categorized as passive or active transport mechanisms and, in some cases, both. Under various transport mechanisms, the unique design of microchannels enables different functionalities in driving, mixing, separating, and diagnosing blood and drug delivery in the blood. 

(5) Understanding and manipulating these driving forces are crucial for optimizing the performance of a LOC system. Such knowledge presents the opportunity to achieve higher efficiency and reliability in addressing cellular level challenges in medical diagnostics, forensic studies, cancer detection, and other fundamental research areas, for applications of point-of-care (POC) devices. 

(6)

1.2. Engineering Approach of Microfluidic Transport Phenomena in LOC Systems

Different transport mechanisms exhibit unique properties at submillimeter length scales in microfluidic devices, leading to significant transport phenomena that differ from those of macroscale flows. An in-depth understanding of these unique transport phenomena under microfluidic systems is often required in fluidic mechanics to fully harness the potential functionality of a LOC system to obtain systematically designed and precisely controlled transport of microfluids under their respective driving force. Fluid mechanics is considered a vital component in chemical engineering, enabling the analysis of fluid behaviors in various unit designs, ranging from large-scale reactors to separation units. Transport phenomena in fluid mechanics provide a conceptual framework for analytically and descriptively explaining why and how experimental results and physiological phenomena occur. The Navier–Stokes (N–S) equation, along with other governing equations, is often adapted to accurately describe fluid dynamics by accounting for pressure, surface properties, velocity, and temperature variations over space and time. In addition, limiting factors and nonidealities for these governing equations should be considered to impose corrections for empirical consistency before physical models are assembled for more accurate controls and efficiency. Microfluidic flow systems often deviate from ideal conditions, requiring adjustments to the standard governing equations. These deviations could arise from factors such as viscous effects, surface interactions, and non-Newtonian fluid properties from different microfluid types and geometrical layouts of microchannels. Addressing these nonidealities supports the refining of theoretical models and prediction accuracy for microfluidic flow behaviors.

The analytical calculation of coupled nonlinear governing equations, which describes the material and energy balances of systems under ideal conditions, often requires considerable computational efforts. However, advancements in computation capabilities, cost reduction, and improved accuracy have made numerical simulations using different numerical and modeling methods a powerful tool for effectively solving these complex coupled equations and modeling various transport phenomena. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a numerical technique used to investigate the spatial and temporal distribution of various flow parameters. It serves as a critical approach to provide insights and reasoning for decision-making regarding the optimal designs involving fluid dynamics, even prior to complex physical model prototyping and experimental procedures. The integration of experimental data, theoretical analysis, and reliable numerical simulations from CFD enables systematic variation of analytical parameters through quantitative analysis, where adjustment to delivery of blood flow and other working fluids in LOC systems can be achieved.

Numerical methods such as the Finite-Difference Method (FDM), Finite-Element-Method (FEM), and Finite-Volume Method (FVM) are heavily employed in CFD and offer diverse approaches to achieve discretization of Eulerian flow equations through filling a mesh of the flow domain. A more in-depth review of numerical methods in CFD and its application for blood flow simulation is provided in Section 2.2.2.

1.3. Scope of the Review

In this Review, we explore and characterize the blood flow phenomena within the LOC systems, utilizing both physiological and engineering modeling approaches. Similar approaches will be taken to discuss capillary-driven flow and electric-osmotic flow (EOF) under electrokinetic phenomena as a passive and active transport scheme, respectively, for blood transport in LOC systems. Such an analysis aims to bridge the gap between physical (experimental) and engineering (analytical) perspectives in studying and manipulating blood flow delivery by different driving forces in LOC systems. Moreover, the Review hopes to benefit the interests of not only blood flow control in LOC devices but also the transport of viscoelastic fluids, which are less studied in the literature compared to that of Newtonian fluids, in LOC systems.

Section 2 examines the complex interplay between viscoelastic properties of blood and blood flow patterns under shear flow in LOC systems, while engineering numerical modeling approaches for blood flow are presented for assistance. Sections 3 and 4 look into the theoretical principles, numerical governing equations, and modeling methodologies for capillary driven flow and EOF in LOC systems as well as their impact on blood flow dynamics through the quantification of key parameters of the two driving forces. Section 5 concludes the characterized blood flow transport processes in LOC systems under these two forces. Additionally, prospective areas of research in improving the functionality of LOC devices employing blood and other viscoelastic fluids and potentially justifying mechanisms underlying microfluidic flow patterns outside of LOC systems are presented. Finally, the challenges encountered in the numerical studies of blood flow under LOC systems are acknowledged, paving the way for further research.

2. Blood Flow Phenomena

ARTICLE SECTIONS

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2.1. Physiological Blood Flow Behavior

Blood, an essential physiological fluid in the human body, serves the vital role of transporting oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Additionally, blood is responsible for suspending various blood cells including erythrocytes (red blood cells or RBCs), leukocytes (white blood cells), and thrombocytes (blood platelets) in a plasma medium.Among the cells mentioned above, red blood cells (RBCs) comprise approximately 40–45% of the volume of healthy blood. 

(7) An RBC possesses an inherent elastic property with a biconcave shape of an average diameter of 8 μm and a thickness of 2 μm. This biconcave shape maximizes the surface-to-volume ratio, allowing RBCs to endure significant distortion while maintaining their functionality. 

(8,9) Additionally, the biconcave shape optimizes gas exchange, facilitating efficient uptake of oxygen due to the increased surface area. The inherent elasticity of RBCs allows them to undergo substantial distortion from their original biconcave shape and exhibits high flexibility, particularly in narrow channels.RBC deformability enables the cell to deform from a biconcave shape to a parachute-like configuration, despite minor differences in RBC shape dynamics under shear flow between initial cell locations. As shown in Figure 1(a), RBCs initiating with different resting shapes and orientations displaying display a similar deformation pattern 

(10) in terms of its shape. Shear flow induces an inward bending of the cell at the rear position of the rim to the final bending position, 

(11) resulting in an alignment toward the same position of the flow direction.

Figure 1. Images of varying deformation of RBCs and different dynamic blood flow behaviors. (a) The deforming shape behavior of RBCs at four different initiating positions under the same experimental conditions of a flow from left to right, (10) (b) RBC aggregation, (13) (c) CFL region. (18) Reproduced with permission from ref (10). Copyright 2011 Elsevier. Reproduced with permission from ref (13). Copyright 2022 The Authors, under the terms of the Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Reproduced with permission from ref (18). Copyright 2019 Elsevier.

The flexible property of RBCs enables them to navigate through narrow capillaries and traverse a complex network of blood vessels. The deformability of RBCs depends on various factors, including the channel geometry, RBC concentration, and the elastic properties of the RBC membrane. 

(12) Both flexibility and deformability are vital in the process of oxygen exchange among blood and tissues throughout the body, allowing cells to flow in vessels even smaller than the original cell size prior to deforming.As RBCs serve as major components in blood, their collective dynamics also hugely affect blood rheology. RBCs exhibit an aggregation phenomenon due to cell to cell interactions, such as adhesion forces, among populated cells, inducing unique blood flow patterns and rheological behaviors in microfluidic systems. For blood flow in large vessels between a diameter of 1 and 3 cm, where shear rates are not high, a constant viscosity and Newtonian behavior for blood can be assumed. However, under low shear rate conditions (0.1 s

–1) in smaller vessels such as the arteries and venules, which are within a diameter of 0.2 mm to 1 cm, blood exhibits non-Newtonian properties, such as shear-thinning viscosity and viscoelasticity due to RBC aggregation and deformability. The nonlinear viscoelastic property of blood gives rise to a complex relationship between viscosity and shear rate, primarily influenced by the highly elastic behavior of RBCs. A wide range of research on the transient behavior of the RBC shape and aggregation characteristics under varied flow circumstances has been conducted, aiming to obtain a better understanding of the interaction between blood flow shear forces from confined flows.

For a better understanding of the unique blood flow structures and rheological behaviors in microfluidic systems, some blood flow patterns are introduced in the following section.

2.1.1. RBC Aggregation

RBC aggregation is a vital phenomenon to be considered when designing LOC devices due to its impact on the viscosity of the bulk flow. Under conditions of low shear rate, such as in stagnant or low flow rate regions, RBCs tend to aggregate, forming structures known as rouleaux, resembling stacks of coins as shown in Figure 1(b). 

(13) The aggregation of RBCs increases the viscosity at the aggregated region, 

(14) hence slowing down the overall blood flow. However, when exposed to high shear rates, RBC aggregates disaggregate. As shear rates continue to increase, RBCs tend to deform, elongating and aligning themselves with the direction of the flow. 

(15) Such a dynamic shift in behavior from the cells in response to the shear rate forms the basis of the viscoelastic properties observed in whole blood. In essence, the viscosity of the blood varies according to the shear rate conditions, which are related to the velocity gradient of the system. It is significant to take the intricate relationship between shear rate conditions and the change of blood viscosity due to RBC aggregation into account since various flow driving conditions may induce varied effects on the degree of aggregation.

2.1.2. Fåhræus-Lindqvist Effect

The Fåhræus–Lindqvist (FL) effect describes the gradual decrease in the apparent viscosity of blood as the channel diameter decreases. 

(16) This effect is attributed to the migration of RBCs toward the central region in the microchannel, where the flow rate is higher, due to the presence of higher pressure and asymmetric distribution of shear forces. This migration of RBCs, typically observed at blood vessels less than 0.3 mm, toward the higher flow rate region contributes to the change in blood viscosity, which becomes dependent on the channel size. Simultaneously, the increase of the RBC concentration in the central region of the microchannel results in the formation of a less viscous region close to the microchannel wall. This region called the Cell-Free Layer (CFL), is primarily composed of plasma. 

(17) The combination of the FL effect and the following CFL formation provides a unique phenomenon that is often utilized in passive and active plasma separation mechanisms, involving branched and constriction channels for various applications in plasma separation using microfluidic systems.

2.1.3. Cell-Free Layer Formation

In microfluidic blood flow, RBCs form aggregates at the microchannel core and result in a region that is mostly devoid of RBCs near the microchannel walls, as shown in Figure 1(c). 

(18) The region is known as the cell-free layer (CFL). The CFL region is often known to possess a lower viscosity compared to other regions within the blood flow due to the lower viscosity value of plasma when compared to that of the aggregated RBCs. Therefore, a thicker CFL region composed of plasma correlates to a reduced apparent whole blood viscosity. 

(19) A thicker CFL region is often established following the RBC aggregation at the microchannel core under conditions of decreasing the tube diameter. Apart from the dependence on the RBC concentration in the microchannel core, the CFL thickness is also affected by the volume concentration of RBCs, or hematocrit, in whole blood, as well as the deformability of RBCs. Given the influence CFL thickness has on blood flow rheological parameters such as blood flow rate, which is strongly dependent on whole blood viscosity, investigating CFL thickness under shear flow is crucial for LOC systems accounting for blood flow.

2.1.4. Plasma Skimming in Bifurcation Networks

The uneven arrangement of RBCs in bifurcating microchannels, commonly termed skimming bifurcation, arises from the axial migration of RBCs within flowing streams. This uneven distribution contributes to variations in viscosity across differing sizes of bifurcating channels but offers a stabilizing effect. Notably, higher flow rates in microchannels are associated with increased hematocrit levels, resulting in higher viscosity compared with those with lower flow rates. Parametric investigations on bifurcation angle, 

(20) thickness of the CFL, 

(21) and RBC dynamics, including aggregation and deformation, 

(22) may alter the varying viscosity of blood and its flow behavior within microchannels.

2.2. Modeling on Blood Flow Dynamics

2.2.1. Blood Properties and Mathematical Models of Blood Rheology

Under different shear rate conditions in blood flow, the elastic characteristics and dynamic changes of the RBC induce a complex velocity and stress relationship, resulting in the incompatibility of blood flow characterization through standard presumptions of constant viscosity used for Newtonian fluid flow. Blood flow is categorized as a viscoelastic non-Newtonian fluid flow where constitutive equations governing this type of flow take into consideration the nonlinear viscometric properties of blood. To mathematically characterize the evolving blood viscosity and the relationship between the elasticity of RBC and the shear blood flow, respectively, across space and time of the system, a stress tensor (τ) defined by constitutive models is often coupled in the Navier–Stokes equation to account for the collective impact of the constant dynamic viscosity (η) and the elasticity from RBCs on blood flow.The dynamic viscosity of blood is heavily dependent on the shear stress applied to the cell and various parameters from the blood such as hematocrit value, plasma viscosity, mechanical properties of the RBC membrane, and red blood cell aggregation rate. The apparent blood viscosity is considered convenient for the characterization of the relationship between the evolving blood viscosity and shear rate, which can be defined by Casson’s law, as shown in eq 1.

𝜇=𝜏0𝛾˙+2𝜂𝜏0𝛾˙⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯√+𝜂�=�0�˙+2��0�˙+�

(1)where τ

0 is the yield stress–stress required to initiate blood flow motion, η is the Casson rheological constant, and γ̇ is the shear rate. The value of Casson’s law parameters under blood with normal hematocrit level can be defined as τ

0 = 0.0056 Pa and η = 0.0035 Pa·s. 

(23) With the known property of blood and Casson’s law parameters, an approximation can be made to the dynamic viscosity under various flow condition domains. The Power Law model is often employed to characterize the dynamic viscosity in relation to the shear rate, since precise solutions exist for specific geometries and flow circumstances, acting as a fundamental standard for definition. The Carreau and Carreau–Yasuda models can be advantageous over the Power Law model due to their ability to evaluate the dynamic viscosity at low to zero shear rate conditions. However, none of the above-mentioned models consider the memory or other elastic behavior of blood and its RBCs. Some other commonly used mathematical models and their constants for the non-Newtonian viscosity property characterization of blood are listed in Table 1 below. 

(24−26)Table 1. Comparison of Various Non-Newtonian Models for Blood Viscosity 

(24−26)

ModelNon-Newtonian ViscosityParameters
Power Law(2)n = 0.61, k = 0.42
Carreau(3)μ0 = 0.056 Pa·s, μ = 0.00345 Pa·s, λ = 3.1736 s, m = 2.406, a = 0.254
Walburn–Schneck(4)C1 = 0.000797 Pa·s, C2 = 0.0608 Pa·s, C3 = 0.00499, C4 = 14.585 g–1, TPMA = 25 g/L
Carreau–Yasuda(5)μ0 = 0.056 Pa·s, μ = 0.00345 Pa·s, λ = 1.902 s, n = 0.22, a = 1.25
Quemada(6)μp = 0.0012 Pa·s, k = 2.07, k0 = 4.33, γ̇c = 1.88 s–1

The blood rheology is commonly known to be influenced by two key physiological factors, namely, the hematocrit value (H

t) and the fibrinogen concentration (c

f), with an average value of 42% and 0.252 gd·L

–1, respectively. Particularly in low shear conditions, the presence of varying fibrinogen concentrations affects the tendency for aggregation and rouleaux formation, while the occurrence of aggregation is contingent upon specific levels of hematocrit. 

(27) The study from Apostolidis et al. 

(28) modifies the Casson model through emphasizing its reliance on hematocrit and fibrinogen concentration parameter values, owing to the extensive knowledge of the two physiological blood parameters.The viscoelastic response of blood is heavily dependent on the elasticity of the RBC, which is defined by the relationship between the deformation and stress relaxation from RBCs under a specific location of shear flow as a function of the velocity field. The stress tensor is usually characterized by constitutive equations such as the Upper-Convected Maxwell Model 

(29) and the Oldroyd-B model 

(30) to track the molecule effects under shear from different driving forces. The prominent non-Newtonian features, such as shear thinning and yield stress, have played a vital role in the characterization of blood rheology, particularly with respect to the evaluation of yield stress under low shear conditions. The nature of stress measurement in blood, typically on the order of 1 mPa, is challenging due to its low magnitude. The occurrence of the CFL complicates the measurement further due to the significant decrease in apparent viscosity near the wall over time and a consequential disparity in viscosity compared to the bulk region.In addition to shear thinning viscosity and yield stress, the formation of aggregation (rouleaux) from RBCs under low shear rates also contributes to the viscoelasticity under transient flow 

(31) and thixotropy 

(32) of whole blood. Given the difficulty in evaluating viscoelastic behavior of blood under low strain magnitudes and limitations in generalized Newtonian models, the utilization of viscoelastic models is advocated to encompass elasticity and delineate non-shear components within the stress tensor. Extending from the Oldroyd-B model, Anand et al. 

(33) developed a viscoelastic model framework for adapting elasticity within blood samples and predicting non-shear stress components. However, to also address the thixotropic effects, the model developed by Horner et al. 

(34) serves as a more comprehensive approach than the viscoelastic model from Anand et al. Thixotropy 

(32) typically occurs from the structural change of the rouleaux, where low shear rate conditions induce rouleaux formation. Correspondingly, elasticity increases, while elasticity is more representative of the isolated RBCs, under high shear rate conditions. The model of Horner et al. 

(34) considers the contribution of rouleaux to shear stress, taking into account factors such as the characteristic time for Brownian aggregation, shear-induced aggregation, and shear-induced breakage. Subsequent advancements in the model from Horner et al. often revolve around refining the three aforementioned key terms for a more substantial characterization of rouleaux dynamics. Notably, this has led to the recently developed mHAWB model 

(35) and other model iterations to enhance the accuracy of elastic and viscoelastic contributions to blood rheology, including the recently improved model suggested by Armstrong et al. 

(36)

2.2.2. Numerical Methods (FDM, FEM, FVM)

Numerical simulation has become increasingly more significant in analyzing the geometry, boundary layers of flow, and nonlinearity of hyperbolic viscoelastic flow constitutive equations. CFD is a powerful and efficient tool utilizing numerical methods to solve the governing hydrodynamic equations, such as the Navier–Stokes (N–S) equation, continuity equation, and energy conservation equation, for qualitative evaluation of fluid motion dynamics under different parameters. CFD overcomes the challenge of analytically solving nonlinear forms of differential equations by employing numerical methods such as the Finite-Difference Method (FDM), Finite-Element Method (FEM), and Finite-Volume Method (FVM) to discretize and solve the partial differential equations (PDEs), allowing for qualitative reproduction of transport phenomena and experimental observations. Different numerical methods are chosen to cope with various transport systems for optimization of the accuracy of the result and control of error during the discretization process.FDM is a straightforward approach to discretizing PDEs, replacing the continuum representation of equations with a set of finite-difference equations, which is typically applied to structured grids for efficient implementation in CFD programs. 

(37) However, FDM is often limited to simple geometries such as rectangular or block-shaped geometries and struggles with curved boundaries. In contrast, FEM divides the fluid domain into small finite grids or elements, approximating PDEs through a local description of physics. 

(38) All elements contribute to a large, sparse matrix solver. However, FEM may not always provide accurate results for systems involving significant deformation and aggregation of particles like RBCs due to large distortion of grids. 

(39) FVM evaluates PDEs following the conservation laws and discretizes the selected flow domain into small but finite size control volumes, with each grid at the center of a finite volume. 

(40) The divergence theorem allows the conversion of volume integrals of PDEs with divergence terms into surface integrals of surface fluxes across cell boundaries. Due to its conservation property, FVM offers efficient outcomes when dealing with PDEs that embody mass, momentum, and energy conservation principles. Furthermore, widely accessible software packages like the OpenFOAM toolbox 

(41) include a viscoelastic solver, making it an attractive option for viscoelastic fluid flow modeling. 

(42)

2.2.3. Modeling Methods of Blood Flow Dynamics

The complexity in the blood flow simulation arises from deformability and aggregation that RBCs exhibit during their interaction with neighboring cells under different shear rate conditions induced by blood flow. Numerical models coupled with simulation programs have been applied as a groundbreaking method to predict such unique rheological behavior exhibited by RBCs and whole blood. The conventional approach of a single-phase flow simulation is often applied to blood flow simulations within large vessels possessing a moderate shear rate. However, such a method assumes the properties of plasma, RBCs and other cellular components to be evenly distributed as average density and viscosity in blood, resulting in the inability to simulate the mechanical dynamics, such as RBC aggregation under high-shear flow field, inherent in RBCs. To accurately describe the asymmetric distribution of RBC and blood flow, multiphase flow simulation, where numerical simulations of blood flows are often modeled as two immiscible phases, RBCs and blood plasma, is proposed. A common assumption is that RBCs exhibit non-Newtonian behavior while the plasma is treated as a continuous Newtonian phase.Numerous multiphase numerical models have been proposed to simulate the influence of RBCs on blood flow dynamics by different assumptions. In large-scale simulations (above the millimeter range), continuum-based methods are wildly used due to their lower computational demands. 

(43) Eulerian multiphase flow simulations offer the solution of a set of conservation equations for each separate phase and couple the phases through common pressure and interphase exchange coefficients. Xu et al. 

(44) utilized the combined finite-discrete element method (FDEM) to replicate the dynamic behavior and distortion of RBCs subjected to fluidic forces, utilizing the Johnson–Kendall–Roberts model 

(45) to define the adhesive forces of cell-to-cell interactions. The iterative direct-forcing immersed boundary method (IBM) is commonly employed in simulations of the fluid–cell interface of blood. This method effectively captures the intricacies of the thin and flexible RBC membranes within various external flow fields. 

(46) The study by Xu et al. 

(44) also adopts this approach to bridge the fluid dynamics and RBC deformation through IBM. Yoon and You utilized the Maxwell model to define the viscosity of the RBC membrane. 

(47) It was discovered that the Maxwell model could represent the stress relaxation and unloading processes of the cell. Furthermore, the reduced flexibility of an RBC under particular situations such as infection is specified, which was unattainable by the Kelvin–Voigt model 

(48) when compared to the Maxwell model in the literature. The Yeoh hyperplastic material model was also adapted to predict the nonlinear elasticity property of RBCs with FEM employed to discretize the RBC membrane using shell-type elements. Gracka et al. 

(49) developed a numerical CFD model with a finite-volume parallel solver for multiphase blood flow simulation, where an updated Maxwell viscoelasticity model and a Discrete Phase Model are adopted. In the study, the adapted IBM, based on unstructured grids, simulates the flow behavior and shape change of the RBCs through fluid-structure coupling. It was found that the hybrid Euler–Lagrange (E–L) approach 

(50) for the development of the multiphase model offered better results in the simulated CFL region in the microchannels.To study the dynamics of individual behaviors of RBCs and the consequent non-Newtonian blood flow, cell-shape-resolved computational models are often adapted. The use of the boundary integral method has become prevalent in minimizing computational expenses, particularly in the exclusive determination of fluid velocity on the surfaces of RBCs, incorporating the option of employing IBM or particle-based techniques. The cell-shaped-resolved method has enabled an examination of cell to cell interactions within complex ambient or pulsatile flow conditions 

(51) surrounding RBC membranes. Recently, Rydquist et al. 

(52) have looked to integrate statistical information from macroscale simulations to obtain a comprehensive overview of RBC behavior within the immediate proximity of the flow through introduction of respective models characterizing membrane shape definition, tension, bending stresses of RBC membranes.At a macroscopic scale, continuum models have conventionally been adapted for assessing blood flow dynamics through the application of elasticity theory and fluid dynamics. However, particle-based methods are known for their simplicity and adaptability in modeling complex multiscale fluid structures. Meshless methods, such as the boundary element method (BEM), smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), and dissipative particle dynamics (DPD), are often used in particle-based characterization of RBCs and the surrounding fluid. By representing the fluid as discrete particles, meshless methods provide insights into the status and movement of the multiphase fluid. These methods allow for the investigation of cellular structures and microscopic interactions that affect blood rheology. Non-confronting mesh methods like IBM can also be used to couple a fluid solver such as FEM, FVM, or the Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) through membrane representation of RBCs. In comparison to conventional CFD methods, LBM has been viewed as a favorable numerical approach for solving the N–S equations and the simulation of multiphase flows. LBM exhibits the notable advantage of being amenable to high-performance parallel computing environments due to its inherently local dynamics. In contrast to DPD and SPH where RBC membranes are modeled as physically interconnected particles, LBM employs the IBM to account for the deformation dynamics of RBCs 

(53,54) under shear flows in complex channel geometries. 

(54,55) However, it is essential to acknowledge that the utilization of LBM in simulating RBC flows often entails a significant computational overhead, being a primary challenge in this context. Krüger et al. 

(56) proposed utilizing LBM as a fluid solver, IBM to couple the fluid and FEM to compute the response of membranes to deformation under immersed fluids. This approach decouples the fluid and membranes but necessitates significant computational effort due to the requirements of both meshes and particles.Despite the accuracy of current blood flow models, simulating complex conditions remains challenging because of the high computational load and cost. Balachandran Nair et al. 

(57) suggested a reduced order model of RBC under the framework of DEM, where the RBC is represented by overlapping constituent rigid spheres. The Morse potential force is adapted to account for the RBC aggregation exhibited by cell to cell interactions among RBCs at different distances. Based upon the IBM, the reduced-order RBC model is adapted to simulate blood flow transport for validation under both single and multiple RBCs with a resolved CFD-DEM solver. 

(58) In the resolved CFD-DEM model, particle sizes are larger than the grid size for a more accurate computation of the surrounding flow field. A continuous forcing approach is taken to describe the momentum source of the governing equation prior to discretization, which is different from a Direct Forcing Method (DFM). 

(59) As no body-conforming moving mesh is required, the continuous forcing approach offers lower complexity and reduced cost when compared to the DFM. Piquet et al. 

(60) highlighted the high complexity of the DFM due to its reliance on calculating an additional immersed boundary flux for the velocity field to ensure its divergence-free condition.The fluid–structure interaction (FSI) method has been advocated to connect the dynamic interplay of RBC membranes and fluid plasma within blood flow such as the coupling of continuum–particle interactions. However, such methodology is generally adapted for anatomical configurations such as arteries 

(61,62) and capillaries, 

(63) where both the structural components and the fluid domain undergo substantial deformation due to the moving boundaries. Due to the scope of the Review being blood flow simulation within microchannels of LOC devices without deformable boundaries, the Review of the FSI method will not be further carried out.In general, three numerical methods are broadly used: mesh-based, particle-based, and hybrid mesh–particle techniques, based on the spatial scale and the fundamental numerical approach, mesh-based methods tend to neglect the effects of individual particles, assuming a continuum and being efficient in terms of time and cost. However, the particle-based approach highlights more of the microscopic and mesoscopic level, where the influence of individual RBCs is considered. A review from Freund et al. 

(64) addressed the three numerical methodologies and their respective modeling approaches of RBC dynamics. Given the complex mechanics and the diverse levels of study concerning numerical simulations of blood and cellular flow, a broad spectrum of numerical methods for blood has been subjected to extensive review. 

(64−70) Ye at al. 

(65) offered an extensive review of the application of the DPD, SPH, and LBM for numerical simulations of RBC, while Rathnayaka et al. 

(67) conducted a review of the particle-based numerical modeling for liquid marbles through drawing parallels to the transport of RBCs in microchannels. A comparative analysis between conventional CFD methods and particle-based approaches for cellular and blood flow dynamic simulation can be found under the review by Arabghahestani et al. 

(66) Literature by Li et al. 

(68) and Beris et al. 

(69) offer an overview of both continuum-based models at micro/macroscales and multiscale particle-based models encompassing various length and temporal dimensions. Furthermore, these reviews deliberate upon the potential of coupling continuum-particle methods for blood plasma and RBC modeling. Arciero et al. 

(70) investigated various modeling approaches encompassing cellular interactions, such as cell to cell or plasma interactions and the individual cellular phases. A concise overview of the reviews is provided in Table 2 for reference.

Table 2. List of Reviews for Numerical Approaches Employed in Blood Flow Simulation

ReferenceNumerical methods
Li et al. (2013) (68)Continuum-based modeling (BIM), particle-based modeling (LBM, LB-FE, SPH, DPD)
Freund (2014) (64)RBC dynamic modeling (continuum-based modeling, complementary discrete microstructure modeling), blood flow dynamic modeling (FDM, IBM, LBM, particle-mesh methods, coupled boundary integral and mesh-based methods, DPD)
Ye et al. (2016) (65)DPD, SPH, LBM, coupled IBM-Smoothed DPD
Arciero et al. (2017) (70)LBM, IBM, DPD, conventional CFD Methods (FDM, FVM, FEM)
Arabghahestani et al. (2019) (66)Particle-based methods (LBM, DPD, direct simulation Monte Carlo, molecular dynamics), SPH, conventional CFD methods (FDM, FVM, FEM)
Beris et al. (2021) (69)DPD, smoothed DPD, IBM, LBM, BIM
Rathnayaka (2022) (67)SPH, CG, LBM

3. Capillary Driven Blood Flow in LOC Systems

ARTICLE SECTIONS

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3.1. Capillary Driven Flow Phenomena

Capillary driven (CD) flow is a pivotal mechanism in passive microfluidic flow systems 

(9) such as the blood circulation system and LOC systems. 

(71) CD flow is essentially the movement of a liquid to flow against drag forces, where the capillary effect exerts a force on the liquid at the borders, causing a liquid–air meniscus to flow despite gravity or other drag forces. A capillary pressure drops across the liquid–air interface with surface tension in the capillary radius and contact angle. The capillary effect depends heavily on the interaction between the different properties of surface materials. Different values of contact angles can be manipulated and obtained under varying levels of surface wettability treatments to manipulate the surface properties, resulting in different CD blood delivery rates for medical diagnostic device microchannels. CD flow techniques are appealing for many LOC devices, because they require no external energy. However, due to the passive property of liquid propulsion by capillary forces and the long-term instability of surface treatments on channel walls, the adaptability of CD flow in geometrically complex LOC devices may be limited.

3.2. Theoretical and Numerical Modeling of Capillary Driven Blood Flow

3.2.1. Theoretical Basis and Assumptions of Microfluidic Flow

The study of transport phenomena regarding either blood flow driven by capillary forces or externally applied forces under microfluid systems all demands a comprehensive recognition of the significant differences in flow dynamics between microscale and macroscale. The fundamental assumptions and principles behind fluid transport at the microscale are discussed in this section. Such a comprehension will lay the groundwork for the following analysis of the theoretical basis of capillary forces and their role in blood transport in LOC systems.

At the macroscale, fluid dynamics are often strongly influenced by gravity due to considerable fluid mass. However, the high surface to volume ratio at the microscale shifts the balance toward surface forces (e.g., surface tension and viscous forces), much larger than the inertial force. This difference gives rise to transport phenomena unique to microscale fluid transport, such as the prevalence of laminar flow due to a very low Reynolds number (generally lower than 1). Moreover, the fluid in a microfluidic system is often assumed to be incompressible due to the small flow velocity, indicating constant fluid density in both space and time.Microfluidic flow behaviors are governed by the fundamental principles of mass and momentum conservation, which are encapsulated in the continuity equation and the Navier–Stokes (N–S) equation. The continuity equation describes the conservation of mass, while the N–S equation captures the spatial and temporal variations in velocity, pressure, and other physical parameters. Under the assumption of the negligible influence of gravity in microfluidic systems, the continuity equation and the Eulerian representation of the incompressible N–S equation can be expressed as follows:

∇·𝐮⇀=0∇·�⇀=0

(7)

−∇𝑝+𝜇∇2𝐮⇀+∇·𝝉⇀−𝐅⇀=0−∇�+�∇2�⇀+∇·�⇀−�⇀=0

(8)Here, p is the pressure, u is the fluid viscosity, 

𝝉⇀�⇀ represents the stress tensor, and F is the body force exerted by external forces if present.

3.2.2. Theoretical Basis and Modeling of Capillary Force in LOC Systems

The capillary force is often the major driving force to manipulate and transport blood without an externally applied force in LOC systems. Forces induced by the capillary effect impact the free surface of fluids and are represented not directly in the Navier–Stokes equations but through the pressure boundary conditions of the pressure term p. For hydrophilic surfaces, the liquid generally induces a contact angle between 0° and 30°, encouraging the spread and attraction of fluid under a positive cos θ condition. For this condition, the pressure drop becomes positive and generates a spontaneous flow forward. A hydrophobic solid surface repels the fluid, inducing minimal contact. Generally, hydrophobic solids exhibit a contact angle larger than 90°, inducing a negative value of cos θ. Such a value will result in a negative pressure drop and a flow in the opposite direction. The induced contact angle is often utilized to measure the wall exposure of various surface treatments on channel walls where different wettability gradients and surface tension effects for CD flows are established. Contact angles between different interfaces are obtainable through standard values or experimental methods for reference. 

(72)For the characterization of the induced force by the capillary effect, the Young–Laplace (Y–L) equation 

(73) is widely employed. In the equation, the capillary is considered a pressure boundary condition between the two interphases. Through the Y–L equation, the capillary pressure force can be determined, and subsequently, the continuity and momentum balance equations can be solved to obtain the blood filling rate. Kim et al. 

(74) studied the effects of concentration and exposure time of a nonionic surfactant, Silwet L-77, on the performance of a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microchannel in terms of plasma and blood self-separation. The study characterized the capillary pressure force by incorporating the Y–L equation and further evaluated the effects of the changing contact angle due to different levels of applied channel wall surface treatments. The expression of the Y–L equation utilized by Kim et al. 

(74) is as follows:

𝑃=−𝜎(cos𝜃b+cos𝜃tℎ+cos𝜃l+cos𝜃r𝑤)�=−�(cos⁡�b+cos⁡�tℎ+cos⁡�l+cos⁡�r�)

(9)where σ is the surface tension of the liquid and θ

bθ

tθ

l, and θ

r are the contact angle values between the liquid and the bottom, top, left, and right walls, respectively. A numerical simulation through Coventor software is performed to evaluate the dynamic changes in the filling rate within the microchannel. The simulation results for the blood filling rate in the microchannel are expressed at a specific time stamp, shown in Figure 2. The results portray an increasing instantaneous filling rate of blood in the microchannel following the decrease in contact angle induced by a higher concentration of the nonionic surfactant treated to the microchannel wall.

Figure 2. Numerical simulation of filling rate of capillary driven blood flow under various contact angle conditions at a specific timestamp. (74) Reproduced with permission from ref (74). Copyright 2010 Elsevier.

When in contact with hydrophilic or hydrophobic surfaces, blood forms a meniscus with a contact angle due to surface tension. The Lucas–Washburn (L–W) equation 

(75) is one of the pioneering theoretical definitions for the position of the meniscus over time. In addition, the L–W equation provides the possibility for research to obtain the velocity of the blood formed meniscus through the derivation of the meniscus position. The L–W equation 

(75) can be shown below:

𝐿(𝑡)=𝑅𝜎cos(𝜃)𝑡2𝜇⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯√�(�)=��⁡cos(�)�2�

(10)Here L(t) represents the distance of the liquid driven by the capillary forces. However, the generalized L–W equation solely assumes the constant physical properties from a Newtonian fluid rather than considering the non-Newtonian fluid behavior of blood. Cito et al. 

(76) constructed an enhanced version of the L–W equation incorporating the power law to consider the RBC aggregation and the FL effect. The non-Newtonian fluid apparent viscosity under the Power Law model is defined as

𝜇=𝑘·(𝛾˙)𝑛−1�=�·(�˙)�−1

(11)where γ̇ is the strain rate tensor defined as 

𝛾˙=12𝛾˙𝑖𝑗𝛾˙𝑗𝑖⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯√�˙=12�˙���˙��. The stress tensor term τ is computed as τ = μγ̇

ij. The updated L–W equation by Cito 

(76) is expressed as

𝐿(𝑡)=𝑅[(𝑛+13𝑛+1)(𝜎cos(𝜃)𝑅𝑘)1/𝑛𝑡]𝑛/𝑛+1�(�)=�[(�+13�+1)(�⁡cos(�)��)1/��]�/�+1

(12)where k is the flow consistency index and n is the power law index, respectively. The power law index, from the Power Law model, characterizes the extent of the non-Newtonian behavior of blood. Both the consistency and power law index rely on blood properties such as hematocrit, the appearance of the FL effect, the formation of RBC aggregates, etc. The updated L–W equation computes the location and velocity of blood flow caused by capillary forces at specified time points within the LOC devices, taking into account the effects of blood flow characteristics such as RBC aggregation and the FL effect on dynamic blood viscosity.Apart from the blood flow behaviors triggered by inherent blood properties, unique flow conditions driven by capillary forces that are portrayed under different microchannel geometries also hold crucial implications for CD blood delivery. Berthier et al. 

(77) studied the spontaneous Concus–Finn condition, the condition to initiate the spontaneous capillary flow within a V-groove microchannel, as shown in Figure 3(a) both experimentally and numerically. Through experimental studies, the spontaneous Concus–Finn filament development of capillary driven blood flow is observed, as shown in Figure 3(b), while the dynamic development of blood flow is numerically simulated through CFD simulation.

Figure 3. (a) Sketch of the cross-section of Berthier’s V-groove microchannel, (b) experimental view of blood in the V-groove microchannel, (78) (c) illustration of the dynamic change of the extension of filament from FLOW 3D under capillary flow at three increasing time intervals. (78) Reproduced with permission from ref (78). Copyright 2014 Elsevier.

Berthier et al. 

(77) characterized the contact angle needed for the initiation of the capillary driving force at a zero-inlet pressure, through the half-angle (α) of the V-groove geometry layout, and its relation to the Concus–Finn filament as shown below:

𝜃<𝜋2−𝛼sin𝛼1+2(ℎ2/𝑤)sin𝛼<cos𝜃{�<�2−�sin⁡�1+2(ℎ2/�)⁡sin⁡�<cos⁡�

(13)Three possible regimes were concluded based on the contact angle value for the initiation of flow and development of Concus–Finn filament:

𝜃>𝜃1𝜃1>𝜃>𝜃0𝜃0no SCFSCF without a Concus−Finn filamentSCF without a Concus−Finn filament{�>�1no SCF�1>�>�0SCF without a Concus−Finn filament�0SCF without a Concus−Finn filament

(14)Under Newton’s Law, the force balance with low Reynolds and Capillary numbers results in the neglect of inertial terms. The force balance between the capillary forces and the viscous force induced by the channel wall is proposed to derive the analytical fluid velocity. This relation between the two forces offers insights into the average flow velocity and the penetration distance function dependent on time. The apparent blood viscosity is defined by Berthier et al. 

(78) through Casson’s law, 

(23) given in eq 1. The research used the FLOW-3D program from Flow Science Inc. software, which solves transient, free-surface problems using the FDM in multiple dimensions. The Volume of Fluid (VOF) method 

(79) is utilized to locate and track the dynamic extension of filament throughout the advancing interface within the channel ahead of the main flow at three progressing time stamps, as depicted in Figure 3(c).

4. Electro-osmotic Flow (EOF) in LOC Systems

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The utilization of external forces, such as electric fields, has significantly broadened the possibility of manipulating microfluidic flow in LOC systems. 

(80) Externally applied electric field forces induce a fluid flow from the movement of ions in fluid terms as the “electro-osmotic flow” (EOF).Unique transport phenomena, such as enhanced flow velocity and flow instability, induced by non-Newtonian fluids, particularly viscoelastic fluids, under EOF, have sparked considerable interest in microfluidic devices with simple or complicated geometries within channels. 

(81) However, compared to the study of Newtonian fluids and even other electro-osmotic viscoelastic fluid flows, the literature focusing on the theoretical and numerical modeling of electro-osmotic blood flow is limited due to the complexity of blood properties. Consequently, to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the complex blood flow behavior under EOF, theoretical and numerical studies of the transport phenomena in the EOF section will be based on the studies of different viscoelastic fluids under EOF rather than that of blood specifically. Despite this limitation, we believe these studies offer valuable insights that can help understand the complex behavior of blood flow under EOF.

4.1. EOF Phenomena

Electro-osmotic flow occurs at the interface between the microchannel wall and bulk phase solution. When in contact with the bulk phase, solution ions are absorbed or dissociated at the solid–liquid interface, resulting in the formation of a charge layer, as shown in Figure 4. This charged channel surface wall interacts with both negative and positive ions in the bulk sample, causing repulsion and attraction forces to create a thin layer of immobilized counterions, known as the Stern layer. The induced electric potential from the wall gradually decreases with an increase in the distance from the wall. The Stern layer potential, commonly termed the zeta potential, controls the intensity of the electrostatic interactions between mobile counterions and, consequently, the drag force from the applied electric field. Next to the Stern layer is the diffuse mobile layer, mainly composed of a mobile counterion. These two layers constitute the “electrical double layer” (EDL), the thickness of which is directly proportional to the ionic strength (concentration) of the bulk fluid. The relationship between the two parameters is characterized by a Debye length (λ

D), expressed as

𝜆𝐷=𝜖𝑘B𝑇2(𝑍𝑒)2𝑐0⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯√��=��B�2(��)2�0

(15)where ϵ is the permittivity of the electrolyte solution, k

B is the Boltzmann constant, T is the electron temperature, Z is the integer valence number, e is the elementary charge, and c

0 is the ionic density.

Figure 4. Schematic diagram of an electro-osmotic flow in a microchannel with negative surface charge. (82) Reproduced with permission from ref (82). Copyright 2012 Woodhead Publishing.

When an electric field is applied perpendicular to the EDL, viscous drag is generated due to the movement of excess ions in the EDL. Electro-osmotic forces can be attributed to the externally applied electric potential (ϕ) and the zeta potential, the system wall induced potential by charged walls (ψ). As illustrated in Figure 4, the majority of ions in the bulk phase have a uniform velocity profile, except for a shear rate condition confined within an extremely thin Stern layer. Therefore, EOF displays a unique characteristic of a “near flat” or plug flow velocity profile, different from the parabolic flow typically induced by pressure-driven microfluidic flow (Hagen–Poiseuille flow). The plug-shaped velocity profile of the EOF possesses a high shear rate above the Stern layer.Overall, the EOF velocity magnitude is typically proportional to the Debye Length (λ

D), zeta potential, and magnitude of the externally applied electric field, while a more viscous liquid reduces the EOF velocity.

4.2. Modeling on Electro-osmotic Viscoelastic Fluid Flow

4.2.1. Theoretical Basis of EOF Mechanisms

The EOF of an incompressible viscoelastic fluid is commonly governed by the continuity and incompressible N–S equations, as shown in eqs 7 and 8, where the stress tensor and the electrostatic force term are coupled. The electro-osmotic body force term F, representing the body force exerted by the externally applied electric force, is defined as 

𝐹⇀=𝑝𝐸𝐸⇀�⇀=���⇀, where ρ

E and 

𝐸⇀�⇀ are the net electric charge density and the applied external electric field, respectively.Numerous models are established to theoretically study the externally applied electric potential and the system wall induced potential by charged walls. The following Laplace equation, expressed as eq 16, is generally adapted and solved to calculate the externally applied potential (ϕ).

∇2𝜙=0∇2�=0

(16)Ion diffusion under applied electric fields, together with mass transport resulting from convection and diffusion, transports ionic solutions in bulk flow under electrokinetic processes. The Nernst–Planck equation can describe these transport methods, including convection, diffusion, and electro-diffusion. Therefore, the Nernst–Planck equation is used to determine the distribution of the ions within the electrolyte. The electric potential induced by the charged channel walls follows the Poisson–Nernst–Plank (PNP) equation, which can be written as eq 17.

∇·[𝐷𝑖∇𝑛𝑖−𝑢⇀𝑛𝑖+𝑛𝑖𝐷𝑖𝑧𝑖𝑒𝑘𝑏𝑇∇(𝜙+𝜓)]=0∇·[��∇��−�⇀��+����������∇(�+�)]=0

(17)where D

in

i, and z

i are the diffusion coefficient, ionic concentration, and ionic valence of the ionic species I, respectively. However, due to the high nonlinearity and numerical stiffness introduced by different lengths and time scales from the PNP equations, the Poisson–Boltzmann (PB) model is often considered the major simplified method of the PNP equation to characterize the potential distribution of the EDL region in microchannels. In the PB model, it is assumed that the ionic species in the fluid follow the Boltzmann distribution. This model is typically valid for steady-state problems where charge transport can be considered negligible, the EDLs do not overlap with each other, and the intrinsic potentials are low. It provides a simplified representation of the potential distribution in the EDL region. The PB equation governing the EDL electric potential distribution is described as

∇2𝜓=(2𝑒𝑧𝑛0𝜀𝜀0)sinh(𝑧𝑒𝜓𝑘b𝑇)∇2�=(2���0��0)⁡sinh(����b�)

(18)where n

0 is the ion bulk concentration, z is the ionic valence, and ε

0 is the electric permittivity in the vacuum. Under low electric potential conditions, an even further simplified model to illustrate the EOF phenomena is the Debye–Hückel (DH) model. The DH model is derived by obtaining a charge density term by expanding the exponential term of the Boltzmann equation in a Taylor series.

4.2.2. EOF Modeling for Viscoelastic Fluids

Many studies through numerical modeling were performed to obtain a deeper understanding of the effect exhibited by externally applied electric fields on viscoelastic flow in microchannels under various geometrical designs. Bello et al. 

(83) found that methylcellulose solution, a non-Newtonian polymer solution, resulted in stronger electro-osmotic mobility in experiments when compared to the predictions by the Helmholtz–Smoluchowski equation, which is commonly used to define the velocity of EOF of a Newtonian fluid. Being one of the pioneers to identify the discrepancies between the EOF of Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids, Bello et al. attributed such discrepancies to the presence of a very high shear rate in the EDL, resulting in a change in the orientation of the polymer molecules. Park and Lee 

(84) utilized the FVM to solve the PB equation for the characterization of the electric field induced force. In the study, the concept of fractional calculus for the Oldroyd-B model was adapted to illustrate the elastic and memory effects of viscoelastic fluids in a straight microchannel They observed that fluid elasticity and increased ratio of viscoelastic fluid contribution to overall fluid viscosity had a significant impact on the volumetric flow rate and sensitivity of velocity to electric field strength compared to Newtonian fluids. Afonso et al. 

(85) derived an analytical expression for EOF of viscoelastic fluid between parallel plates using the DH model to account for a zeta potential condition below 25 mV. The study established the understanding of the electro-osmotic viscoelastic fluid flow under low zeta potential conditions. Apart from the electrokinetic forces, pressure forces can also be coupled with EOF to generate a unique fluid flow behavior within the microchannel. Sousa et al. 

(86) analytically studied the flow of a standard viscoelastic solution by combining the pressure gradient force with an externally applied electric force. It was found that, at a near wall skimming layer and the outer layer away from the wall, macromolecules migrating away from surface walls in viscoelastic fluids are observed. In the study, the Phan-Thien Tanner (PTT) constitutive model is utilized to characterize the viscoelastic properties of the solution. The approach is found to be valid when the EDL is much thinner than the skimming layer under an enhanced flow rate. Zhao and Yang 

(87) solved the PB equation and Carreau model for the characterization of the EOF mechanism and non-Newtonian fluid respectively through the FEM. The numerical results depict that, different from the EOF of Newtonian fluids, non-Newtonian fluids led to an increase of electro-osmotic mobility for shear thinning fluids but the opposite for shear thickening fluids.Like other fluid transport driving forces, EOF within unique geometrical layouts also portrays unique transport phenomena. Pimenta and Alves 

(88) utilized the FVM to perform numerical simulations of the EOF of viscoelastic fluids considering the PB equation and the Oldroyd-B model, in a cross-slot and flow-focusing microdevices. It was found that electroelastic instabilities are formed due to the development of large stresses inside the EDL with streamlined curvature at geometry corners. Bezerra et al. 

(89) used the FDM to numerically analyze the vortex formation and flow instability from an electro-osmotic non-Newtonian fluid flow in a microchannel with a nozzle geometry and parallel wall geometry setting. The PNP equation is utilized to characterize the charge motion in the EOF and the PTT model for non-Newtonian flow characterization. A constriction geometry is commonly utilized in blood flow adapted in LOC systems due to the change in blood flow behavior under narrow dimensions in a microchannel. Ji et al. 

(90) recently studied the EOF of viscoelastic fluid in a constriction microchannel connected by two relatively big reservoirs on both ends (as seen in Figure 5) filled with the polyacrylamide polymer solution, a viscoelastic fluid, and an incompressible monovalent binary electrolyte solution KCl.

Figure 5. Schematic diagram of a negatively charged constriction microchannel connected to two reservoirs at both ends. An electro-osmotic flow is induced in the system by the induced potential difference between the anode and cathode. (90) Reproduced with permission from ref (90). Copyright 2021 The Authors, under the terms of the Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

In studying the EOF of viscoelastic fluids, the Oldroyd-B model is often utilized to characterize the polymeric stress tensor and the deformation rate of the fluid. The Oldroyd-B model is expressed as follows:

𝜏=𝜂p𝜆(𝐜−𝐈)�=�p�(�−�)

(19)where η

p, λ, c, and I represent the polymer dynamic viscosity, polymer relaxation time, symmetric conformation tensor of the polymer molecules, and the identity matrix, respectively.A log-conformation tensor approach is taken to prevent convergence difficulty induced by the viscoelastic properties. The conformation tensor (c) in the polymeric stress tensor term is redefined by a new tensor (Θ) based on the natural logarithm of the c. The new tensor is defined as

Θ=ln(𝐜)=𝐑ln(𝚲)𝐑Θ=ln(�)=�⁡ln(�)�

(20)in which Λ is the diagonal matrix and R is the orthogonal matrix.Under the new conformation tensor, the induced EOF of a viscoelastic fluid is governed by the continuity and N–S equations adapting the Oldroyd-B model, which is expressed as

∂𝚯∂𝑡+𝐮·∇𝚯=𝛀Θ−ΘΩ+2𝐁+1𝜆(eΘ−𝐈)∂�∂�+�·∇�=�Θ−ΘΩ+2�+1�(eΘ−�)

(21)where Ω and B represent the anti-symmetric matrix and the symmetric traceless matrix of the decomposition of the velocity gradient tensor ∇u, respectively. The conformation tensor can be recovered by c = exp(Θ). The PB model and Laplace equation are utilized to characterize the charged channel wall induced potential and the externally applied potential.The governing equations are numerically solved through the FVM by RheoTool, 

(42) an open-source viscoelastic EOF solver on the OpenFOAM platform. A SIMPLEC (Semi-Implicit Method for Pressure Linked Equations-Consistent) algorithm was applied to solve the velocity-pressure coupling. The pressure field and velocity field were computed by the PCG (Preconditioned Conjugate Gradient) solver and the PBiCG (Preconditioned Biconjugate Gradient) solver, respectively.Ranging magnitudes of an applied electric field or fluid concentration induce both different streamlines and velocity magnitudes at various locations and times of the microchannel. In the study performed by Ji et al., 

(90) notable fluctuation of streamlines and vortex formation is formed at the upper stream entrance of the constriction as shown in Figure 6(a) and (b), respectively, due to the increase of electrokinetic effect, which is seen as a result of the increase in polymeric stress (τ

xx). 

(90) The contraction geometry enhances the EOF velocity within the constriction channel under high E

app condition (600 V/cm). Such phenomena can be attributed to the dependence of electro-osmotic viscoelastic fluid flow on the system wall surface and bulk fluid properties. 

(91)

Figure 6. Schematic diagram of vortex formation and streamlines of EOF depicting flow instability at (a) 1.71 s and (b) 1.75 s. Spatial distribution of the elastic normal stress at (c) high Eapp condition. Streamline of an electro-osmotic flow under Eapp of 600 V/cm (90) for (d) non-Newtonian and (e) Newtonian fluid through a constriction geometry. Reproduced with permission from ref (90). Copyright 2021 The Authors, under the terms of the Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

As elastic normal stress exceeds the local shear stress, flow instability and vortex formation occur. The induced elastic stress under EOF not only enhances the instability of the flow but often generates an irregular secondary flow leading to strong disturbance. 

(92) It is also vital to consider the effect of the constriction layout of microchannels on the alteration of the field strength within the system. The contraction geometry enhances a larger electric field strength compared with other locations of the channel outside the constriction region, resulting in a higher velocity gradient and stronger extension on the polymer within the viscoelastic solution. Following the high shear flow condition, a higher magnitude of stretch for polymer molecules in viscoelastic fluids exhibits larger elastic stresses and enhancement of vortex formation at the region. 

(93)As shown in Figure 6(c), significant elastic normal stress occurs at the inlet of the constriction microchannel. Such occurrence of a polymeric flow can be attributed to the dominating elongational flow, giving rise to high deformation of the polymers within the viscoelastic fluid flow, resulting in higher elastic stress from the polymers. Such phenomena at the entrance result in the difference in velocity streamline as circled in Figure 6(d) compared to that of the Newtonian fluid at the constriction entrance in Figure 6(e). 

(90) The difference between the Newtonian and polymer solution at the exit, as circled in Figure 6(d) and (e), can be attributed to the extrudate swell effect of polymers 

(94) within the viscoelastic fluid flow. The extrudate swell effect illustrates that, as polymers emerge from the constriction exit, they tend to contract in the flow direction and grow in the normal direction, resulting in an extrudate diameter greater than the channel size. The deformation of polymers within the polymeric flow at both the entrance and exit of the contraction channel facilitates the change in shear stress conditions of the flow, leading to the alteration in streamlines of flows for each region.

4.3. EOF Applications in LOC Systems

4.3.1. Mixing in LOC Systems

Rather than relying on the micromixing controlled by molecular diffusion under low Reynolds number conditions, active mixers actively leverage convective instability and vortex formation induced by electro-osmotic flows from alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) electric fields. Such adaptation is recognized as significant breakthroughs for promotion of fluid mixing in chemical and biological applications such as drug delivery, medical diagnostics, chemical synthesis, and so on. 

(95)Many researchers proposed novel designs of electro-osmosis micromixers coupled with numerical simulations in conjunction with experimental findings to increase their understanding of the role of flow instability and vortex formation in the mixing process under electrokinetic phenomena. Matsubara and Narumi 

(96) numerically modeled the mixing process in a microchannel with four electrodes on each side of the microchannel wall, which generated a disruption through unstable electro-osmotic vortices. It was found that particle mixing was sensitive to both the convection effect induced by the main and secondary vortex within the micromixer and the change in oscillation frequency caused by the supplied AC voltage when the Reynolds number was varied. Qaderi et al. 

(97) adapted the PNP equation to numerically study the effect of the geometry and zeta potential configuration of the microchannel on the mixing process with a combined electro-osmotic pressure driven flow. It was reported that the application of heterogeneous zeta potential configuration enhances the mixing efficiency by around 23% while the height of the hurdles increases the mixing efficiency at most 48.1%. Cho et al. 

(98) utilized the PB model and Laplace equation to numerically simulate the electro-osmotic non-Newtonian fluid mixing process within a wavy and block layout of microchannel walls. The Power Law model is adapted to describe the fluid rheological characteristic. It was found that shear-thinning fluids possess a higher volumetric flow rate, which could result in poorer mixing efficiency compared to that of Newtonian fluids. Numerous studies have revealed that flow instability and vortex generation, in particular secondary vortices produced by barriers or greater magnitudes of heterogeneous zeta potential distribution, enhance mixing by increasing bulk flow velocity and reducing flow distance.To better understand the mechanism of disturbance formed in the system due to externally applied forces, known as electrokinetic instability, literature often utilize the Rayleigh (Ra) number, 

(1) as described below:

𝑅𝑎𝑣=𝑢ev𝑢eo=(𝛾−1𝛾+1)2𝑊𝛿2𝐸el2𝐻2𝜁𝛿Ra�=�ev�eo=(�−1�+1)2��2�el2�2��

(22)where γ is the conductivity ratio of the two streams and can be written as 

𝛾=𝜎el,H𝜎el,L�=�el,H�el,L. The Ra number characterizes the ratio between electroviscous and electro-osmotic flow. A high Ra

v value often results in good mixing. It is evident that fluid properties such as the conductivity (σ) of the two streams play a key role in the formation of disturbances to enhance mixing in microsystems. At the same time, electrokinetic parameters like the zeta potential (ζ) in the Ra number is critical in the characterization of electro-osmotic velocity and a slip boundary condition at the microchannel wall.To understand the mixing result along the channel, the concentration field can be defined and simulated under the assumption of steady state conditions and constant diffusion coefficient for each of the working fluid within the system through the convection–diffusion equation as below:

∂𝑐𝒊∂𝑡+∇⇀(𝑐𝑖𝑢⇀−𝐷𝑖∇⇀𝑐𝒊)=0∂��∂�+∇⇀(���⇀−��∇⇀��)=0

(23)where c

i is the species concentration of species i and D

i is the diffusion coefficient of the corresponding species.The standard deviation of concentration (σ

sd) can be adapted to evaluate the mixing quality of the system. 

(97) The standard deviation for concentration at a specific portion of the channel may be calculated using the equation below:

𝜎sd=∫10(𝐶∗(𝑦∗)−𝐶m)2d𝑦∗∫10d𝑦∗⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯�sd=∫01(�*(�*)−�m)2d�*∫01d�*

(24)where C*(y*) and C

m are the non-dimensional concentration profile and the mean concentration at the portion, respectively. C* is the non-dimensional concentration and can be calculated as 

𝐶∗=𝐶𝐶ref�*=��ref, where C

ref is the reference concentration defined as the bulk solution concentration. The mean concentration profile can be calculated as 

𝐶m=∫10(𝐶∗(𝑦∗)d𝑦∗∫10d𝑦∗�m=∫01(�*(�*)d�*∫01d�*. With the standard deviation of concentration, the mixing efficiency 

(97) can then be calculated as below:

𝜀𝑥=1−𝜎sd𝜎sd,0��=1−�sd�sd,0

(25)where σ

sd,0 is the standard derivation of the case of no mixing. The value of the mixing efficiency is typically utilized in conjunction with the simulated flow field and concentration field to explore the effect of geometrical and electrokinetic parameters on the optimization of the mixing results.

5. Summary

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5.1. Conclusion

Viscoelastic fluids such as blood flow in LOC systems are an essential topic to proceed with diagnostic analysis and research through microdevices in the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries. The complex blood flow behavior is tightly controlled by the viscoelastic characteristics of blood such as the dynamic viscosity and the elastic property of RBCs under various shear rate conditions. Furthermore, the flow behaviors under varied driving forces promote an array of microfluidic transport phenomena that are critical to the management of blood flow and other adapted viscoelastic fluids in LOC systems. This review addressed the blood flow phenomena, the complicated interplay between shear rate and blood flow behaviors, and their numerical modeling under LOC systems through the lens of the viscoelasticity characteristic. Furthermore, a theoretical understanding of capillary forces and externally applied electric forces leads to an in-depth investigation of the relationship between blood flow patterns and the key parameters of the two driving forces, the latter of which is introduced through the lens of viscoelastic fluids, coupling numerical modeling to improve the knowledge of blood flow manipulation in LOC systems. The flow disturbances triggered by the EOF of viscoelastic fluids and their impact on blood flow patterns have been deeply investigated due to their important role and applications in LOC devices. Continuous advancements of various numerical modeling methods with experimental findings through more efficient and less computationally heavy methods have served as an encouraging sign of establishing more accurate illustrations of the mechanisms for multiphase blood and other viscoelastic fluid flow transport phenomena driven by various forces. Such progress is fundamental for the manipulation of unique transport phenomena, such as the generated disturbances, to optimize functionalities offered by microdevices in LOC systems.

The following section will provide further insights into the employment of studied blood transport phenomena to improve the functionality of micro devices adapting LOC technology. A discussion of the novel roles that external driving forces play in microfluidic flow behaviors is also provided. Limitations in the computational modeling of blood flow and electrokinetic phenomena in LOC systems will also be emphasized, which may provide valuable insights for future research endeavors. These discussions aim to provide guidance and opportunities for new paths in the ongoing development of LOC devices that adapt blood flow.

5.2. Future Directions

5.2.1. Electro-osmosis Mixing in LOC Systems

Despite substantial research, mixing results through flow instability and vortex formation phenomena induced by electro-osmotic mixing still deviate from the effective mixing results offered by chaotic mixing results such as those seen in turbulent flows. However, recent discoveries of a mixing phenomenon that is generally observed under turbulent flows are found within electro-osmosis micromixers under low Reynolds number conditions. Zhao 

(99) experimentally discovered a rapid mixing process in an AC applied micromixer, where the power spectrum of concentration under an applied voltage of 20 V

p-p induces a −5/3 slope within a frequency range. This value of the slope is considered as the O–C spectrum in macroflows, which is often visible under relatively high Re conditions, such as the Taylor microscale Reynolds number Re > 500 in turbulent flows. 

(100) However, the Re value in the studied system is less than 1 at the specific location and applied voltage. A secondary flow is also suggested to occur close to microchannel walls, being attributed to the increase of convective instability within the system.Despite the experimental phenomenon proposed by Zhao et al., 

(99) the range of effects induced by vital parameters of an EOF mixing system on the enhanced mixing results and mechanisms of disturbance generated by the turbulent-like flow instability is not further characterized. Such a gap in knowledge may hinder the adaptability and commercialization of the discovery of micromixers. One of the parameters for further evaluation is the conductivity gradient of the fluid flow. A relatively strong conductivity gradient (5000:1) was adopted in the system due to the conductive properties of the two fluids. The high conductivity gradients may contribute to the relatively large Rayleigh number and differences in EDL layer thickness, resulting in an unusual disturbance in laminar flow conditions and enhanced mixing results. However, high conductivity gradients are not always achievable by the working fluids due to diverse fluid properties. The reliance on turbulent-like phenomena and rapid mixing results in a large conductivity gradient should be established to prevent the limited application of fluids for the mixing system. In addition, the proposed system utilizes distinct zeta potential distributions at the top and bottom walls due to their difference in material choices, which may be attributed to the flow instability phenomena. Further studies should be made on varying zeta potential magnitude and distribution to evaluate their effect on the slip boundary conditions of the flow and the large shear rate condition close to the channel wall of EOF. Such a study can potentially offer an optimized condition in zeta potential magnitude through material choices and geometrical layout of the zeta potential for better mixing results and manipulation of mixing fluid dynamics. The two vital parameters mentioned above can be varied with the aid of numerical simulation to understand the effect of parameters on the interaction between electro-osmotic forces and electroviscous forces. At the same time, the relationship of developed streamlines of the simulated velocity and concentration field, following their relationship with the mixing results, under the impact of these key parameters can foster more insight into the range of impact that the two parameters have on the proposed phenomena and the microfluidic dynamic principles of disturbances.

In addition, many of the current investigations of electrokinetic mixers commonly emphasize the fluid dynamics of mixing for Newtonian fluids, while the utilization of biofluids, primarily viscoelastic fluids such as blood, and their distinctive response under shear forces in these novel mixing processes of LOC systems are significantly less studied. To develop more compatible microdevice designs and efficient mixing outcomes for the biomedical industry, it is necessary to fill the knowledge gaps in the literature on electro-osmotic mixing for biofluids, where properties of elasticity, dynamic viscosity, and intricate relationship with shear flow from the fluid are further considered.

5.2.2. Electro-osmosis Separation in LOC Systems

Particle separation in LOC devices, particularly in biological research and diagnostics, is another area where disturbances may play a significant role in optimization. 

(101) Plasma analysis in LOC systems under precise control of blood flow phenomena and blood/plasma separation procedures can detect vital information about infectious diseases from particular antibodies and foreign nucleic acids for medical treatments, diagnostics, and research, 

(102) offering more efficient results and simple operating procedures compared to that of the traditional centrifugation method for blood and plasma separation. However, the adaptability of LOC devices for blood and plasma separation is often hindered by microchannel clogging, where flow velocity and plasma yield from LOC devices is reduced due to occasional RBC migration and aggregation at the filtration entrance of microdevices. 

(103)It is important to note that the EOF induces flow instability close to microchannel walls, which may provide further solutions to clogging for the separation process of the LOC systems. Mohammadi et al. 

(104) offered an anti-clogging effect of RBCs at the blood and plasma separating device filtration entry, adjacent to the surface wall, through RBC disaggregation under high shear rate conditions generated by a forward and reverse EOF direction.

Further theoretical and numerical research can be conducted to characterize the effect of high shear rate conditions near microchannel walls toward the detachment of binding blood cells on surfaces and the reversibility of aggregation. Through numerical modeling with varying electrokinetic parameters to induce different degrees of disturbances or shear conditions at channel walls, it may be possible to optimize and better understand the process of disrupting the forces that bind cells to surface walls and aggregated cells at filtration pores. RBCs that migrate close to microchannel walls are often attracted by the adhesion force between the RBC and the solid surface originating from the van der Waals forces. Following RBC migration and attachment by adhesive forces adjacent to the microchannel walls as shown in Figure 7, the increase in viscosity at the region causes a lower shear condition and encourages RBC aggregation (cell–cell interaction), which clogs filtering pores or microchannels and reduces flow velocity at filtration region. Both the impact that shear forces and disturbances may induce on cell binding forces with surface walls and other cells leading to aggregation may suggest further characterization. Kinetic parameters such as activation energy and the rate-determining step for cell binding composition attachment and detachment should be considered for modeling the dynamics of RBCs and blood flows under external forces in LOC separation devices.

Figure 7. Schematic representations of clogging at a microchannel pore following the sequence of RBC migration, cell attachment to channel walls, and aggregation. (105) Reproduced with permission from ref (105). Copyright 2018 The Authors under the terms of the Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

5.2.3. Relationship between External Forces and Microfluidic Systems

In blood flow, a thicker CFL suggests a lower blood viscosity, suggesting a complex relationship between shear stress and shear rate, affecting the blood viscosity and blood flow. Despite some experimental and numerical studies on electro-osmotic non-Newtonian fluid flow, limited literature has performed an in-depth investigation of the role that applied electric forces and other external forces could play in the process of CFL formation. Additional studies on how shear rates from external forces affect CFL formation and microfluidic flow dynamics can shed light on the mechanism of the contribution induced by external driving forces to the development of a separate phase of layer, similar to CFL, close to the microchannel walls and distinct from the surrounding fluid within the system, then influencing microfluidic flow dynamics.One of the mechanisms of phenomena to be explored is the formation of the Exclusion Zone (EZ) region following a “Self-Induced Flow” (SIF) phenomenon discovered by Li and Pollack, 

(106) as shown in Figure 8(a) and (b), respectively. A spontaneous sustained axial flow is observed when hydrophilic materials are immersed in water, resulting in the buildup of a negative layer of charges, defined as the EZ, after water molecules absorb infrared radiation (IR) energy and break down into H and OH

+.

Figure 8. Schematic representations of (a) the Exclusion Zone region and (b) the Self Induced Flow through visualization of microsphere movement within a microchannel. (106) Reproduced with permission from ref (106). Copyright 2020 The Authors under the terms of the Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Despite the finding of such a phenomenon, the specific mechanism and role of IR energy have yet to be defined for the process of EZ development. To further develop an understanding of the role of IR energy in such phenomena, a feasible study may be seen through the lens of the relationships between external forces and microfluidic flow. In the phenomena, the increase of SIF velocity under a rise of IR radiation resonant characteristics is shown in the participation of the external electric field near the microchannel walls under electro-osmotic viscoelastic fluid flow systems. The buildup of negative charges at the hydrophilic surfaces in EZ is analogous to the mechanism of electrical double layer formation. Indeed, research has initiated the exploration of the core mechanisms for EZ formation through the lens of the electrokinetic phenomena. 

(107) Such a similarity of the role of IR energy and the transport phenomena of SIF with electrokinetic phenomena paves the way for the definition of the unknown SIF phenomena and EZ formation. Furthermore, Li and Pollack 

(106) suggest whether CFL formation might contribute to a SIF of blood using solely IR radiation, a commonly available source of energy in nature, as an external driving force. The proposition may be proven feasible with the presence of the CFL region next to the negatively charged hydrophilic endothelial glycocalyx layer, coating the luminal side of blood vessels. 

(108) Further research can dive into the resonating characteristics between the formation of the CFL region next to the hydrophilic endothelial glycocalyx layer and that of the EZ formation close to hydrophilic microchannel walls. Indeed, an increase in IR energy is known to rapidly accelerate EZ formation and SIF velocity, depicting similarity to the increase in the magnitude of electric field forces and greater shear rates at microchannel walls affecting CFL formation and EOF velocity. Such correlation depicts a future direction in whether SIF blood flow can be observed and characterized theoretically further through the lens of the relationship between blood flow and shear forces exhibited by external energy.

The intricate link between the CFL and external forces, more specifically the externally applied electric field, can receive further attention to provide a more complete framework for the mechanisms between IR radiation and EZ formation. Such characterization may also contribute to a greater comprehension of the role IR can play in CFL formation next to the endothelial glycocalyx layer as well as its role as a driving force to propel blood flow, similar to the SIF, but without the commonly assumed pressure force from heart contraction as a source of driving force.

5.3. Challenges

Although there have been significant improvements in blood flow modeling under LOC systems over the past decade, there are still notable constraints that may require special attention for numerical simulation applications to benefit the adaptability of the designs and functionalities of LOC devices. Several points that require special attention are mentioned below:

1.The majority of CFD models operate under the relationship between the viscoelasticity of blood and the shear rate conditions of flow. The relative effect exhibited by the presence of highly populated RBCs in whole blood and their forces amongst the cells themselves under complex flows often remains unclearly defined. Furthermore, the full range of cell populations in whole blood requires a much more computational load for numerical modeling. Therefore, a vital goal for future research is to evaluate a reduced modeling method where the impact of cell–cell interaction on the viscoelastic property of blood is considered.
2.Current computational methods on hemodynamics rely on continuum models based upon non-Newtonian rheology at the macroscale rather than at molecular and cellular levels. Careful considerations should be made for the development of a constructive framework for the physical and temporal scales of micro/nanoscale systems to evaluate the intricate relationship between fluid driving forces, dynamic viscosity, and elasticity.
3.Viscoelastic fluids under the impact of externally applied electric forces often deviate from the assumptions of no-slip boundary conditions due to the unique flow conditions induced by externally applied forces. Furthermore, the mechanism of vortex formation and viscoelastic flow instability at laminar flow conditions should be better defined through the lens of the microfluidic flow phenomenon to optimize the prediction of viscoelastic flow across different geometrical layouts. Mathematical models and numerical methods are needed to better predict such disturbance caused by external forces and the viscoelasticity of fluids at such a small scale.
4.Under practical situations, zeta potential distribution at channel walls frequently deviates from the common assumption of a constant distribution because of manufacturing faults or inherent surface charges prior to the introduction of electrokinetic influence. These discrepancies frequently lead to inconsistent surface potential distribution, such as excess positive ions at relatively more negatively charged walls. Accordingly, unpredicted vortex formation and flow instability may occur. Therefore, careful consideration should be given to these discrepancies and how they could trigger the transport process and unexpected results of a microdevice.

Author Information

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  • Corresponding Authors
    • Zhe Chen – Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China;  Email: zaccooky@sjtu.edu.cn
    • Bo Ouyang – Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China;  Email: bouy93@sjtu.edu.cn
    • Zheng-Hong Luo – Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China;  Orcidhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9011-6020; Email: luozh@sjtu.edu.cn
  • Authors
    • Bin-Jie Lai – Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China;  Orcidhttps://orcid.org/0009-0002-8133-5381
    • Li-Tao Zhu – Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China;  Orcidhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6514-8864
  • NotesThe authors declare no competing financial interest.

Acknowledgments

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 22238005) and the Postdoctoral Research Foundation of China (No. GZC20231576).

Vocabulary

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Microfluidicsthe field of technological and scientific study that investigates fluid flow in channels with dimensions between 1 and 1000 μm
Lab-on-a-Chip Technologythe field of research and technological development aimed at integrating the micro/nanofluidic characteristics to conduct laboratory processes on handheld devices
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)the method utilizing computational abilities to predict physical fluid flow behaviors mathematically through solving the governing equations of corresponding fluid flows
Shear Ratethe rate of change in velocity where one layer of fluid moves past the adjacent layer
Viscoelasticitythe property holding both elasticity and viscosity characteristics relying on the magnitude of applied shear stress and time-dependent strain
Electro-osmosisthe flow of fluid under an applied electric field when charged solid surface is in contact with the bulk fluid
Vortexthe rotating motion of a fluid revolving an axis line

References

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Fig. 7. Simulation results of temperature distribution between Ni stamps and PBO-SAM/PMMA substrate in NIL process: (A) stamp cross-sectional, (B) PMMA substrate cross-sectional, (C) 3-dimensional and (D) intrinsic 3-dimensional views, respectively. The study of computed condition in nanoimprint process is at 150 o C and 50 bar during 10 min. Note that for NIL experimental parameters, the simulated results have already decided before doing nanoimprint experiment.

A non-fluorine mold release agent for Ni stamp in nanoimprint process

Tien-Li Chang a,*, Jung-Chang Wang b
, Chun-Chi Chen c
, Ya-Wei Lee d
, Ta-Hsin Chou a
a Mechanical and Systems Research Laboratories, Industrial Technology Research Institute, Rm. 125, Building 22, 195 Section 4, Chung Hsing Road, Chutung, Hsinchu 310, Taiwan, ROC bDepartment of Manufacturing Research and Development, ADDA Corporation, Taiwan
cNational Nano Device Laboratories, Taiwan
d Research and Development Division, Ordnance Readiness Development Center, Taiwan

Abstract

이 연구는 나노 임프린트 공정에서 Ni 몰드 스탬프와 PMMA (폴리 메틸 메타 크릴 레이트) 기판 사이의 접착 방지 층으로서 새로운 재료를 제시합니다. 폴리 벤족 사진 ((6,6′-bis (2,3-dihydro3-methyl-4H-1,3-benzoxazinyl))) 분자 자기 조립 단층 (PBO-SAM)은 점착 방지 코팅제로 간주되어 불소 함유 화합물은 Ni / PMMA 기판의 나노 임프린트 공정을 개선 할 수 있습니다. 이 작업에서 나노 구조 기반 Ni 스탬프와 각인 된 PMMA 몰드는 각각 전자빔 석판화 (EBL)와 수제 나노 임프린트 장비에 의해 수행됩니다. 제작 된 나노 패턴의 형성을 제어하기 위해 시뮬레이션은 HEL (hot embossing lithography) 공정 동안 PBO-SAM / PMMA 기판의 변형에 대한 온도 분포의 영향을 분석 할 수 있습니다. 여기서 기둥 패턴의 직경은 Ni 스탬프 표면에 200nm 및 400nm 피치입니다. 이 적합성 조건에서 소수성 PBO-SAM 표면을 기반으로하여 Ni 몰드 스탬프의 결과는 품질 및 수량 제어에서 90 % 이상의 개선을 추론합니다.

Introduction

나노 임프린트 리소그래피 (NIL)는 초 미세 패터닝 기판 기술을 대량 생산할 수있는 가장 큰 잠재력입니다 [1,2]. 최근에는 광전자 장치 [3], 양자 컴퓨팅 장치 [4], 바이오 센서 [5] 및 전자 장치 [6]에 요구 될 수있는 NEMS / MEMS 기술의 빠른 개발이 이루어지고 있습니다.

따라서 기존의 포토 리소 그래프는 할당에 적합한 방법이 아닐 수 있습니다 [7]. X 선, 이온빔, 전자빔 리소그래피의 경우 LCD의 도광판 초박막 판과 같은 대 면적 패턴 제작에 적합하지 않습니다. 제어하기 어렵습니다. 일부 제작된 문제를 기반으로 NIL 프로세스는 재료, 패턴 크기, 구조 및 기판 지형면에서 유연성을 제공합니다 [8].

오늘날 NIL 제조 방법은 낮은 비용과 높은 처리량의 높은 패터닝 해상도의 조합으로 학제 간 나노 스케일 연구 및 상용 제품의 새로운 문을 열 수 있는 큰 관심을 받고 있습니다. 그러나 이 나노 임프린트 기술이 산업 규모 공정을 위해 충분히 성숙하기 전에 몇 가지 응용 문제를 해결해야 합니다.

각인된 몰드 공정은 종종 고온 (폴리머의 유리 전이 온도에 대해> 100oC)과 고압 (> 100bar)에서 수행되기 때문에 분명히 바람직하지 않습니다. 가열 및 냉각 공정의 열주기는 금형 및 각인 된 기판의 왜곡을 유발할 수 있습니다. 한 가지 특별한 문제는 스탬프와 폴리머 사이의 접착 방지 층 처리를 제어하여 기계적 결함이 임프린트 품질과 스탬프 수명에 영향을 미칠 수있는 중요한 패턴 결함이되는 것을 방지하는 것입니다.

Schift et al. 플루오르화 트리클로로 실란을 마이크로 미터 체제에서 실리콘에 대한 접착 방지 코팅으로 사용하는 것으로 입증되었습니다 [9]. 또한 Park et al. Ni 몰드 스탬프에 더 나은 접착 방지 코팅 공정을 달성하기 위해 불소화 실란제를 사용했습니다 [10].

그러나 지금까지 Ni 스탬프에 대한 접착 방지 코팅 처리의 NIL 공정에서 비 불소 물질에 대한 시도는 거의 이루어지지 않았습니다. 우리의 생활 환경은 그것을 유지하기 위해 불소가 아닌 물질이 필요합니다. 또한 Ni 계 소재의 부드러운 특성을 바탕으로 가장 중요한 롤러 나노 임프린트 기술을 개발할 수 있습니다.

본 연구의 목적은 Ni 스탬프와 PMMA 기판 사이의 점착 방지 코팅제로 PBO-SAM을 개발하여 나노 제조 기술, 즉 NIL을 향상시키는 것입니다.

Experiment

먼저 4,4′- 이소 프로필 리 덴디 페놀 (비스페놀 -A, BA-m), 포름 알데히드 및 ​​메틸 아민을 반응시켜 폴리 벤족 사진을 제조 하였다. 미국 Aldrich Chemical company, Inc.에서 구입 한 모든 화학 물질. 합성 과정에서 포름 알데히드/디 옥산 및 메틸 아민 / 디 옥산 물질을 10 o C에서 항아리에서 10분 동안 측정하는 벤족 사진 단량체가 필요했습니다.

디 에틸 에테르를 기화시킨 후, 벤족 사진 전구체가 완성되었다. benzoxazine 전구체를 140 o C에서 1 시간 동안 가열하면 BA-m 폴리 벤족 사진을 얻을 수 있습니다. 다음으로 4 인치입니다.

이 연구에서는 p 형 Si (10 0) 웨이퍼를 사용할 수 있습니다. SiO2 기반 Ni (원자량 5.87g / mole) 기판의 제조를 위해 Ti (5nm) 및 SiO2 (20nm)를 순차적으로 증착 한 후 O2- 플라즈마 처리를 수행했습니다. Ni 기판과 SiO2 층 사이의 접착력을 높이기 위해 Ti 중간층이 사용되었습니다. 아세톤, 이소프로판올 및 탈 이온수를 사용하여 세척 한 후 샘플을 포토 레지스트 (ZEP520A-7, Nippon Zeon Co., Ltd.)로 스핀 코팅했습니다.

Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of nanostructures using NIL process: (A) EBL equipment for fabricated mold stamp. (B) HEL equipment for nanoimprint pattern with computer controlled electronics. (C) A nickel-based pillar mold can imprint into a PBO-SAM polymer resist layer; afterward, the mold removal and pattern transfer are based on anisotropic etching to remove reside.
Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of nanostructures using NIL process: (A) EBL equipment for fabricated mold stamp. (B) HEL equipment for nanoimprint pattern with computer controlled electronics. (C) A nickel-based pillar mold can imprint into a PBO-SAM polymer resist layer; afterward, the mold removal and pattern transfer are based on anisotropic etching to remove reside.

마스터 몰드는 그림 1 (A)에서 Ni 필름의 반응성 이온 에칭 (RIE)과 함께 Crestec CABL8210 전자 빔 직접 쓰기 도구 (30 keV, 100 pA)를 사용하여 제작되었습니다. 그런 다음 시뮬레이션된 결과는 NIL 프로세스에서 엠보싱 압력으로 기계적 고장의 효과를 제공할 수 있으며, 이는 우리가 원하는 나노 패턴 설계 및 연구에 도움이 될 수 있습니다.

PBOSAM / PMMA 기판 모델의 변형은 3 차원 접근법에 기반한 유한 체적 방법 (FVM)을 통해 예측할 수 있습니다. Navier-Stokes 방정식 [11]에서 압력과 속도 사이의 결합은 SIMPLE 알고리즘을 사용하여 이루어집니다. 2 차 상향 이산화 방식은 대류 플럭스 및 운동량의 확산 플럭스, 유체의 질량 분율에 대한 중심 차이 방식에 대해 구현됩니다. 완화 부족 요인의 일반적인 값은 0.5입니다.

수렴 기준이 1105로 설정된 연속성을 제외한 모든 변수에 대해 잔차가 1103 미만인 경우 솔루션이 수렴된 것으로 간주됩니다. 여기서 각인된 나노 패턴은 그림 1 (B)와 같이 수제 장비에서 수행한 HEL 공정을 통해 사용할 수 있습니다. PBO-SAM 코팅 방법으로 HEL 절차를 활용 한 나노 패턴의 제작은 그림 1 (C)에 개략적으로 표시되었습니다.

200nm의 얇은 PMMA 필름 (분자량 15kg / mole)을 SiO2 기판에 스핀 코팅 한 후 160oC에서 30 분 동안 핫 플레이트에서 베이킹했습니다. 또한 PBO-SAM 코팅은 접착 방지제입니다. CVD 공정에 의해 증착되었습니다. 마스터는 150oC 및 50bar에서 10 분 동안 PBO-SAM / PMMA 기판 필름에 엠보싱하여 복제되었습니다.

마지막으로, 엠보싱 된 나노 구조물의 바닥에 남아 있던 PBO-SAM / PMMA 층은 RIE 처리로 제거되었습니다. 각 임프린트 후 스탬프 및 기판의 품질이 제작 된 후 현미경을 사용하여 관찰하고 물 접촉각 (CA) 측정을 사용하여 습윤 및 접착 특성을 알아낼 수 있습니다.

Fig. 2. FTIR absorption spectrum of polybenzoxazines indicates the vibrational modes of molecular bonds.
Fig. 2. FTIR absorption spectrum of polybenzoxazines indicates the vibrational modes of molecular bonds.
Fig. 3. FE-SEM micrograph of Ni stamps before imprinted PMMA substrate. The pillar diameter is 200 nm, and its period is 400 nm.
Fig. 3. FE-SEM micrograph of Ni stamps before imprinted PMMA substrate. The pillar diameter is 200 nm, and its period is 400 nm.
Fig. 5. Contact angles of water drops on (A) a PMMA polymer film surface, and (B) a smooth PBO-SAM coating film surfaceFig. 6. Simulation of Ni stamps and PBO-SAM/PMMA substrate in NIL process: (A) A nanoimprint system geometry, and (B) its grid plot.
Fig. 5. Contact angles of water drops on (A) a PMMA polymer film surface, and (B) a smooth PBO-SAM coating film surfaceFig. 6. Simulation of Ni stamps and PBO-SAM/PMMA substrate in NIL process: (A) A nanoimprint system geometry, and (B) its grid plot.
Fig. 7. Simulation results of temperature distribution between Ni stamps and PBO-SAM/PMMA substrate in NIL process: (A) stamp cross-sectional, (B) PMMA substrate cross-sectional, (C) 3-dimensional and (D) intrinsic 3-dimensional views, respectively. The study of computed condition in nanoimprint process is at 150 o C and 50 bar during 10 min. Note that for NIL experimental parameters, the simulated results have already decided before doing nanoimprint experiment.
Fig. 7. Simulation results of temperature distribution between Ni stamps and PBO-SAM/PMMA substrate in NIL process: (A) stamp cross-sectional, (B) PMMA substrate cross-sectional, (C) 3-dimensional and (D) intrinsic 3-dimensional views, respectively. The study of computed condition in nanoimprint process is at 150 o C and 50 bar during 10 min. Note that for NIL experimental parameters, the simulated results have already decided before doing nanoimprint experiment.

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Figure 1.1: A water droplet with a radius of 1 mm resting on a glass substrate. The surface of the droplet takes on a spherical cap shape. The contact angle θ is defined by the balance of the interfacial forces.

Effect of substrate cooling and droplet shape and composition on the droplet evaporation and the deposition of particles

기판 냉각 및 액적 모양 및 조성이 액적 증발 및 입자 증착에 미치는 영향

by Vahid Bazargan
M.A.Sc., Mechanical Engineering, The University of British Columbia, 2008
B.Sc., Mechanical Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, 2006
B.Sc., Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, 2006

고착 방울은 평평한 기판에 놓인 액체 방울입니다. 작은 고정 액적이 증발하는 동안 액적의 접촉선은 고정된 접촉 영역이 있는 고정된 단계와 고정된 접촉각이 있는 고정 해제된 단계의 두 가지 단계를 거칩니다. 고정된 접촉 라인이 있는 증발은 액적 내부에서 접촉 라인을 향한 흐름을 생성합니다.

이 흐름은 입자를 운반하고 접촉 선 근처에 침전시킵니다. 이로 인해 일반적으로 관찰되는 “커피 링”현상이 발생합니다. 이 논문은 증발 과정과 고착성 액적의 증발 유도 흐름에 대한 연구를 제공하고 콜로이드 현탁액에서 입자의 침착에 대한 통찰력을 제공합니다. 여기서 우리는 먼저 작은 고착 방울의 증발을 연구하고 증발 과정에서 기판의 열전도도의 중요성에 대해 논의합니다.

현재 증발 모델이 500µm 미만의 액적 크기에 대해 심각한 오류를 생성하는 방법을 보여줍니다. 우리의 모델에는 열 효과가 포함되어 있으며, 특히 증발 잠열의 균형을 맞추기 위해 액적에 열을 제공하는 기판의 열전도도를 포함합니다. 실험 결과를 바탕으로 접촉각의 진화와 관련된 접촉 선의 가상 움직임을 정의하여 고정 및 고정 해제 단계의 전체 증발 시간을 고려합니다.

우리의 모델은 2 % 미만의 오차로 500 µm보다 작은 물방울에 대한 실험 결과와 일치합니다. 또한 유한한 크기의 라인 액적의 증발을 연구하고 증발 중 접촉 라인의 복잡한 동작에 대해 논의합니다. 에너지 공식을 적용하고 접촉 선이 구형 방울의 후퇴 접촉각보다 높은 접촉각을 가진 선 방울의 두 끝에서 후퇴하기 시작 함을 보여줍니다. 그리고 라인 방울 내부의 증발 유도 흐름을 보여줍니다.

마지막으로, 계면 활성제 존재 하에서 접촉 라인의 거동을 논의하고 입자 증착에 대한 Marangoni 흐름 효과에 대해 논의합니다. 열 Marangoni 효과는 접촉 선 근처에 증착 된 입자의 양에 영향을 미치며, 기판 온도가 낮을수록 접촉 선 근처에 증착되는 입자의 양이 많다는 것을 알 수 있습니다.

Figure 1.1: A water droplet with a radius of 1 mm resting on a glass substrate. The surface of the droplet takes on a spherical cap shape. The contact angle θ is defined by the balance of the interfacial forces.
Figure 1.1: A water droplet with a radius of 1 mm resting on a glass substrate. The surface of the droplet takes on a spherical cap shape. The contact angle θ is defined by the balance of the interfacial forces.
Figure 2.1: Evaporation modes of sessile droplets on a substrate: (a) evaporation at constant contact angle (de-pinned stage) and (b) evaporation at constant contact area (pinned stage)
Figure 2.1: Evaporation modes of sessile droplets on a substrate: (a) evaporation at constant contact angle (de-pinned stage) and (b) evaporation at constant contact area (pinned stage)
Figure 2.2: A sessil droplet with its image can be profiled as the equiconvex lens formed by two intersecting spheres with radius of a.
Figure 2.2: A sessil droplet with its image can be profiled as the equiconvex lens formed by two intersecting spheres with radius of a.
Figure 2.3: The droplet life time for both evaporation modes derived from Equation 2.2.
Figure 2.3: The droplet life time for both evaporation modes derived from Equation 2.2.
Figure 2.4: A probability of escape for vapor molecules at two different sites of the surface of the droplet for diffusion controlled evaporation. The random walk path initiated from a vapor molecule is more likely to result in a return to the surface if the starting point is further away from the edge of the droplet.
Figure 2.4: A probability of escape for vapor molecules at two different sites of the surface of the droplet for diffusion controlled evaporation. The random walk path initiated from a vapor molecule is more likely to result in a return to the surface if the starting point is further away from the edge of the droplet.
Figure 2.5: Schematic of the sessile droplet on a substrate
Figure 2.5: Schematic of the sessile droplet on a substrate. The evaporation rate at the surface of the droplet is enhanced toward the edge of the droplet.
Figure 2.6: The domain mesh (a) and the solution of the Laplace equation for diffusion of the water vapor molecule with the concentration of Cv = 1.9×10−8 g/mm3 at the surface of the droplet into the ambient air with the relative humidity of 55%, i.e. φ = 0.55 (b).
Figure 2.6: The domain mesh (a) and the solution of the Laplace equation for diffusion of the water vapor molecule with the concentration of Cv = 1.9×10−8 g/mm3 at the surface of the droplet into the ambient air with the relative humidity of 55%, i.e. φ = 0.55 (b).
Figure 3.1: The portable micro printing setup. A motorized linear stage from Zaber Technologies Inc. was used to control the place and speed of the micro nozzle.
Figure 3.1: The portable micro printing setup. A motorized linear stage from Zaber Technologies Inc. was used to control the place and speed of the micro nozzle.
Figure 4.6: Temperature contours inside the substrate adjacent to the droplet
Figure 4.6: Temperature contours inside the substrate adjacent to the droplet
Figure 4.7: The effect of substrate cooling on the evaporation rate, the basic model shows the same value for all substrates.
Figure 4.7: The effect of substrate cooling on the evaporation rate, the basic model shows the same value for all substrates.

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[53] H. Y. Erbil, G. McHale, and M. I. Newton, “Drop evaporation on solid surfaces: constant contact angle mode,” Langmuir, vol. 18, no. 7, pp. 2636–2641, 2002. → pages
[54] X. Fang, B. Li, J. C. Sokolov, M. H. Rafailovich, and D. Gewaily, “Hildebrand solubility parameters measurement via sessile drops evaporation,” Applied Physics Letters, vol. 87, pp. 094103–094103–3, Aug.→ pages
[55] Y. C. Jung and B. Bhushan, “Wetting behaviour during evaporation and condensation of water microdroplets on superhydrophobic patterned surfaces,” Journal of Microscopy, vol. 229, no. 1, p. 127140, 2008. → pages 71
[56] J. Drelich, J. D. Miller, and R. J. Good, “The effect of drop (bubble) size on advancing and receding contact angles for heterogeneous and rough solid surfaces as observed with sessile-drop and captive-bubble techniques,”
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, vol. 179, pp. 37–50, Apr. 1996. →pages 72, 75
[57] D. Bargeman and F. Van Voorst Vader, “Effect of surfactants on contact angles at nonpolar solids,” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, vol. 42, pp. 467–472, Mar. 1973. → pages 73
[58] J. Menezes, J. Yan, and M. Sharma, “The mechanism of alteration of macroscopic contact angles by the adsorption of surfactants,” Colloids and Surfaces, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 365–390, 1989. → pages
[59] T. Okubo, “Surface tension of structured colloidal suspensions of polystyrene and silica spheres at the air-water interface,” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, vol. 171, pp. 55–62, Apr. 1995. → pages 73, 76
[60] R. Pyter, G. Zografi, and P. Mukerjee, “Wetting of solids by surface-active agents: The effects of unequal adsorption to vapor-liquid and solid-liquid interfaces,” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, vol. 89, pp. 144–153, Sept. 1982. → pages 73
[61] T. Mitsui, S. Nakamura, F. Harusawa, and Y. Machida, “Changes in the interfacial tension with temperature and their effects on the particle size and stability of emulsions,” Kolloid-Zeitschrift und Zeitschrift fr Polymere, vol. 250, pp. 227–230, Mar. 1972. → pages 73
[62] S. Phongikaroon, R. Hoffmaster, K. P. Judd, G. B. Smith, and R. A. Handler, “Effect of temperature on the surface tension of soluble and insoluble surfactants of hydrodynamical importance,” Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, vol. 50, pp. 1602–1607, Sept. 2005. → pages 73, 80
[63] V. S. Vesselovsky and V. N. Pertzov, “Adhesion of air bubbles to the solid surface,” Zh. Fiz. Khim, vol. 8, pp. 245–259, 1936. → pages 75
[64] Hideo Nakae, Ryuichi Inui, Yosuke Hirata, and Hiroyuki Saito, “Effects of surface roughness on wettability,” Acta Materialia, vol. 46, pp. 2313–2318, Apr. 1998. → pages
[65] R. J. Good and M. Koo, “The effect of drop size on contact angle,” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, vol. 71, pp. 283–292, Sept. 1979. → pages

접촉선의 이해(Contact Line Insights)

접촉선의 이해(Contact Line Insights)

FLOW-3D는 코팅 성능 향상에 관심이있는 엔지니어에게 이상적인 수치 모델링 기능을 많이 갖추고 있습니다. 전산 시뮬레이션은 코팅 흐름에 영향을 미치는 여러 물리적 과정의 상대적 중요성과 효과를 연구 할 수있는 훌륭한 방법입니다. 물리적인 테스트에서 항상 프로세스를 분리하거나 해당 프로세스의 크기를 임의로 조정할 수있는 것은 아닙니다. 여기에서는 리 볼렛 형성(rivulet formation), 핑거링(fingering), 증발, 거친 표면에서의 접촉선 이동 및 유체 흡수와  관련하여 정적 및 동적 접촉각에 대하여 FLOW-3D의 처리에 대해 설명합니다.

 

정적 및 동적 접촉각(Static and Dynamic Contact Angles)

FLOW-3D는 정적 접촉각의 함수로 동적 접촉각을 정확하게 계산하고 입력으로 설정하며 자유 표면 인터페이스에서 작용하는 관련된 힘을 정확하게 계산하여 유체의 소수성을 캡처 할 수 있습니다. 아래 시뮬레이션은 물방울이 경사를 따라 내려갈 때 정적 접촉각이 동적 접촉각에 미치는 영향을 보여줍니다.

 

흡수(Absorption)

종이 기판에 액 적의 충격 및 흡수는 전산 유체 역학 소프트웨어를 사용하여 연구 할 수 있습니다. 여기서 FLOW-3D는 섬유층에서 물방울 충돌을 시뮬레이션하는데 사용되며 표면 장력, 접촉각 및 점도와 관련된 유체 전면의 전파를 살펴 봅니다.

 

 

아래의 FLOW-3D 시뮬레이션에서, 낙하는 직경이 40 미크론이며 초기 하향 속도는 300 cm / s입니다. 기재는 종이이고, 기공률이 30 % 인 20 미크론 두께입니다.

 

 

액체 필름의 핑거링(Fingering in Liquid Films)

FLOW-3D에서 동적 접촉선은 동적 접촉각이나 접촉선의 위치를 ​​지정할 필요없이 직접 모델링됩니다. 이는 소량의 유체에서 유체에 영향을 미치는 모든 동적 힘을 포함하는 수치 모델을 사용하여 수행됩니다. 정적 접촉각은 액체-고체 접착력을 특성화 하는데 사용됩니다.

액체 시트의 핑거링. 왼쪽은 0 °, 오른쪽은 70 °

여기서, 이러한 접근법의 힘의 적용은 경사 표면 아래로 흐르는 액체 필름에서 관찰 된 핑거링에 의해 제공됩니다. 실험적 관찰에 따르면 두 가지 뚜렷한 핑거링 패턴이 발생합니다. 첫 번째 패턴은 작은 정적 접촉각(즉, 습윤 조건)이며 상하한이 모두 하향으로 움직이는 쐐기형 핑거를 나타냅니다. 두 번째 패턴은 큰 정적 접촉각(즉, 습윤 조건이 열악함)이며 가장 균일한 폭을 가진 긴 핑거이고 가장 큰 한계점은 하향으로 움직이지 않는 것이 특징입니다.

 

 

증발 효과(Evaporative Effects)

퇴적(Deposit)

분산 된 고체 물질을 함유하는 액 적은 고체 표면에서 건조 될 때, 함유하고 있는 고체 물질을 침전물로서 남깁니다. 이 침전물의 형상이 많은 인쇄 공정, 청소 및 코팅 공정에 중요한 영향을 미칩니다. 한 종류의 퇴적물의 전형적인 예는 위의 이미지와 같이 엎질러 진 커피 패치의 둘레를 따라 링 얼룩이 형성되는 “커피 링” 문제입니다. 이 유형의 링 침전물은 액체의 증발로 인한 표면 장력 구동 흐름의 결과로, 특히 낙하 둘레에서 발생합니다.

 

건조(Drying)

FLOW-3D의 증발 잔류 액체 모델은 건조 후 톨루엔으로 형성된 잔류된 물의 3D형상을 시뮬레이션합니다. (30 배 확대)

건조는 코팅 공정의 중요한 부분입니다. 하지만 건조의 결함으로 잘 도포 된 코팅을 완전히 취소 할 수도 있습니다. 건조 중에 온도 및 용질 구배는 밀도 및 표면 장력 구배로 인해 코팅 내 유동을 유도 할 수 있으며, 이는 코팅 품질을 잠재적으로 파괴 할 수 있습니다. FLOW-3D의 증발 잔류 물 모델을 사용하면 건조로 인한 흐름을 시뮬레이션하고 값 비싼 물리적 실험에 소요되는 시간을 줄일 수 있습니다.

 

모델링 링 형성(Modeling Ring Formation)

증발에 의해 접촉 라인에서 생성 된 흐름 시뮬레이션

윗쪽 그림에서 FLOW-3D는 증발이 가장 큰 접촉선에서의 증착으로 인해 에지 피닝(edge pinning)이 발생함을 보여줍니다. 증발은 증발로 인한 열 손실로 인해 액체를 냉각시킵니다 (색상은 온도를 나타냄). 동시에 고체 표면은 전도에 의해 액체를 가열합니다. 접촉선 주변에서 증발이 가장 커서, 액체가 접촉선을 향해 흘러 정적 조건을 재설정합니다. 최종 결과는 액체가 완전히 증발하는 액체 가장자리에 현탁 된 고체의 증착입니다.

 

 

참고
[1] Deegan, R., Bakajin, O., Dupont, T. et al. Capillary flow as the cause of ring stains from dried liquid drops, Nature 389, 827–829 (1997).

 

Lab-on-a-chip

다양한 표면 장력을 사용하는 패턴화된 표면

마이크로 채널의 패턴화된 표면은 액체 사이의 실제 물리적 벽 없이도 여러 액체가 나란히 흐르는 특정 경로를 따라 한 저장소에서 다른 저장소로 액체를 운반하는 데 사용할 수 있습니다. 패턴화된 표면은 랩 온어 칩 (lab-on-a-chip), 바이오어세이, 마이크로 리액터 및 화학적 및 생물학적 감지를 통해 유체를 운반하는 데 사용됩니다. 이 경우 표면 장력은 패턴화된 흐름을 생성하기 위해 마이크로 채널의 유체 흐름을 조작하는데 사용됩니다. 고체 표면에서 유체의 친수성 또는 소수성 거동을 이용하여 마이크로 채널을 통한 여러 유체의 움직임을 제어합니다. 마이크로 채널 내부의 유체 흐름은 층상이므로 여러 유체 흐름 (이 경우 2 개)이 난류 혼합없이 나란히 흐를 수 있습니다. 유체 흐름의 측면에는 물리적 벽이 없기 때문에 흐름은 소위 가상 벽에 의해 제한됩니다. 이 벽은 기본적으로 두 유체 사이의 친수성 경계입니다.

Patterned surfaces in micro channels
Experimental results showing the three phases – A, B and C (left to right), Bin Zhao et al.

위 그림은 마이크로 채널의 실험을 보여줍니다. 중앙 수평 채널의 중간 스트립은 친수성이지만 상부 및 하부 수직 채널과 함께 나머지 채널은 소수성의 정도가 다릅니다. 소수성은 접촉각의 몇도 정도만 다릅니다. 상부 채널의 접촉각은 118o이고 하부 채널의 접촉각은 112o입니다. 그러나 접촉각의 작은 차이는 유체가 이러한 영역으로 흐르기 위해 상당히 다른 압력을 필요로합니다.

Numerical Simulation

처음에는 모든 채널이 다른 유체(투명)로 채워집니다. 분홍색 액체가 수평 채널로 밀리면 중앙 영역(단계 A)의 친수성 경로를 사용합니다. 압력이 증가하면 유체는 하부 친수성-수성 장벽을 깨고 하부 친수성 영역(단계 B)으로 흐르기 시작합니다. 압력을 더 높이면 마침내 유체가 상부 친수성-수소성 장벽을 부수고 상부 영역에서도 흐르기 시작합니다(Phase C).

Numerical results - patterned surfaces using varied surface tension
Numerical results showing the three phases – A, B and C.

위의 수치 결과는 둘 사이에 중요한 차이가 있다는 점을 고려할 때 실험에서 패턴화된 표면 연구의 전반적인 아이디어와 합리적인 비교 가능성을 보여줍니다. 위에 표시된 수치 결과는 과도 상태 (압력이 지속적으로 증가)이므로 유체 경계가 실험 결과와 정확히 유사하지 않습니다. 마찬가지로 유체 특성은 실험에 사용 된 특성과 정확히 유사하지 않습니다. 그럼에도 불구하고 유체 1은 실험에서와 같이 압력이 증가함에 따라 단계 A, B 및 C를 통과합니다. 단계 B에서 투명한 유체는 계속해서 위쪽 채널을 통해 흐르지 만 분홍색 유체만 아래쪽 영역으로 흐릅니다. 이것은 실험과 일치합니다. 흥미로운 것은 C 단계에서 나타난 기포 형성입니다. C 단계에서 기포 형성과 같은 흥미로운 물리학에 대한 계시와 연구는 미세 유체 장치의 설계 및 제작 과정에 중요 할 수 있습니다.

FLOW-3D Results

아래 애니메이션은 위의 실험에 대한 FLOW-3D의 시뮬레이션 결과를 보여줍니다. 유체 1 (하늘색)은 실험의 분홍색 유체와 동일합니다. 처음에는 전체 도메인이 Fluid 2 (투명 유체)로 채워집니다. 압력은 단계적으로 증가하고 시뮬레이션이 진행됨에 따라 세 단계를 모두 볼 수 있습니다.

Evolution of fluid flow with increasing pressure in patterned micro channels created by varying contact angles.

Ref: Bin Zhao, Jeffrey S. Moore, David J. Beebe, Surface-Directed Liquid Flow Inside Microchannels, Science 291, 1023 (2001)

Learn more about the power and versatility of modeling microfluidic applications with FLOW-3D

Lab-on-a-chip

다양한 표면 장력을 사용하여 도장된 표면

마이크로 채널의 패턴 표면은 액체 사이의 실제 물리적 벽 없이 여러 액체가 나란히 흐르는 특정 경로를 따라 한 저장 장치에서 다른 저장 장치로 액체를 운반하는 데 사용될 수 있습니다. 패턴이 있는 표면은 액체를 lab-on-a-chip, 생물학적 경로, 마이크로 프로세서 및 화학적, 생물학적 감지 장치로 운반하는 데 사용됩니다.

이 경우 표면 장력은 미세 채널의 유체 흐름을 조작하여 패턴이 있는 흐름을 만드는 데 사용됩니다. 고체 표면에 있는 유체의 친수성 또는 소수성 거동은 마이크로 채널을 통해 복수 유체의 움직임을 제어하기 위해 이용됩니다.

마이크로 채널 내부의 유체 흐름은 층류로, 이는 다중 유체 흐름(이 경우 2개)이 난류 혼합 없이 나란히 흐를 수 있음을 의미합니다. 유체 스트림 측면에 물리적 벽이 없기 때문에 스트림은 이른바 가상 벽으로 제한됩니다. 이 벽들은 기본적으로 두 액체 사이의 친수성 경계입니다.

세가지 단계를 보여 주는 실험 결과 – A, B및 C(왼쪽에서 오른쪽으로), Bin Zhao et al.

위의 그림은 실험에서의 마이크로 채널을 보여준다. 중앙 수평 채널의 중간 스트립은 친수성인 반면, 상단 및 하단 수직 채널과 함께 남아 있는 채널은 친수성의 정도가 다릅니다. 그들은 단지 몇도의 접촉점 각도에 의해서만 그들의 친수성이 다릅니다. 상부 채널의 접점 각도는 118o 이고 하부 채널의 접점 각도는 112o입니다. 그러나 이러한 접촉 각도의 작은 차이는 유체가 이러한 영역으로 흐르기 위해 상당히 다른 압력을 필요로 합니다.

수치해석 시뮬레이션

처음에는 모든 채널에 각기 다른 유체가 주입됩니다(투명). 분홍색 유체를 수평 채널로 밀어 넣으면 중앙 영역의 친수성 경로(PhaseA)를 따라 이동합니다. 압력이 증가함에 따라, 유체는 하부 친수성-친수성 장벽을 깨고 바닥 소수성 구역으로 흐르기 시작합니다(상 B). 압력이 더욱 증가하면 유체가 마침내 상부 친수성-친수성 장벽을 깨고 상부 영역에서도 흐르기 시작합니다(단계 C).

A, B, C의 세 단계를 보여주는 수치 결과입니다.

위의 수치해석 결과는 두가지 사이에 중요한 차이가 있다는 점을 고려할 때 실험에서 패턴이 있는 표면 연구의 전반적인 아이디어와 비교할 수 있는 합당한 수준을 보여줍니다. 위에 표시된 수치해석 결과는 과도 상태(압력이 지속적으로 증가함)이므로 유체 경계는 실험 결과와 정확히 동일하지 않습니다. 마찬가지로 유체 특성은 실험에 사용된 특성과 정확히 동일하지 않습니다.

그럼에도 불구하고 유체 1은 실험에서와 같이 압력이 증가함에 따라 A, B, C단계를 거칩니다. B단계에서는 투명한 유체가 상부 채널을 통해 계속 흐르지만, 하부 영역에서는 분홍색 유체만 흐릅니다. 이것은 실험과 일치합니다.

흥미로운 것은 C단계의 거품 형성입니다. C단계의 거품 형성과 같은 흥미로운 물리현상의 재현과 연구는 미세 유체학 장치의 설계와 제작 과정에 중요할 수 있습니다.

FLOW-3D 해석 결과

아래의 애니메이션은 위와 같은 실험에 대한 FLOW-3D 시뮬레이션 결과를 보여줍니다. 유체 1( 연한 파란 색)은 실험 중인 분홍색 유체와 같습니다. 처음에는 전체 영역이 Fluid2(투명 유체)로 채워집니다. 압력은 단계적으로 증가하며 시뮬레이션이 진행됨에 따라 세 단계를 모두 볼 수 있습니다.

Evolution of fluid flow with increasing pressure in patterned micro channels created by varying contact angles.

Ref: Bin Zhao, Jeffrey S. Moore, David J. Beebe, Surface-Directed Liquid Flow Inside Microchannels, Science 291, 1023 (2001)

Learn more about the power and versatility of modeling microfluidic applications with FLOW-3D

Simulating the Wetting and Drying of Shallow Flows [얕은 흐름의 습윤 및 건조 시뮬레이션]

Introduction
Shallow flows, characterized by having a thickness much smaller than their lateral extent, can often be modeled by a depth-averaged (shallow-water or 2.5 dimensional) approximation.
Average fluid velocities are computed in the layer and the top fluid surface is free to move, which leads to a changing fluid-layer thickness. The advantages of this approach are its speed
and simplicity over full three-dimensional simulations.
One complication, however, is how to efficiently account for dynamic contact-line effects at lateral boundaries of the fluid. These boundaries are free to move over the underlying solid
surface. Furthermore, the fluid contact angle at these boundaries depends on the local dynamic flow conditions.
In this paper we present a new shallow-flow computational method based on the Volume-of-Fluid (VOF) technique, which conserves fluid mass, while allowing for general wetting and
drying behavior. Non-uniform surface tension and fluid-substrate interactions, defined by a static contact angle, are included in the model. No special prescriptions are needed to locate
contact line locations or define dynamic contact angles.

Coating Bibliography

아래는 코팅 참고 문헌의 기술 문서 모음입니다. 
이 모든 논문은 FLOW-3D  결과를 포함하고 있습니다. FLOW-3D를 사용하여 코팅 공정을 성공적으로 시뮬레이션  하는 방법에 대해 자세히 알아보십시오.

Coating Bibliography

2024년 3월 20일 Update

Below is a collection of technical papers in our Coating Bibliography. All of these papers feature FLOW-3D results. Learn more about how FLOW-3D can be used to successfully simulate coating processes.

130-22   Md Didarul Islam, Himendra Perera, Benjamin Black, Matthew Phillips, Muh-Jang Chen, Greyson Hodges, Allyce Jackman, Yuxuan Liu, Chang-Jin Kim, Mohammed Zikry, Saad Khan, Yong Zhu, Mark Pankow, Jong Eun Ryu, Template-free scalable fabrication of linearly periodic microstructures by controlling ribbing defects phenomenon in forward roll coating for multifunctional applications, Advanced Materials Interfaces, 9.27; 2201237, 2022. doi.org/10.1002/admi.202201237

03-21   Delong Jia, Peng Yi, Yancong Liu, Jiawei Sun, Shengbo Yue, Qi Zhao, Effect of laser­ textured groove wall interface on molybdenum coating diffusion and metallurgical bonding, Surface and Coatings Technology, 405; 126561, 2021. doi.org/10.1016/j.surfcoat.2020.126561

50-19     Peng Yi, Delong Jia, Xianghua Zhan, Pengun Xu, and Javad Mostaghimi, Coating solidification mechanism during plasma-sprayed filling the laser textured grooves, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 142, 2019. doi:10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2019.118451

01-19   Jelena Dinic and Vivek Sharma, Computational analysis of self-similar capillary-driven thinning and pinch-off dynamics during dripping using the volume-of-fluid method, Physics of Fluids, Vol. 31, 2019. doi: 10.1063/1.5061715

85-18   Zia Jang, Oliver Litfin and Antonio Delgado, A semi-analytical approach for prediction of volume flow rate in nip-fed reverse roll coating process, Proceedings in Applied Mathematics and Mechanics, Vol. 18, no. 1, Special Issue: 89th Annual Meeting of the International Association of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics, 2018. doi: 10.1002/pamm.201800317

80-14   Hiroaki Koyama, Kazuhiro Fukada, Yoshitaka Murakami, Satoshi Inoue, and Tatsuya Shimoda, Investigation of Roll-to-Sheet Imprinting for the Fabrication of Thin-film Transistor Electrodes, IEICE TRAN, ELECTRON, VOL.E97-C, NO.11, November 2014

46-14   Isabell Vogeler, Andreas Olbers, Bettina Willinger and Antonio Delgado, Numerical investigation of the onset of air entrainment in forward roll coating, 17th International Coating Science and Technology Symposium September 7-10, 2014 San Diego, CA, USA

17-12  Chi-Feng Lin, Bo-Kai Wang, Carlos Tiu and Ta-Jo Liu, On the Pinning of Downstream Meniscus for Slot Die Coating, Advances in Polymer Technology, Vol. 00, No. 0, 1-9 (2012) © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Available online at Wiley.

01-11  Reid Chesterfield, Andrew Johnson, Charlie Lang, Matthew Stainer, and Jonathan Ziebarth, Solution-Coating Technology for AMOLED Displays, Information Display Magazine, 1/11 0362-0972/01/2011-024 © SID 2011.

61-09 Yi-Rong Chang, Chi-Feng Lin and Ta-Jo Liu, Start-up of slot die coating, Polymer Engineering and Science, Vol. 49, pp. 1158-1167, 2009. doi:10.1002/pen.21360

26-06  James M. Brethour, 3-D transient simulation of viscoelastic coating flows, 13th International Coating Science and Technology Symposium, September 2006, Denver, Colorado

19-06  Ivosevic, M., Cairncross, R. A., and Knight, R., 3D Predictions of Thermally Sprayed Polymer Splats Modeling Particle Acceleration, Heating and Deformation on Impact with a Flat Substrate, Int. J. of Heat and Mass Transfer, 49, pp. 3285 – 3297, 2006

9-06  M. Ivosevic, R. A. Cairncross, R. Knight, T. E. Twardowski, V. Gupta, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA; J. A. Baldoni, Duke University, Durham, NC, Effect of Substrate Roughness on Splatting Behavior of HVOF Sprayed Polymer Particles Modeling and Experiments, International Thermal Spray Conference, Seattle, WA, May 2006.

26-05  Ivosevic, M., Cairncross, R. A., Knight, R., Impact Modeling of Thermally Sprayed Polymer Particles, Proc. International Thermal Spray Conference [ITSC-2005], Eds., DVS/IIW/ASM-TSS, Basel, Switzerland, May 2005.

11-05  Brethour, J., Simulation of Viscoelastic Coating Flows with a Volume-of-fluid Technique, in Proceedings of the 6th European Coating Symposium, Bradford, UK, 2005

1-05 C.W. Hirt, Electro-Hydrodynamics of Semi-Conductive Fluids: With Application to Electro-Spraying, Flow Science Technical Note #70, FSI-05-TN70

38-04 K.H. Ho and Y.Y. Zhao, Modelling thermal development of liquid metal flow on rotating disc in centrifugal atomisation, Materials Science and Engineering, A365, pp. 336-340, 2004. doi:10.1016/j.msea.2003.09.044

30-04  M. Ivosevic, R.A. Cairncross, and R. Knight, Impact Modeling of HVOF Sprayed Polymer Particles, Presented at the 12th International Coating Science and Technology Symposium, Rochester, New York, September 23-25, 2004

29-04  J.M. Brethour and C.W. Hirt, Stains Arising from Dried Liquid Drops, Presented at the 12th International Coating Science and Technology Symposium, Rochester, New York, September 23-25, 2004

20-03  James Brethour, Filling and Emptying of Gravure Cells–A CFD Analysis, Convertech Pacific October 2002, Vol. 10, No 4, p 34-37

4-03   M. Toivakka, Numerical Investigation of Droplet Impact Spreading in Spray Coating of Paper, In Proceedings of 2003 TAPPI 8th Advanced Coating Fundamentals Symposium, TAPPI Press, Atlanta, 2003

28-02  J.M. Brethour and H. Benkreira, Filling and Emptying of Gravure Cells—Experiment and CFD Comparison, 11th International Coating Science and Technology Symposium, September 23-25, 2002, Minneapolis, Minnesota

22-02  Hirt, C.W., and Brethour, J.M., Contact Line on Rough Surfaces with Application to Air Entrainment, Presented at the 11th International Coating Science and Technology Symposium, September 23-25, 2002, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Unpublished.

17-01  J. M. Brethour, C. W. Hirt, Moving Contact Lines on Rough Surfaces, 4th European Coating Symposium, 2001, Belgium

16-01  J. M. Brethour, Filling and Emptying of Gravure Cells–-A CFD Analysis, proceedings of the 4th European Coating Symposium 2001, October 1-4, 2001, Brussels, Belgium

26-00 Ronald H. Miller and Gary S. Strumolo, A Self-Consistent Transient Paint Simulation, Proceedings of IMEC2000: 2000 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, November 2000, Orlando, Florida

6-99  C. W. Hirt, Direct Computation of Dynamic Contact Angles and Contact Lines, ECC99 Coating Conference, Erlangen, Germany (FSI-99-00-2), Sept. 1999

7-98 J. E. Richardson and Y. Becker, Three-Dimensional Simulation of Slot Coating Edge Effects, Flow Science Inc, and Polaroid Corporation, presented at the 9th International Coating Science and Technology Symposium, Newark, DE, May 18-20, 1998

6-98  C. W. Hirt and E. Choinski, Simulation of the Wet-Start Process in Slot Coating, Flow Science Inc, and Polaroid Corporation, presented at the 9th International Coating Science and Technology Symposium, Newark, DE, May 18-20, 1998

3-97  C. W. Hirt and J. E. Richardson of Flow Science Inc, and K.S. Chen, Sandia National Laboratory, Simulation of Transient and Three-Dimensional Coating Flows Using a Volume-of-Fluid Technique, presented at the 50th Annual Conference of the Society for Imaging and Science Technology, Boston, MA 18-23 May 1997

2-96 C. W. Hirt, K. S. Chen, Simulation of Slide-Coating Flows Using a Fixed Grid and a Volume-of-Fluid Front-Tracking Technique, presented a the 8th International Coating Process Science & Technology Symposium, February 25-29, 1996, New Orleans, LA

Contact Line Insights

Contact Line Insights

FLOW-3D의 수치 모델링 기능은 코팅 성능 향상에 관심이 있는 엔지니어에게 이상적입니다. 계산 시뮬레이션은 코팅 흐름에 영향을 미치는 다양한 물리적 공정의 상대적 중요성과 효과를 연구하는 훌륭한 방법입니다. 물리적 테스트에서 프로세스를 분리하거나 해당 프로세스의 규모를 임의로 조정하는 것이 항상 가능한 것은 아닙니다. 이 섹션에서는 리 블릿 형성(rivulet formation), 핑거링(fingering), 증발, 거친 표면 위의 접촉선 이동 및 유체 흡수와 관련하여 FLOW-3D의 정적 및 동적 접촉각 처리에 대해 설명합니다.

Static and Dynamic Contact Angles

FLOW-3D는 입력으로 설정된 정적 접촉각의 함수로 동적 접촉각과 자유 표면 인터페이스에서 작용하는 관련 힘을 정확하게 계산하여 유체의 소수성을 캡처 할 수 있습니다. 아래 시뮬레이션은 물방울이 경사면 아래로 이동함에 따라 정적 접촉각이 동적 접촉각에 미치는 영향을 보여줍니다.