Micromixing is a key process in microfluidics technology. However, rapid and efficient fluid mixing is difficult to achieve inside the microchannels due to unfavourable laminar flow. Active micromixers employing ultrasound and thermal energy are effective in enhancing the micromixing process; however, integration of these energy sources within the devices is a non-trivial task. In this study, ultrasound and thermal energy have been extraneously applied at the upstream of the micromixer to significantly reduce fabrication complexity. A novel Dean micromixer was laserfabricated to passively increase mixing performance and compared with T-and Y-micromixers at Reynolds numbers between 5 to 100. The micromixers had a relatively higher mixing index at lower Reynolds number, attributed to higher residence time. Dean micromixer exhibits higher mixing performance (about 27% better) than T-and Y-micromixers for 40 ≤ Re ≤ 100. Influence of ultrasound and heat on mixing is more significant at 5 ≤ Re ≤ 20 due to the prolonged mechanical effects. It can be observed that mixing index increases by about 6% to 10% once the temperature of the sonicated fluids increases from 30◦ C to 60◦ C. The proposed method is potentially useful as direct contact of the inductive energy sources may cause unwanted substrate damage and structural deformation especially for applications in biological analysis and chemical synthesis.
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