This article conceptualizes and mathematically models a dielectrophoretic microfluidic device with two sets of interdigitated transducer vertical electrodes for separation of a binary heterogeneous mixture of particles based on size; each set of electrodes is located on the sidewalls and independently controllable. To achieve separation in the proposed microfluidic device, the small microparticles are subjected to positive dielectrophoresis and the big microparticles do not experience dielectrophoresis. The mathematical model consists of equations describing the motion of each microparticle, fluid flow profile, and electric voltage and field profiles, and they are solved numerically. The equations of motion take into account the influence of phenomena, such as inertia, drag, dielectrophoresis, gravity, and buoyancy. The model is used for a parametric study to understand the influence of parameters on the performance of the microfluidic device. The parameters studied include applied electric voltages, electrode dimensions, volumetric flow rate, and number of electrodes. The separation efficiency of the big and small microparticles is found to be independent of and dependent on all parameters, respectively. On the other hand, the separation purity of the big and small microparticles is found to be dependent on and independent of all parameters, respectively. The mathematical model is useful in designing the proposed microfluidic device with the desired level of separation efficiency and separation purity.
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