Low-voltage electroosmotic pumping using porous anodic alumina membranes

Yu Feng Chen*, Ming Chia Li, Yi Hsin Hu, Wen Jeng Chang, Chi-Chuan Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


This study demonstrated electroosmotic pumping with high flow rate per unit area at a rather low applied voltage by using alumina nano-porous membrane. The platinum mesh electrode is perpendicular to, and has direct contact with the nano-channel inlet for proving uniform electric field and for reducing the electric voltage drop in the reservoir. The measured flow rate versus electrolyte (KCl) concentration reveals two distinct characteristics. First, the flow rate is usually high at low concentrations (10-5 to 10-7 M) in which a maximum value occurs. Second, a remarkable drop of flow rate is seen when the concentration surpasses 10-4 M. The maximum flow rate achieved from this study is 0.09 mL/min V cm2 and the energy transfer efficiency is 0.43% at an operation voltage of 20 V. The mesh electrodes with 33 wire spacing are capable of providing an uniform electric field, the nano-porous membrane with a low electrolyte concentration provides the environment for strong overlapping of electric double layer, in association with the thin alumina membrane, leading to a high flow rate at a rather low applied voltage (20-80 V). The flow rate is comparable to the existing results whereas the corresponding operation voltage of this study is about one to two orders lower than most of the existing results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-244
Number of pages10
JournalMicrofluidics and Nanofluidics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2008


  • Electroosmotic pumping
  • Energy transfer efficiency
  • Low voltage
  • Nano-porous alumina membranes
  • Pt mesh electrodes


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