Maxwell-Wagner polarization and frequency-dependent injection at aqueous electrical interfaces.
Additional Document Info
We demonstrate a new type of alternating current (ac) interfacial polarization and frequency-dependent fluid displacement phenomenon at a liquid-liquid electrical interface. Two fluid streams--one with a greater electrical conductivity and the other a greater dielectric constant--are made to flow side by side in a microfluidic channel. An ac electric field is applied perpendicular to the interface formed between the liquid lamellae, and fluid is observed to displace across the liquid-liquid interface. The direction and magnitude of this displacement is frequency dependent. At low ac frequency, below the interfacial inverse charge relaxation time, the high-conductivity fluid displaces into the high-dielectric stream. At high frequency the direction of liquid displacement reverses, and the high-dielectric stream injects into the high-conductivity stream. The interfacial crossover frequency where the liquid displacement direction reverses is dependent on differences in electrical properties between the two fluid streams, and is well explained by Maxwell-Wagner polarization mechanics.