Coupling electrokinetics and rheology: Electrophoresis in non-Newtonian fluids

Aditya S. Khair, Denise E. Posluszny, Lynn M. Walker

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38 Scopus citations


We present a theoretical scheme to calculate the electrophoretic motion of charged colloidal particles immersed in complex (non-Newtonian) fluids possessing shear-rate-dependent viscosities. We demonstrate that this non-Newtonian rheology leads to an explicit shape and size dependence of the electrophoretic velocity of a uniformly charged particle in the thin-Debye-layer regime, in contrast to electrophoresis in Newtonian fluids. This dependence is caused by non-Newtonian stresses in the bulk (electroneutral) fluid outside the Debye layer, whose magnitude is naturally characterized in an electrophoretic Deborah number.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number016320
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 25 2012
Externally publishedYes


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