Fluid Mechanics, Electrokinetics, Thermal-Fluid Systems
Behrouz Abedian's research is in the area of fluid mechanics and its applications in fluidic systems. He has expertise in electrohydrodynamcis, transport phenomenon and energy systems. Topics of current active interest include: effect of particulates on mixture properties in fluid rheology; low-voltage electrowetting for the next generation of microfluidic devices; electrostatics in insulating liquids.
This area is related to a theoretical approach on the determination of effective properties, such as viscosity, of a heterogeneous medium based on the physical characteristics of the phases involved in the medium. This is a classical problem in applied mechanics, in general, and fluid mechanics, in particular, on how rigid and deformable particles in a fluid system affect its effective viscosity. Specific topics pursued on this area include a study of proper boundary conditions for a two-phase mixture as well as the effect of the inclusion geometry on the mixture behavior.
Electrowetting for microfluidic applications
Electrowetting is the phenomenon of electrical dependency of a three-phase interfacial line on an insulating substrate. The effect allows manipulation of liquids in a microchannel. A critical study in this area is to device methods to achieve liquid manipulation by application of very low voltages. This study has been successful in developing a new generation of microfluidic devices such as micropumps, mircovalves and micromixers. At the present, this study is focused on the electrowetting effect on insulting non-organic surfaces that can potentially allow liquid motion in a microchannel by applying voltages less that 1 Volt and characteristics of the interfacial lines with the applied voltage on such systems.
Electrostatic in Insulating Liquids
Motion of insulting liquids, such as purified engine oil or hydrocarbon-based fuels, relative to a solid or liquid interface result in electric charge separation and electrification of the moving liquid giving rise to convective electric currents. It is known that such electrification process can give rise to large voltages and unexpected damages. The effort in this area is to understand the effects of flow properties on this electrification.Topics that are current in this area include: 1- Effect of temperature on electrical conductivities of insulating liquids; and 2- The effect of turbulence spectra on the charging process next to solid interfaces in case of turbulent flows.