Dispersion or spreading of analyte bands is a barrier to achieving high resolution in microfluidic separations. The role of dispersion in separations is reviewed with emphasis on metrics, sources and common principles of analysis. Three sources of dispersion (a) inhomogeneous flow fields, (b) solute wall interactions and (c) force fields normal to channel walls are studied in detail. Microfluidic and nanofluidic applications to capillary electrophoresis, chromatography and field-flow fractionation, that are subject to one or more of these three physical processes under standard, unintentional or novel operating conditions, are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering