Electroosmotic flow (or electro-osmotic flow, often abbreviated EOF; synonymous with electroosmosis or electroendosmosis) is the motion of liquid induced by an applied potential across a porous material, capillary tube, membrane, microchannel, or any other fluid conduit. Because electroosmotic velocities are independent of conduit size, as long as the electrical double layer is much smaller than the characteristic length scale of the channel, electroosmotic flow will have little effect. Electroosmotic flow is most significant when in small channels. Electroosmotic flow is an essential component in chemical separation techniques, notably capillary electrophoresis. Electroosmotic flow can occur in natural unfiltered water, as well as buffered solutions.
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