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Scientific Programming
Volume 16, Issue 4, Pages 297-313

Components for Atomistic-to-Continuum Multiscale Modeling of Flow in Micro- and Nanofluidic Systems

Helgi Adalsteinsson,1 Bert J. Debusschere,1 Kevin R. Long,2 and Habib N. Najm1

1Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA 94551, USA
2Department of Mathematic and Statistics, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA

Copyright © 2008 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Micro- and nanofluidics pose a series of significant challenges for science-based modeling. Key among those are the wide separation of length- and timescales between interface phenomena and bulk flow and the spatially heterogeneous solution properties near solid-liquid interfaces. It is not uncommon for characteristic scales in these systems to span nine orders of magnitude from the atomic motions in particle dynamics up to evolution of mass transport at the macroscale level, making explicit particle models intractable for all but the simplest systems. Recently, atomistic-to-continuum (A2C) multiscale simulations have gained a lot of interest as an approach to rigorously handle particle-level dynamics while also tracking evolution of large-scale macroscale behavior. While these methods are clearly not applicable to all classes of simulations, they are finding traction in systems in which tight-binding, and physically important, dynamics at system interfaces have complex effects on the slower-evolving large-scale evolution of the surrounding medium. These conditions allow decomposition of the simulation into discrete domains, either spatially or temporally. In this paper, we describe how features of domain decomposed simulation systems can be harnessed to yield flexible and efficient software for multiscale simulations of electric field-driven micro- and nanofluidics.