Simulation of thermal transpiration flow using a high-order moment method

Qiang Sheng, Gui-Hua Tang, Xiao-Jun Gu, David R. Emerson, Yong-Hao Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nonequilibrium thermal transpiration flow is numerically analyzed by an extended thermodynamic approach, a high-order moment method. The captured velocity profiles of temperature-driven flow in a parallel microchannel and in a micro-chamber are compared with available kinetic data or direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) results. The advantages of the high-order moment method are shown as a combination of more accuracy than the Navier-Stokes-Fourier (NSF) equations and less computation cost than the DSMC method. In addition, the high-order moment method is also employed to simulate the thermal transpiration flow in complex geometries in two types of Knudsen pumps. One is based on micro-mechanized channels, where the effect of different wall temperature distributions on thermal transpiration flow is studied. The other relies on porous structures, where the variation of flow rate with a changing porosity or pore surface area ratio is investigated. These simulations can help to optimize the design of a real Knudsen pump.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics C
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2014


  • Knudsen pump
  • moment method
  • nonequilibrium gas
  • thermal transpiration flow


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