Characterization of acoustic cavitation bubbles in different sound fields

J Phys Chem B. 2010 Sep 2;114(34):11010-6. doi: 10.1021/jp105618q.


Various fundamental properties of acoustic cavitation bubbles have been investigated in single- and dual-frequency sound fields. It was found that the relative extent of bubble coalescence in the dual-frequency field correlated strongly with the synergistic enhancement of the sonochemical reaction rates. Both the relative extent of coalescence and the sonochemical synergy observed were enhanced through the addition of coalescence-inhibiting solutes. This was attributed to greater nucleation in the dual-frequency mode compared with the single-frequency modes, producing a very localized and high-density bubble field. The acoustic bubble size, compared with that measured at 355 kHz alone, was found to increase upon the application of synchronous 20 kHz pulses but was reduced dramatically when the low frequency was applied as a continuous wave. This trend is consistent with previous reports indicating that the bubble density and cavitation activity are relatively higher in the pulsed system and that the continuous wave application exerts a strong cancellation effect. The changes in bubble density and coalescence rates are proposed to govern the acoustic bubble size. The bubble lifetime was found to be longer in the dual-frequency field (>0.30 ms; >6 low-frequency oscillations, >100 high-frequency oscillations) compared with both single-frequency fields (0.26 ms and 5 oscillations for the low frequency; 0.22 ms and 75 oscillations for the high frequency). The confluence of a longer bubble lifetime and more asymmetric collapse conditions, the latter inferred from a more pronounced sodium atom emission in the sonoluminescence spectrum, resulted in a lower bubble collapse temperature measured in the dual-frequency system.