Measuring the extreme conditions created during cavitation

N. C. Eddingsaas, D. J. Flannigan, K. S. Suslick

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Extreme temperatures and pressures are produced through acoustic cavitation: the formation, growth and collapse of bubbles in a liquid irradiated with high intensity ultrasound. Cavitation of single isolated bubbles have generally been assumed to give higher temperature conditions during compression than bubble clouds, but confirmation from the single bubble sonoluminescence (SBSL) emission spectra has been problematic because SBSL typically produces featureless emission spectra that reveal little about the intra-cavity physical conditions or chemical processes. Here we present definitive evidence of the existence of a hot, highly energetic plasma core during SBSL. From a luminescing bubble in sulfuric acid, excited state to excited state emission lines are observed both from noble gas ions (Ar+, Kr+, and Xe +) and from neutral atoms (Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe). The excited states responsible for these emission lines range from 8.3 eV (for Xe) to 37.1 eV (for Ar+) above the ground state. Observation of emission lines allows for identification of intra-cavity species responsible for light emission; the energy levels of the emitters indicate the plasma generated during cavitation is comprised of highly energetic atomic and ionic species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3567-3572
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings - European Conference on Noise Control
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008
Event7th European Conference on Noise Control 2008, EURONOISE 2008 - Paris, France
Duration: Jun 29 2008Jul 4 2008


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