Crystal Nucleation by Laser-Induced Cavitation

Anamaria Soare, R.J. Dijkink, Marcos Rodriguez Pascual, Chao Sun, Peter W. Cains, Detlef Lohse, Andrzej I. Stankiewicz, J.M. Kramer

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High-speed and high-resolution photography have been used to investigate the relationship between creation, expansion, and collapse of a vapor cavity induced by a 6 ns laser pulse and the subsequent nucleation of crystals. A thin layer of supersaturated aqueous solutions of (NH4)2SO4 and KMnO4 was confined between two glass plates with a separation of 50 and 100 μm. The expansion and collapse of the laser-induced vapor bubble occurred over a total time scale of 200 μs, while the first identifiable crystal appears one second after the laser pulse. Crystals were observed to form on a ring with a diameter of 70 μm centered in the focal point of the laser. The ring is preceded by an optical disturbance observed through the cavity around 30–50 μs after the laser pulse and vapor cavity formation. This ring-shaped optical disturbance originates from changes in refractive index induced by crystal nuclei formation. The formation of the nuclei most probably coincides with the formation of the bubble, when the rate of evaporation and the supersaturation are at their maxima. Apparently, it takes the nuclei around 30–50 μs to grow to a particle size with a visible optical disturbance
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)2311-2316
Number of pages6
JournalCrystal growth & design
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • IR-79081
  • METIS-274997

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