Nucleation threshold and deactivation mechanisms of nanoscopic cavitation nuclei

B.M. Borkent, S. Gekle, Andrea Prosperetti, Detlef Lohse

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The acoustic nucleation threshold for bubbles trapped in cavities has theoretically been predicted within the crevice theory by Atchley and Prosperetti [“The crevice model of bubble nucleation,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 86, 1065 (1989)]. Here, we determine this threshold experimentally, by applying a single pressure pulse to bubbles trapped in cylindrical nanoscopic pits (“artificial crevices”) with radii down to 50 nm. By decreasing the minimum pressure stepwise, we observe the threshold for which the bubbles start to nucleate. The experimental results are quantitatively in good agreement with the theoretical predictions of Atchley and Prosperetti. In addition, we provide the mechanism which explains the deactivation of cavitation nuclei: gas diffusion together with an aspherical bubble collapse. Finally, we present superhydrophobic nuclei which cannot be deactivated, unless with a high-speed liquid jet directed into the pit.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)102003-1-102003-9
Number of pages9
JournalPhysics of fluids
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • METIS-259111
  • IR-68546

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