Plasmonic Microbubble Dynamics in Binary Liquids

Xiaolai Li, Yuliang Wang*, Binglin Zeng, Marvin Detert, Andrea Prosperetti, Harold J.W. Zandvliet*, Detlef Lohse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
84 Downloads (Pure)


The growth of surface plasmonic microbubbles in binary water/ethanol solutions is experimentally studied. The microbubbles are generated by illuminating a gold nanoparticle array with a continuous wave laser. Plasmonic bubbles exhibit ethanol concentration-dependent behaviors. For low ethanol concentrations (fe) of ≲67.5%, bubbles do not exist at the solid-liquid interface. For high fe values of ≳80%, the bubbles behave as in pure ethanol. Only in an intermediate window of 67.5% ≲ fe ≲ 80% do we find sessile plasmonic bubbles with a highly nontrivial temporal evolution, in which as a function of time three phases can be discerned. (1) In the first phase, the microbubbles grow, while wiggling. (2) As soon as the wiggling stops, the microbubbles enter the second phase in which they suddenly shrink, followed by (3) a steady reentrant growth phase. Our experiments reveal that the sudden shrinkage of the microbubbles in the second regime is caused by a depinning event of the three-phase contact line. We systematically vary the ethanol concentration, laser power, and laser spot size to unravel water recondensation as the underlying mechanism of the sudden bubble shrinkage in phase 2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8631-8637
Number of pages7
JournalThe journal of physical chemistry letters
Issue number20
Early online date22 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2020


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