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J Chem Phys. 2008 Nov 14;129(18):184506. doi: 10.1063/1.3003068.

Laser generation of gas bubbles: Photoacoustic and photothermal effects recorded in transient grating experiments.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA.


Absorption of high power laser radiation by colloidal suspensions or solutions containing photoreactive chemicals can result in bubble production. Here, transient grating experiments are reported where picosecond and nanosecond lasers are used to initiate photoinduced processes that lead to bubble formation. Irradiation of colloidal Pt suspensions is found to produce water vapor bubbles that condense back to liquid on a nanosecond time scale. Laser irradiation of Pt suspensions supersaturated with CO(2) liberates dissolved gas to produce bubbles at the sites of the colloidal particles. Laser induced chemical reactions that produce bubbles are found in suspensions of particulate C in water, and in the sensitized decarboxylation of oxalic acid. Theory based on linear acoustics as well as the Rayleigh-Plesset equation is given for description of the bubble motion.

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