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

Department of Chemistry, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA.
The Journal of Chemical Physics (Impact Factor: 2.95). 12/2008; 129(18):184506. DOI: 10.1063/1.3003068
Source: PubMed


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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    ABSTRACT: Irradiation of chemically reactive particulate suspensions by high power, pulsed laser radiation initiates reactions at the sites of the particles so that besides the absorbed optical energy, chemical energy is liberated. In addition to the release of chemical energy, chemical reaction can result in gas production both of which result in enhancement in the amplitude of the photoacoustic effect. Here we report photoacoustic and transient grating experiments with colloidal C in mixtures of H(2)O(2) with H(2)O. The inclusion of H(2)O(2) in an aqueous C suspension changes the normally endothermic reaction of C with H(2)O into the highly exothermic reaction of C with H(2)O(2) leading to both an enhanced photoacoustic effect and an increase in light emission from the suspension. As well, laser-initiated exothermic reactions in suspensions of C with CH(3)NO(2) and particulate Hg(CNO)(2) in H(2)O are shown to result in greatly enhanced photoacoustic signal amplitudes.
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