Applied Physics A Solids and Surfaces

Optical and acoustic study of nucleation and growth of bubbles at a liquid-solid interface induced by nanosecond-pulsed-laser heating

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The dynamics of liquid-vapor phase-change in the nanosecond time-scale induced by pulsed-laser heating of a liquid on a solid sample is studied by means of optical reflectance and scattering measurements, and the piezoelectric detection technique. The liquids studied include water, ethanol, methanol, IsoproPropyl Alcohol (IPA), and mixtures of water and IPA. The threshold fluence for nucleation is determined with high accuracy using the optical and acoustic signals. Heat diffusion calculations performed for the threshold fluences indicate that the liquids are sufficiently superheated before nucleation sets on. The transient optical reflectance signal is analyzed by an effective-medium theory to provide bubble-growth kinetics, so that the bubble-growth velocity for the test liquids could be estimated. In addition, it is observed that, following the thermally induced nucleation, repetitive acoustic cavitation at the surface of the solid sample occurs, with a time interval related to the speed of sound in the liquid. © 1994 Springer-Verlag.