Extreme conditions during multibubble cavitation: Sonoluminescence as a spectroscopic probe

Kenneth S. Suslick, Nathan C. Eddingsaas, David J. Flannigan, Stephen D. Hopkins, Hangxun Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We review recent work on the use of sonoluminescence (SL) to probe spectroscopically the conditions created during cavitation, both in clouds of collapsing bubbles (multibubble sonoluminescence, (MBSL)) and in single bubble events. The effective MBSL temperature can be controlled by the vapor pressure of the liquid or the thermal conductivity of the dissolved gas over a range from ∼1600 to ∼9000 K. The effective pressure during MBSL is ∼300 bar, based on atomic line shifts. Given nanosecond emission times, this means that cooling rates are >1012 K/s. In sulfuric and phosphoric acid, the low volatility and high solubility of any sonolysis products make bubble collapse more efficient and evidence for an optically opaque plasma core is found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)842-846
Number of pages5
JournalUltrasonics Sonochemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Cavitation
  • Emission temperature
  • MBSL
  • Plasma
  • Sonoluminescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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