Materials synthesis in a bubble

Stephan Barcikowski, Anton Plech, Kenneth S. Suslick, Alfred Vogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ultrasonic sonochemistry and pulsed laser ablation in liquids (LAL) are modern techniques for materials synthesis that are in different ways linked to the formation and collapse of cavitation bubbles. We provide an overview of the physics of laser-induced and acoustically driven bubble oscillations and then describe how the high pressures and temperatures associated with ablation and bubble collapse, as well as emitted shock waves, take part in material synthesis inside and around the bubble. Emphasis is placed on the mechanisms of sonochemical synthesis and modification, and on a step-by-step account of the events from laser ablation through interaction of ablation products with the surrounding liquid up to the modification or aggregation of particles within the bubble. Both sonochemistry and LALs yield nanostructured materials and colloidal nanoparticles with unique properties. The synthesis process has been demonstrated to be scalable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-391
Number of pages10
JournalMRS Bulletin
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • acoustic
  • chemical synthesis
  • colloid
  • fluid
  • laser ablation
  • nanostructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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