Sonofragmentation of Ionic Crystals

Hyo Na Kim, Kenneth S. Suslick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mechanochemistry deals with the interface between the chemical and the mechanical worlds and explores the physical and chemical changes in materials caused by an input of mechanical energy. As such, the chemical and physical effects of ultrasound, i.e., sonochemistry, are forms of mechanochemistry. In this paper, the fragmentation of ionic crystals during ultrasonic irradiation of slurries has been quantitatively investigated: the rate of fragmentation depends strongly on the strength of the materials (as measured by Vickers hardness or by Young's modulus). This is a mechanochemical extension of the Bell–Evans–Polanyi Principle or Hammond's Postulate: activation energies for solid fracture correlate with binding energies of solids. Sonofragmentation is unaffected by slurry loading or liquid vapor pressure, but is suppressed by increasing liquid viscosity. The mechanism of the particle breakage is consistent with a direct interaction between the shockwaves created by the ultrasound (through acoustic cavitation) and the solid particles in the slurry. Fragmentation is proposed to occur from defects in the solids induced by compression–expansion, bending, or torsional distortions of the crystals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2778-2782
Number of pages5
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Feb 24 2017


  • crystal engineering
  • mechanical properties
  • mechanochemistry
  • solid-state reactions
  • sonofragmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry


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