Multi-bubble sonoluminescence: Laboratory curiosity, or real world application?

P. Axford*, L. Lawton, P. Robertson, P. A. Campbell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


Sonoluminescence (SL) involves the conversion of mechanical [ultra]sound energy into light. Whilst the phenomenon is invariably inefficient, typically converting just 10-4 of the incident acoustic energy into photons, it is nonetheless extraordinary, as the resultant energy density of the emergent photons exceeds that of the ultrasonic driving field by a factor of some 10 12. Sonoluminescence has specific [as yet untapped] advantages in that it can be effected at remote locations in an essentially wireless format. The only [usual] requirement is energy transduction via the violent oscillation of microscopic bubbles within the propagating medium. The dependence of sonoluminescent output on the generating sound field's parameters, such as pulse duration, duty cycle, and position within the field, have been observed and measured previously, and several relevant aspects are discussed presently. We also extrapolate the logic from a recently published analysis relating to the ensuing dynamics of bubble 'clouds' that have been stimulated by ultrasound. Here, the intention was to develop a relevant [yet computationally simplistic] model that captured the essential physical qualities expected from real sonoluminescent microbubble clouds. We focused on the inferred temporal characteristics of SL light output from a population of such bubbles, subjected to intermediate [0.5-2MPa] ultrasonic pressures. Finally, whilst direct applications for sonoluminescent light output are thought unlikely in the main, we proceed to frame the state-of-the- art against several presently existing technologies that could form adjunct approaches with distinct potential for enhancing present sonoluminescent light output that may prove useful in real world [biomedical] applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - Nanophotonic Materials V
ISBN (Print)9780819472502
Publication statusPublished - 04 Sep 2008
EventNanophotonic Materials V - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 10 Aug 200812 Aug 2008


ConferenceNanophotonic Materials V
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Bioeffect
  • Microbubbles
  • Photosensitizers
  • Sonodynamic therapy
  • Sonoluminescence
  • Ultrasound contrast agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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