Characterizing laser induced cavitation: effects of air content, beam angle, and laser power

Open Access
Ranjeva, Minna Laure
Graduate Program:
Mechanical Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
June 15, 2012
Committee Members:
  • Brian Elbing, Thesis Advisor
  • cavitation
  • laser
  • bubble dynamics
Laser-induced cavitation allows for cavitation bubbles to be systematically reproduced using a high power laser and focusing the laser beam to a point. This provides the opportunity to study the physics of the cavitation process under different circumstances in an experimental setting.Laser-induced cavitation has many applications. It has been used successfully to study cavitation near boundaries in an effort to understand the mechanisms of cavitation erosion. It has also found new applications in the world of medicine, as well as other areas. Previous work has largely focused on cavitation near a surface causing damage, but as new applications emerge,characterization of bubbles in a bulk fluid will be useful, permitting a high level of control over the bubble size, shape, and lifetime. With this in mind, laser-induced cavitation bubbles in a bulk fluid are characterized. The focusing angle of the lens, the air content of water, and the laser power are all varied to provide a comprehensive understanding of how these variables affect the bubbles’ development. Scaling for the bubble behavior is developed.