|Image Credit: thinkstockphotos.com/assistantua|
There are various ways to study superheating liquids and bubble nucleation. This method involves studying individual bubbles rather than a large number all at once. The scientists began by creating a single nanopore in a membrane and surrounding it in a sodium-chloride solution. A small voltage pulse passed across the membrane and rapidly heated the surrounding liquid. A single bubble of vapor evenly formed in the center of the small pore of the membrane before collapsing approximately 16 nanoseconds (ns) later. Another bubble formed 120 ns after that.
|A cross section of the experimental setup. The gap between the two plates is the nanopore where the bubbles are formed.|
Image Credit: Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 024506
As scientists continue to study bubble nucleation, one of the most exciting future applications of knowing more about bubble nucleation are using bubbles as lenses. In using bubbles, there's the potential to move or change a lens to rapidly refocus light. Learning more about bubble nucleation also has applications in chemistry, electronics, acoustics, and characterizing certain states of matter.