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Streaming flow by oscillating bubbles: quantitative diagnostics via particle tracking velocimetry

  • Rocío Bolaños-Jiménez (a1), Massimiliano Rossi (a2), David Fernandez Rivas (a3), Christian J. Kähler (a2) and Alvaro Marin (a4)...

Oscillating microbubbles can be used as microscopic agents. Using external acoustic fields they are able to set the surrounding fluid into motion, erode surfaces and even to carry particles attached to their interfaces. Although the acoustic streaming flow that the bubble generates in its vicinity has been often observed, it has never been measured and quantitatively compared with the available theoretical models. The scarcity of quantitative data is partially due to the strong three-dimensional character of bubble-induced streaming flows, which demands advanced velocimetry techniques. In this work, we present quantitative measurements of the flow generated by single and pairs of acoustically excited sessile microbubbles using a three-dimensional particle tracking technique. Using this novel experimental approach we are able to obtain the bubble’s resonant oscillating frequency, study the boundaries of the linear oscillation regime, give predictions on the flow strength and the shear in the surrounding surface and study the flow and the stability of a two-bubble system. Our results show that velocimetry techniques are a suitable tool to make diagnostics on the dynamics of acoustically excited microbubbles.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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