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Interactions enhance the acoustic streaming around flattened microfluidic bubbles

  • Mekki-Berrada, Flore
  • Combriat, Thomas
  • Thibault, Pierre
  • Marmottant, Philippe
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2016
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The vibration of bubbles can produce intense microstreaming when excited by ultrasound near resonance. In order to study freely oscillating bubbles in steady conditions, we have confined bubbles between the two walls of a silicone microchannel and anchored them on micropits. We were thus able to analyse the microstreaming flow generated around an isolated bubble or a pair of interacting bubbles. In the case of an isolated bubble, a short-range microstreaming occurs in the channel gap, with additional in-plane vortices at high amplitude when Faraday waves are excited on the bubble periphery. For a pair of bubbles, we have observed long-range microstreaming and large recirculations describing a 'butterfly' pattern. We propose a model based on secondary acoustic Bjerknes forces mediated by Rayleigh waves on the silicone walls. These forces lead to attraction or repulsion of bubbles and thus to the excitation of a translational mode in addition to the breathing mode of the bubble. The mixed-mode streaming induced by the interaction of these two modes is shown to generate fountain or anti-fountain vortex pairs, depending on the relative distance between the bubbles.

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