Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 147–153

High-speed imaging of an ultrasound-driven bubble in contact with a wall: “Narcissus” effect and resolved acoustic streaming


    • Department of Science and TechnologyUniversity of Twente
    • Laboratoire de Spectrométrie PhysiqueCNRS-Université Joseph Fourier
  • Michel Versluis
    • Department of Science and TechnologyUniversity of Twente
  • Nico de Jong
    • Department of Science and TechnologyUniversity of Twente
    • Department of Experimental EchocardiographyThoraxcentre
  • Sascha Hilgenfeldt
    • Department of Science and TechnologyUniversity of Twente
    • Engineering Sciences & Applied Mathematics and Department of Mechanical EngineeringNorthwestern University
  • Detlef Lohse
    • Department of Science and TechnologyUniversity of Twente
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00348-005-0080-y

Cite this article as:
Marmottant, P., Versluis, M., de Jong, N. et al. Exp Fluids (2006) 41: 147. doi:10.1007/s00348-005-0080-y


We report microscopic observations of the primary flow oscillation of an acoustically driven bubble in contact with a wall, captured with the ultra high-speed camera Brandaris 128 (Chin et al. 2003). The driving frequency is up to 200 kHz, and the imaging frequency is up to 25 MHz. The details of the bubble motion during an ultrasound cycle are thus resolved, showing a combination of two modes of oscillations: a radius oscillation and a translation oscillation, perpendicular to the wall. This motion is interpreted using the theory of acoustic images to account for the presence of the wall. We conclude that the bubble is subjected to a periodic succession of attractive and repulsive forces, exerted by its own image. Fast-framing recordings of a tracer particle embedded in the liquid around the particle are performed. They fully resolve the acoustic streaming flow induced by the bubble oscillations. This non-linear secondary flow appears as a tiny drift of the particle position cycle after cycle, on top of the primary back and forth oscillation. The high oscillation frequency accounts for a fast average particle velocity, with characteristic timescales in the millisecond range at the lengthscale of the bubble. The features of the bubble motion being resolved, we can apply the acoustic streaming theory near a wall, which provides predictions in agreement with the observed streaming velocity.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005