Experimental and Computational Multiphase Flow

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 242–254 | Cite as

Laser-induced vapour bubble as a means for crystal nucleation in supersaturated solutions—Formulation of a numerical framework

  • Niklas HidmanEmail author
  • Gaetano Sardina
  • Dario Maggiolo
  • Henrik Ström
  • Srdjan Sasic
Open Access
Research Article


We use in this work numerical simulations to investigate the evolution of a laser-induced vapour bubble with a special focus on the resolution of a thin layer of liquid around the bubble. The application of interest is laser-induced crystallization, where the bubble acts as a nucleation site for crystals. Experimental results indicate the extreme dynamics of these bubbles where the interface during the period of 200 us, from nucleation to collapse, reaches a maximum radius of roughly 700 µm and attains a velocity of well above 20 m/s. To fully resolve the dynamics of the bubble, the volume of fluid (VOF) numerical framework is used. Inertia, thermal effects, and phase-change phenomena are identified as the governing phenomena for the bubble dynamics. We develop and implement into our numerical framework an interface phase-change model that takes into account both evaporation and condensation. The performed simulations produce qualitatively promising results that are in fair agreement with both experiments and analytical solutions from the literature. The reasons behind the observed differences are discussed and suggestions are made for future improvements of the framework.


laser-induced cavitation vapour bubble volume of fluid crystal nucleation 



This research was conducted with funding from Sweden’s Innovation Agency VINNOVA, grant 2016-03407, and the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), grant VR 2017-05031. The computations were performed on resources at Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering (C3SE) provided by the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC).


  1. Brackbill, J. U., Kothe, D. B., Zemach, C. 1992. A continuum method for modeling surface tension. J Comput Phys, 100: 335–354.MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  2. Brennen, C. E. 1995. Cavitation and Bubble Dynamcis. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Denner, F., van Wachem, B. G. M. 2015. Numerical time-step restrictions as a result of capillary waves. J Comput Phys, 285: 24–40.MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  4. Garetz, B. A., Aber, J. E., Goddard, N. L., Young, R. G., Myerson, A. S. 1996. Nonphotochemical, polarization-dependent, laser-induced nucleation in supersaturated aqueous urea solutions. Phys Rev Lett, 77: 3475–3476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Gibou, F., Chen, L. G., Nguyen, D., Banerjee, S. 2007. A level set based sharp interface method for the multiphase incompressible Navier-Stokes equations with phase change. J Comput Phys, 222: 536–555.MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. Hardt, S., Wondra, F. 2008. Evaporation model for interfacial flows based on a continuum-field representation of the source terms. J Comput Phys, 227: 5871–5895.MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  7. Iefuji, N., Murai, R., Maruyama, M., Takahashi, Y., Sugiyama, S., Adachi, H., Matsumura, H., Murakami, S., Inoue, T., Mori, Y., Koga, Y., Takano, K., Kanaya, S. 2011. Laser-induced nucleation in protein crystallization: Local increase in protein concentration induced by femtosecond laser irradiation. J Cryst Growth, 318: 741–744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kharangate, C. R., Mudawar, I. 2017. Review of computational studies on boiling and condensation. Int J Heat Mass Tran, 108: 1164–1196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Knott, B. C., LaRue, J. L., Wodtke, A. M., Doherty, M. F., Peters, B. 2011. Communication: Bubbles, crystals, and laser-induced nucleation. J Chem Phys, 134: 171102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Knudsen, M., Partington, J. R. 1935. The kinetic theory of gases: Some modern aspects. J Phys Chem, 39: 307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Koch, M., Lechner, C., Reuter, F., Köhler, K., Mettin, R., Lauterborn, W. 2016. Numerical modeling of laser generated cavitation bubbles with the finite volume and volume of fluid method, using OpenFOAM. Comput Fluids, 126: 71–90.MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  12. Kunkelmann, C. 2011. Numerical modeling and investigation of boiling phenomena. Doctoral Dissertation. Technische Universität.Google Scholar
  13. Magaletti, F., Marino, L., Casciola, C. M. 2015. Shock wave formation in the collapse of a vapor nanobubble. Phys Rev Lett, 114: 064501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Magnini, M., Pulvirenti, B. 2011. Height function interface reconstruction algorithm for the simulation of boiling flows. In: Computational Methods in Multiphase Flow VI. Southampton, UK: WIT Press, 69–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Marek, R., Straub, J. 2001. Analysis of the evaporation coefficient and the condensation coefficient of water. Int J Heat Mass Tran, 44: 39–53.CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  16. Mirsaleh-Kohan, N., Fischer, A., Graves, B., Bolorizadeh, M., Kondepudi, D., Compton, R. N. 2017. Laser shock wave induced crystallization. Cryst Growth Des, 17: 576–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Nakamura, K., Hosokawa, Y., Masuhara, H. 2007. Anthracene crystallization induced by single-shot femtosecond laser irradiation: Experimental evidence for the important role of bubbles Cryst Growth Des, 7: 885–889.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Plesset, M. S. 1949. The dynamics of cavitation bubbles. J Appl Mech, 16: 277–282.Google Scholar
  19. Quinto-Su, P. A., Lim, K. Y., Ohl, C. D. 2009. Cavitation bubble dynamics in microfluidic gaps of variable height. Phys Rev E, 80: 047301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rayleigh, L. 1917. VIII. On the pressure developed in a liquid during the collapse of a spherical cavity. The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, 34: 94–98.CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  21. Ruecroft, G., Hipkiss, D., Ly, T., Maxted, N., Cains, P. W. 2005. Sonocrystallization: The use of ultrasound for improved industrial crystallization. Org Process Res Dev, 9: 923–932.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sagar, H. J., el Moctar, O. 2018. Numerical simulation of a laser-induced cavitation bubble near a solid boundary considering phase change. Ship Technol Res, 65: 163–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Schrage, R. W. 1953. A Theoretical Study of Interphase Mass Transfer. New York: Columbia University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Scriven, L. E. 1959. On the dynamics of phase growth. Chem Eng Sci, 10: 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Soare, A. 2014. Technologies for Optimisation and Control of Nucleation and Growth for New Generations of Industrial Crystallizers. Ipskamp Drukkers.Google Scholar
  26. Soare, A., Dijkink, R., Pascual, M. R., Sun, C., Cains, P. W., Lohse, D., Stankiewicz, A. I., Kramer, H. J. M. 2011. Crystal nucleation by laser-induced cavitation. Cryst Growth Des, 11: 2311–2316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sun, C., Can, E., Dijkink, R. O. R. Y., Lohse, D. E. T. L. E. F., Prosperetti, A. N. D. R. E. A. 2009. Growth and collapse of a vapour bubble in a microtube: The role of thermal effects. J Fluid Mech, 632: 5–16.CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  28. Tanasawa, I. 1991. Advances in condensation heat transfer. In: Advances in Heat Transfer. Hartnett, J. P., Irvine, T. F. Eds. San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  29. Tatalovic, M. 2009. Crystals grown in a ash. Available at
  30. Yoshikawa, H. Y., Murai, R., Adachi, H., Sugiyama, S., Maruyama, M., Takahashi, Y., Takano, K., Matsumura, H., Inoue, T., Murakami, S., Masuhara, H., Mori, Y. 2014. Laser ablation for protein crystal nucleation and seeding. Chem Soc Rev, 43: 2147–2158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Zein, A., Hantke, M., Warnecke, G. 2013. On the modeling and simulation of a laser-induced cavitation bubble. Int J Numer Method in Fluids, 73: 172–203.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Open Access: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

To view a copy of this licence, visit

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niklas Hidman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gaetano Sardina
    • 1
  • Dario Maggiolo
    • 1
  • Henrik Ström
    • 1
  • Srdjan Sasic
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Fluid Dynamics, Department of Mechanics and Maritime SciencesChalmers University of TechnologyGothenburgSweden

Personalised recommendations