Reactive species created in the collapse of laser-induced cavitation bubbles: generation mechanism and sensitivity analysis

Kewen Peng*, Frank G.F. Qin, Runhua Jiang, Wanjun Qu, Qianxi Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reactive species (RS) play a critical role in postoperative complications in the medical application of lasers. From the mechanistic point, the RS arising from laser irradiation are produced from two channels: ionization and dissociation of water in the breakdown plasma, and the violent collapse of the laser-induced cavitation bubble. The latter channel is especially important for nanosecond pulses but poorly understood. In this paper, we conducted a simulation of the chemical reactions coupled with bubble dynamic calculation to quantitatively identify the RS produced in the collapsing bubble. The generation mechanism is explored by the analysis of the reaction pathway. Our calculation shows that while the absolute quantity of the produced RS is small, very high concentrations can be achieved inside the strongly compressed bubble. The initial composition of the bubble recovered from plasma recombination and expansion is found to influence the chemical reactions significantly. Unlike the direct splitting of water molecules in radiolysis and photolysis, the RS productions mainly involve the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide and the reactions between hydrogen, oxygen, and various free radicals. Furthermore, the produced RS is observed to increase with pulse energy as a result of the larger-sized bubbles and more violent collapses. These findings complement our current knowledge of RS in laser surgery and can be used to develop strategies to mitigate the adverse effects or exploit the associated benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043101
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number4
Early online date24 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Guangdong Basic and Applied Basic Research Foundation (Nos. 2019A1515110755 and 2020A1515110665), Dongguan Technology Bureau (No. 2020507140396), the Foundation of State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum, Beijing (No. PRP/open-1905), and Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Distributed Energy Systems (No. 2020B12120 60075). We are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their criticisms and suggestions, which help strengthen the manuscript greatly.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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