Accumulation mechanism of nanoparticles around photothermally generated surface bubbles

Koki Okada, Kento Kodama, Ken Yamamoto, Masahiro Motosuke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microbubbles generated by the photothermal conversion using a laser beam induce strong convective flow and can accumulate nanoparticles over a long distance. This study investigates the accumulation process of nanoparticles with a diameter of 100 and 300 nm using two experimental setups that enable bottom- and lateral-view observations. The bottom-view and SEM observations reveal that the particles are accumulated at and near the three-phase contact line. The bottom-view observation also shows that the particle deposition at an early stage is not axisymmetric, which contradicts a model proposed earlier. The asymmetric accumulation is also observed by the lateral view. The lateral view further reveals that the particles in bulk first adhered to the bubble surface and moved to the three-phase contact line by interfacial flow. It is also suggested that the amount of the particles accumulated on the surface is not proportional to the bubble volume (bubble radius to the third power) but proportional to the bubble radius to the fourth power. This is explained by a difference in temperature distribution on the bubble surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Article number188
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Marangoni effect
  • Microbubble
  • Nanoparticle manipulation
  • Photothermal effect
  • Plasmon resonance


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