Sonoluminescence quenching of organic compounds in aqueous solution: Frequency effects and implications for sonochemistry

G J Price, M Ashokkumar, F Grieser

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Solute-induced quenching of sonoluminescence (SL) is reported for aqueous solutions of two homologous series of methyl esters and ketones using low (20 kHz) and high (515 kHz) ultrasound frequencies. SL data at 20 kHz from aqueous solutions containing alcohols and carboxylic acids are also presented to compare with previously published results at 515 kHz. In addition to supporting the previous findings on the existence of stable and transient bubbles at 515 and 20 kHz, respectively, the results suggest that the hydrogen-bonding characteristics of the solutes also play a major role in the extent of SL quenching. An increase in the SL intensity at low concentrations for most of the solutes suggests that these solutes increase the number of "active" bubbles by hindering the coalescence of bubbles. It is concluded that the effect of the solutes on the SL signal from aqueous solutions at both frequencies is primarily due to the balance of two factors, namely, the incorporation of solute within the bubble, leading to SL quenching, and the prevention of coalescence of the bubbles, leading to SL enhancement. At the higher frequency, SL quenching by the solutes is the main influence on the emission yield. However, at the lower frequency, hindrance to coalescence by the solutes dominates at lower concentrations and leads to SL enhancement. The implications of these results for optimizing conditions for aqueous sonochemical reactions are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2755-2762
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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