The effect of scalable PDMS gas-entrapping microstructures on the dynamics of a single cavitation bubble. Academic Article uri icon


  • The effect of gas-entrapping polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microstructures on the dynamics of cavitation bubbles laser-induced next to the PDMS surface is investigated and compared against the cavitation dynamics next to a flat smooth boundary. Local pressure gradients produced by a cavitation bubble cause the air pockets entrapped in the PDMS microstructures to expand and oscillate, leading to a repulsion of the cavitation bubble. The microstructures were fabricated as boxed crevices via a simple and scalable laser ablation technique on cast acrylic, allowing for testing of variable structure sizes and reusable molds. The bubble dynamics were observed using high speed photography and the surrounding flows were visualized and quantified using particle tracking velocimetry. Smaller entrapped air pockets showed an enhanced ability to withstand deactivation at three stand-off distances and over 50 subsequent cavitation events. This investigation provides insight into the potential to direct the collapse of a cavitation bubble away from a surface to mitigate erosion or to enhance microfluidic mixing in low Reynolds number flows.

published proceedings

  • Sci Rep

author list (cited authors)

  • Robles, V., Gonzalez-Parra, J. C., Cuando-Espitia, N., & Aguilar, G.

complete list of authors

  • Robles, Vicente||Gonzalez-Parra, Juan Carlos||Cuando-Espitia, Natanael||Aguilar, Guillermo

publication date

  • January 2022