Mathematics (HMC), Physics (HMC)
A popular method for generating micron-sized aerosols is to submerge ultrasonic (ω~MHz) piezoelectric oscillators in a water bath. The submerged oscillator atomizes the fluid, creating droplets with radii proportional to the wavelength of the standing wave at the fluid surface. Classical theory for the Faraday instability predicts a parametric instability driving a capillary wave at the subharmonic (ω/2) frequency. For many applications it is desirable to reduce the size of the droplets; however, using higher frequency oscillators becomes impractical beyond a few MHz. Observations are presented that demonstrate that smaller droplets may also be created by increasing the driving amplitude of the oscillator, and that this effect becomes more pronounced for large driving frequencies. It is shown that these observations are consistent with a transition from droplets associated with subharmonic (ω/2) capillary waves to harmonic (ω) capillary waves induced by larger driving frequencies and amplitudes, as predicted by a stability analysis of the capillary waves.
© 2011 Acoustical Society of America
A.P. Higginbotham, A. Guillen, N. Jones, T. D. Donnelly and A.J. Bernoff. Evidence of the harmonic Faraday instability in ultrasonic atomization experiments with a deep, inviscid fluid," J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 130 (2011) 2694-2699. doi: 10.1121/1.3643816