The ultrasonic electronic generator transforms AC line power to a 20 KHz signal that drives a piezoelectric converter/transducer. This electrical signal is converted by the transducer to a mechanical vibration due to the characteristics of the internal piezoelectric crystals.
The vibration is amplified and transmitted down the length of the horn/probe where the tip longitudinally expands and contracts. The distance the tip travels is dependent on the amplitude selected by the user through the touch screen pad. As you increase the amplitude setting the sonication intensity will increase within your sample.
In liquid, the rapid vibration of the tip causes cavitation, the formation and violent collapse of microscopic bubbles. The collapse of thousands of cavitation bubbles releases tremendous energy in the cavitation field. The erosion and shock effect of the collapse of the cavitation bubble is the primary mechanism of fluid processing.
The probe tip diameter dictates the amount of sample that can be effectively processed. Smaller tip diameters (Microtip™ probes) deliver high intensity sonication but the energy is focused within a small, concentrated area. Larger tip diameters can process larger volumes, but offer lower intensity.
The choices of a generator and horns/probes are matched to the volume, viscosity and other parameters of the particular application. Horns are available for both direct and indirect sonication. The Accessories section has more information on this subject.
Ultrasonic processors have proven to be highly effective for many applications including:
- Cell disruption
- Nanoparticle dispersion
- Shearing DNA
- Focused cleaning
- Catalyzing reactions