Negative Pressures and Spallation in Water Drops Subjected to Nanosecond Shock Waves

Claudiu A. Stan, Philip R. Willmott, Howard A. Stone, Jason E. Koglin, Mengning Liang, Andrew L. Aquila, Joseph S. Robinson, Karl L. Gumerlock, Gabriel Blaj, Raymond G. Sierra, Sébastien Boutet, Serge A.H. Guillet, Robin H. Curtis, Sharon L. Vetter, Henrik Loos, James L. Turner, Franz Josef Decker

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42 Scopus citations


Most experimental studies of cavitation in liquid water at negative pressures reported cavitation at tensions significantly smaller than those expected for homogeneous nucleation, suggesting that achievable tensions are limited by heterogeneous cavitation. We generated tension pulses with nanosecond rise times in water by reflecting cylindrical shock waves, produced by X-ray laser pulses, at the internal surface of drops of water. Depending on the X-ray pulse energy, a range of cavitation phenomena occurred, including the rupture and detachment, or spallation, of thin liquid layers at the surface of the drop. When spallation occurred, we evaluated that negative pressures below 100 MPa were reached in the drops. We model the negative pressures from shock reflection experiments using a nucleation-and-growth model that explains how rapid decompression could outrun heterogeneous cavitation in water, and enable the study of stretched water close to homogeneous cavitation pressures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2055-2062
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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