Laser-Induced Cavitation for Controlling Crystallization from Solution

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We demonstrate that a cavitation bubble initiated by a Nd:YAG laser pulse below breakdown threshold induces crystallization from supersaturated aqueous solutions with supersaturation and laser-energy-dependent nucleation kinetics. Combining high-speed video microscopy and simulations, we argue that a competition between the dissipation of absorbed laser energy as latent and sensible heat dictates the solvent evaporation rate and creates a momentary supersaturation peak at the vapor-liquid interface. The number and morphology of crystals correlate to the characteristics of the simulated supersaturation peak.