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Enlightened sonochemistry

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Sonochemistry and photochemistry are initiated by high-energy transient species, which may be prone to mutual interaction. Electronic excitation of solutes by energy transfer from high energy species generated in collapsing bubbles is already supported by experimental evidence. The rates of photochemical reactions can be affected by ultrasound-induced mixing of liquids caused by microstreaming near pulsating cavitation bubbles and shockwaves due to bubble collapse. This may not only improve light absorption but also modify the pathway of reaction by increasing the contact between reagents. Finally, one may speculate about a potentially new chemistry of photoexcited solutes under the extreme conditions inside cavitation microreactors. This work reviews research on the excitation of solutes by sonoluminescence, the combined effects of ultrasound and light on liquid systems and the effect of ultrasound on photocatalytic reactions.


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