High Intensity Ultrasound: Atomization

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Ultrasonic waves are longitudinal compression waves traveling through media as variations in pressure. During the compression phase of the cycle, host fluid pressure is increased over its normal value. During the rarefaction phase, the pressure drops significantly. When the pressure drops below a fluid's vapor pressure, fog is formed as tiny droplets of fluid are vaporized well below the fluid's boiling point temperature.

Figure 1. Pressure variations in high intensity
ultrasound can cause atomization (fog formation)

Since the fluid droplets are vaporized at low temperatures, ultrasonic atomization can be used to vaporize medicines without altering their physical structure. This has become useful as a means of inhalation therapy in the treatment of cystic fibrosis.


Pictures of Atomization






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