Fluid flows driven by light scattering - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Fluid Mechanics Year : 2011

Fluid flows driven by light scattering


We report on the direct experimental observation of laser-induced flows in isotropic liquids that scatter light. We use a droplet microemulsion in the two-phase regime, which behaves like a binary mixture. Close to its critical consolute line, the microemulsion undergoes large refractive index fluctuations that scatter light. The radiation pressure of a laser beam is focused onto the soft interface between the two phases of the microemulsion and induces a cylindrical liquid jet that continuously emits droplets. We demonstrate that this dripping phenomenon takes place as a consequence of a steady flow induced by the transfer of linear momentum from the optical field to the liquid due to light scattering. We first show that the cylindrical jet guides light as a step-index liquid optical fiber whose core diameter is self-adapted to the light itself. Then, by modelling the light-induced flow as a low-Reynoldsnumber, parallel flow, we predict the dependence of the dripping flow rate on the thermophysical properties of the microemulsion and the laser beam power. Satisfying agreement is found between the model and experiments.
No file

Dates and versions

hal-00608850 , version 1 (15-07-2011)



Régis Wunenburger, Bruno Issenmann, Etienne Brasselet, Charles Loussert, Virginie Hourtane, et al.. Fluid flows driven by light scattering. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 2011, 666, pp.273-307. ⟨10.1017/S0022112010004180⟩. ⟨hal-00608850⟩


79 View
0 Download



Gmail Mastodon Facebook X LinkedIn More