Acoustic Streaming and Its Suppression in Inhomogeneous Fluids

Jonas T. Karlsen, Wei Qiu, Per Augustsson, Henrik Bruus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a theoretical and experimental study of boundary-driven acoustic streaming in an inhomogeneous fluid with variations in density and compressibility. In a homogeneous fluid this streaming results from dissipation in the boundary layers (Rayleigh streaming). We show that in an inhomogeneous fluid, an additional nondissipative force density acts on the fluid to stabilize particular inhomogeneity configurations, which markedly alters and even suppresses the streaming flows. Our theoretical and numerical analysis of the phenomenon is supported by ultrasound experiments performed with inhomogeneous aqueous iodixanol solutions in a glass-silicon microchip.

Original languageEnglish
Article number054501
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 30

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics


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