Bath sonicator | Probe sonicator
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Sonicators apply sound energy, (usually ultrasound) to agitate particles from a sample for multiple purposes. Other names for Sonicators are Ultrasonic Processors, Ultrasonic Sonicators, Cell Disruptor, Ultrasonic Homogenizer, Sonifier.
Sonification is an older and simpler technology using low frequency and unfocused acoustic energy which is in the audible range ans is administered with either a probe or a bath sonicator. The unfocused acoustic energy dissipates rapidly, resulting in decreased efficiency. This means that the sonfication process requires relatively large amounts of acoustic energy to be successful. The process is converted to heat energy which heats the sample resulting in thermal molecular damage and non-uniform processing.
The operating frequency of sonication is 10 to 30 kHz, with a wavelength of 100 mm.
Types of Sonicators
There are two different types do sonicators: a probe and a bath.
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- A probe sonicator makes direct contact with the sample. This can be an advantage since a more concentrated energy can be added to the sample. The disadvantage of probe sonicators is the potential for sample cross-contamination and contamination by erosion of the probe tip. Probe sonicators are also not recommended for small samples.
- Bath sonicators isolate the sample from the energy source in an energized bath of water. They require significantly more energy, are unpredictable, and often over-heat the sample. The advantage of bath sonicators is that they can be used fo all sample sizes with little risk of cross contamination.