Sonicator is an electronic instrument that carries out sonication i.e. the application of sound energy to the sample of interest. The equipment exists in the form of an ultrasonic bath or an ultrasonic probe (or probe sonicator) converting electric energy to ultrasonic sound energy. An Ultrasonic Performance Meter measures ultrasonic activity in an ultrasonic bath.
The purpose of sonication in a research laboratory is diverse and plenty. In life sciences, the common application is cell lysis and tissue disruption which involves breaking cellular membrane with sonic waves. Similarly, it can be used for DNA fragmentation into smaller pieces mostly before the creation of a DNA insert or next-generation sequencing. Since sonication agitates the particles and can weaken the intermolecular interaction, it is used to speed up the process of dissolution. In Nanoscience, it is used for dispersing of the nanoparticles in a sample and for the production of translucent nanoemulsions. For similar reasons sonicator finds its application in the world of pharmaceuticals in dispersing homogenous formulations and to prepare compounded drugs. A yet another application is the process of degassing wherein unwanted gases are removed from the liquid sample under vacuum.