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Qsonica Q500 Sonicator

Location: 4141 MRB3


*Note: There is mandatory training by Equipment Manager for all new users prior to use.


Ensure that door is properly closed on noise-proof cabinet prior to starting sonicator. If you need to open the cabinet door while sonicator is turned on, be sure to wear ear protection for yourself and anyone else in the room and close the doors to the room out of consideration for others.

DO NOT allow the horn or micro tip to contact lab stands, beakers, etc. or horn/micro tip failure may result.

DO NOT touch the horn or tip when ultrasonics are active. When handling, removing, or attaching a tool or tip, be sure that the ultrasonic processor is powered OFF. Touching the tool while the unit is on can result in serious personal injury.

Sonicator Manual


General Notes

Sonication disrupts cells (and other biological materials) by transmitting vibrational force into a solution. Microscopic cavities in the solution collapse, “causing the molecules in the medium to become intensely agitated.” This also causes the solution to heat up so use cool downs between uses and ice to prevent damaging your target material.

We have a “micro tip” horn (the horn is the metal part you stick into the solution). Because of this, “do not advance the Amplitude beyond 40%, or permanent damage to the micro tips can result.”

Because heat control is so difficult, you may wish to use aluminum (best) or stainless steel containers because the heat conductivity is much better than plastic. Plastic is such a poor heat conductor that should be avoided, or at least use pulsed operation.



The power setting, length of time, and number of times has to be individually determined experimentally for each biological material disrupted. Generally, you will want to use low power and short bursts to control heat.

1) Press the ON key.

2) Immerse the probe tip into the sample liquid.

3) To energize the ultrasonics, press the START key. (To de-energize the ultrasonics, press the STOP key)

4) To set the amplitude when the ultrasonics is off, press the AMP Lkey and
the numeric keys or the ▲ or ▼ key for a % reading on the screen, and then press the ENTER/REVIEW key.

5) If you wish for a specific time, Press the TIMER key.

  • Using the numeric keys, set the processing time as required.

6) If you wish pulsed operation, Press the PULSE key.

  • Using the numeric keys, set the ON portion of the cycle, then press the ENTER/REVIEW

  • Using the numeric keys set the OFF portion of the cycle, then press the ENTER/REVIEW

Note: In the pulsed mode the processing time will be different from the elapsed time because
the processing time function monitors and controls only the ON portion of the duty cycle. For
example, for 1 hour processing time, the elapsed time will be 2 hours if the ON and OFF cycle
are set for 1 second.


Clean-up/Shut Down

Wipe the horn down with ethanol after you are done sonicating. If you wish to sterilize the horn, immerse the tip in alcohol and turn the power on for a few seconds

INSPECT THE TIP FOR EROSION. Note: this will probably only need to be done every few months at most. If the tip has lost its original polished/shiny state and begins to look light gray or has rings appear at the bottom, Contact the Equipment Manager.