Comparison of nanosecond and picosecond excitation for interference-free two-photon laser-induced fluorescence detection of atomic hydrogen in flames. Academic Article uri icon


  • Two-photon laser-induced fluorescence (TP-LIF) line imaging of atomic hydrogen was investigated in a series of premixed CH4/O2/N2, H2/O2, and H2/O2/N2 flames using excitation with either picosecond or nanosecond pulsed lasers operating at 205 nm. Radial TP-LIF profiles were measured for a range of pulse fluences to determine the maximum interference-free signal levels and the corresponding picosecond and nanosecond laser fluences in each of 12 flames. For an interference-free measurement, the shape of the TP-LIF profile is independent of laser fluence. For larger fluences, distortions in the profile are attributed to photodissociation of H2O, CH3, and/or other combustion intermediates, and stimulated emission. In comparison with the nanosecond laser, excitation with the picosecond laser can effectively reduce the photolytic interference and produces approximately an order of magnitude larger interference-free signal in CH4/O2/N2 flames with equivalence ratios in the range of 0.5< or =Phi< or =1.4, and in H2/O2 flames with 0.3< or =Phi< or =1.2. Although photolytic interference limits the nanosecond laser fluence in all flames, stimulated emission, occurring between the laser-excited level, H(n=3), and H(n=2), is the limiting factor for picosecond excitation in the flames with the highest H atom concentration. Nanosecond excitation is advantageous in the richest (Phi=1.64) CH4/O2/N2 flame and in H2/O2/N2 flames. The optimal excitation pulse width for interference-free H atom detection depends on the relative concentrations of hydrogen atoms and photolytic precursors, the flame temperature, and the laser path length within the flame.

published proceedings

  • Appl Opt

author list (cited authors)

  • Kulatilaka, W. D., Patterson, B. D., Frank, J. H., & Settersten, T. B.

citation count

  • 43

complete list of authors

  • Kulatilaka, Waruna D||Patterson, Brian D||Frank, Jonathan H||Settersten, Thomas B

publication date

  • September 2008