Toward a microscopic study of laser interactions with levitated liquid fuel droplets
2016, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. All rights reserved. Progress toward experimental investigation of the interaction between Q-switched Nd:YAG laser pulses and single levitated liquid fuel droplets is presented. Precise positioning of the droplet relative to the laser focal volume is demonstrated by trapping and levitating droplets in a double-ring electrodynamic balance, also known as a Paul or ion trap. The design and performance of the double-ring balance and an inkjet droplet injector are discussed. Trap parameters C0 and C1 are obtained from Poisson equation solutions and stability measurements using the springpoint technique. Droplet sizes are derived to 2% precision by comparing measurements and modeling of the droplets near-field diffraction pattern.