Assumptions of theoretical laser-induced incandescence (LII) models along with possible effects of high-intensity laser light on soot aggregates and the constituent primary particles are discussed in relation to selection of excitation laser fluence. <i>Ex situ</i> visualization of laser-heated soot by use of transmission electron microscopy reveals significant morphological changes (graphitization) induced by pulsed laser heating. Pulsed laser transmission measurements within a premixed laminar sooting flame suggest that soot vaporization occurs for laser fluences greater than 0.5 J/cm<sup>2</sup> at 1064 nm. Radial LII intensity profiles at different axial heights in a laminar ethylene gas jet diffusion flame reveal a wide range of signal levels depending on the laser fluence that is varied over an eight fold range. Results of double-pulse excitation experiments in which a second laser pulse heats <i>in situ</i> the same soot that was heated by a prior laser pulse are detailed. These two-pulse measurements suggest varying degrees of soot structural change for fluences below and above a vaporization threshold of 0.5 J/cm<sup>2</sup> at 1064 nm. Normalization of the radial-resolved LII signals based on integrated intensities, however, yields self-similar profiles. The self-similarity suggests robustness of LII for accurate relative measurement of soot volume fraction despite the morphological changes induced in the soot, variations in soot aggregate and primary particle size, and local gas temperature. Comparison of LII intensity profiles with soot volume fractions (<i>f</i><sub><i>v</i></sub>) derived by light extinction validates LII for quantitative determination of <i>f</i><sub><i>v</i></sub> upon calibration for laser fluences ranging from 0.09 to 0.73 J/cm<sup>2</sup>.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
(120.0120) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology
(120.1740) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Combustion diagnostics
(140.0140) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers and laser optics
Randall L. Vander Wal and Kirk A. Jensen, "Laser-Induced Incandescence: Excitation Intensity," Appl. Opt. 37, 1607-1616 (1998)