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Annu Rev Anal Chem (Palo Alto Calif). 2008;1:663-87. doi: 10.1146/annurev.anchem.1.031207.112957.

Applications of ultrafast lasers for optical measurements in combusting flows.

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  • 1Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio 45433, USA.


Optical measurement techniques are powerful tools for the detailed study of combustion chemistry and physics. Although traditional combustion diagnostics based on continuous-wave and nanosecond-pulsed lasers continue to dominate fundamental combustion studies and applications in reacting flows, revolutionary advances in the science and engineering of ultrafast (picosecond- and femtosecond-pulsed) lasers are driving the enhancement of existing diagnostic techniques and enabling the development of new measurement approaches. The ultrashort pulses afforded by these new laser systems provide unprecedented temporal resolution for studies of chemical kinetics and dynamics, freedom from collisional-quenching effects, and tremendous peak powers for broad spectral coverage and nonlinear signal generation. The high pulse-repetition rates of ultrafast oscillators and amplifiers allow previously unachievable data-acquisition bandwidths for the study of turbulence and combustion instabilities. We review applications of ultrafast lasers for optical measurements in combusting flows and sprays, emphasizing recent achievements and future opportunities.

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