Koban, W., Koch, J.D., Hanson, R.K. et al. Appl. Phys. B (2005) 80: 777. doi:10.1007/s00340-005-1769-6
Gas-phase oxygen quenching of toluene laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) is studied between 300 and 650 K in a nitrogen/oxygen bath gas of 1-bar total pressure with oxygen partial pressures up to 400 mbar. With increasing vibrational excitation of the laser-excited toluene, intramolecular decay becomes faster, resulting in a decreasing relative strength of collisional quenching by oxygen. Additionally, Stern–Volmer plots are found to be non-linear for temperatures above 500 K in the case of 266-nm excitation and at all temperatures for 248-nm excitation. This is attributed to the onset of internal conversion from specific vibrational levels. A photophysical model is developed that describes the experimental data and predicts toluene LIF signal strengths for higher oxygen partial pressures. One important result for practical application is that oxygen quenching is not the dominant de-excitation process for engine-related temperature and pressure conditions, and thus application of the popular fuel–air ratio LIF (FARLIF) concept leads to erroneous signal interpretation.