, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 969-984,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 01 Sep 2010

Investigation of optical fibers for coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) spectroscopy in reacting flows


The objective of this work is to investigate the feasibility of intense laser-beam propagation through optical fibers for temperature and species concentration measurements in gas-phase reacting flows using coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) spectroscopy. In particular, damage thresholds of fibers, nonlinear effects during beam propagation, and beam quality at the output of the fibers are studied for the propagation of nanosecond (ns) and picosecond (ps) laser beams. It is observed that ps pulses are better suited for fiber-based nonlinear optical spectroscopic techniques, which generally depend on laser irradiance rather than fluence. A ps fiber-coupled CARS system using multimode step-index fibers is developed. Temperature measurements using this system are demonstrated in an atmospheric pressure, near-adiabatic laboratory flame. Proof-of-concept measurements show significant promise for fiber-based CARS spectroscopy in harsh combustion environments. Furthermore, since ps-CARS spectroscopy allows the suppression of non-resonant background, this technique could be utilized for improving the sensitivity and accuracy of CARS thermometry in high-pressure hydrocarbon-fueled combustors.