A simple photoacoustic method for the in situ study of soot distribution in flames

G. S. Humphries, J. Dunn, M. M. Hossain, M. Lengden, I. S. Burns, J. D. Black

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This paper presents a simple photoacoustic technique capable of quantifying soot volume fraction across a range of flame conditions. The output of a high-power (30 W) 808 nm cw-diode laser was modulated in order to generate an acoustic pressure wave via laser heating of soot within the flame. The generated pressure wave was detected using a micro electro-mechanical (MEMS) microphone mounted close to a porous-plug flat-flame burner. Measurements were obtained using the photoacoustic technique in flames of three different equivalence ratios and were compared to laser induced incandescence (LII). The results presented here show good agreement between the two techniques and show the potential of the photoacoustic method as a way to measure soot volume fraction profiles in this type of flame. We discuss the potential to implement this technique with much lower laser power than was used in the experiments presented here.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-715
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Physics B: Lasers and Optics
Issue number4
Early online date13 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • photoacoustic method
  • acoustic pressure wave
  • equivalence ratios
  • soot volume fraction profiles


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