A temporal filtering technique, complementary to spectral filtering, has been developed for laser-induced fluorescence measurements. The filter is applicable in cases where the laser-induced interfering signals and the signal of interest have different temporal characteristics. For the interfering-signal discrimination a picosecond laser system along with a fast time-gated intensified CCD camera were used. In order to demonstrate and evaluate the temporal filtering concept two measurement situations were investigated; one where toluene fluorescence was discriminated from interfering luminescence of an aluminum surface, and in the other one Mie scattering signals from a water aerosol were filtered out from acetone fluorescence images. A mathematical model was developed to simulate and evaluate the temporal filter for a general measurement situation based on pulsed-laser excitation together with time-gated detection. Using system parameters measured with a streak camera, the model was validated for LIF imaging of acetone vapor inside a water aerosol. The results show that the temporal filter is capable of efficient suppression of interfering signal contributions. The photophysical properties of several species commonly studied by LIF in combustion research have been listed and discussed to provide guidelines for optimum use of the technique.
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