Abstract

Propane decomposition by IR laser radiation at 10.6 μm was studied with a pulsed multimode TEA CO2 laser and also with a cw CO2 laser. Propane molecules do not undergo appreciable photochemical decomposition via multiphoton absorption processes for laser fluences up to 40 J/cm2 (400 MW/cm2). At higher fluences plasmas are formed which cause extensive dissociation. If the radiation is incident on an aluminum surface in contact with propane, the molecules dissociate at an energy fluence as low as 2 J/cm2 (20 MW/cm2). This is considered to be due to plasma formation in the propane near the surface.

© 1983 Optical Society of America

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