Temporal filtering with fast ICCD cameras in Raman studies


Correspondence to: A. Ehn, Division of Combustion Physics, Lund University, Box 118, 221 00 Lund, Sweden

E-mail: andreas.ehn@forbrf.lth.se


A common problem when applying Raman scattering in applied research is spectral interference from laser-induced fluorescence. Extensive work has been invested in developing spectral and polarization filters as well as modulation schemes to refine spontaneous Raman signals. This current work, however, focuses on utilizing the temporal domain using a picosecond laser system and ICCD cameras with relatively short decay of the camera gate to prevent the fluorescence tail from being captured in Raman experiments. Further, the approach of using an ICCD camera to perform temporal filtering is compared to earlier proposed detection schemes using streak cameras or Kerr gates. The temporal-filtering scheme is evaluated in a spectroscopic investigation where a background subtraction algorithm is presented. The temporal-filtering scheme was also evaluated for Raman imaging of a levitated water droplet surrounded by fluorescing toluene vapor. Furthermore, the temporal-filter detection scheme was simulated in order to provide straight forward evaluation tools to estimate the potential of performing temporal filtering with a laser/camera system considering: laser-pulse duration, time jitter, camera-gate characteristics, gate delay times, fluorescence lifetimes, and relative signal strength between the Raman and fluorescence signal. The fluorescence signal was modeled with a closed two-level system, and the simulated results were compared to results from an investigation of the rising slope of toluene fluorescence. These evaluation tools and experimental investigations may serve as guidelines for planning and performing Raman measurements in situations where traditional filter-rejection schemes are insufficient. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.