Laser-induced phosphorescence (LIP) is a relatively recent and versatile development for studying flow dynamics. This work investigates certain lanthanide-based molecular complexes for their use in LIP for high-speed sprays. Lanthanide complexes in solutions have been shown to possess long phosphorescence lifetimes (∼1-2 ms) and to emit light in the visible wavelength range. In particular, europium and terbium complexes are investigated using fluorescence/phosphorescence spectrometry, showing that europium-thenoyltrifluoracetone-trioctylphosphineoxide (Eu-TTA-TOPO) can be easily and efficiently excited using a standard frequency-tripled Nd:YAG laser. The emitted spectrum, with maximum intensity at a wavelength of 614 nm, is shown not to vary strongly with temperature (293-383 K). The decay constant of the phosphorescence, while independent of ambient pressure, decreases by approximately 12 μs/K between 323 and 373 K, with the base level of the decay constant dependent on the used solvent. The complex does not luminesce in the gas or solid state, meaning only the liquid phase is visualized, even in an evaporating spray. By using an internally excited spray containing the phosphorescent complex, the effect of vaporization is shown through the decrease in measured intensity over the length of the spray, together with droplet size measurements using interferometric particle imaging. This study shows that LIP, using the Eu-TTA-TOPO complex, can be used with different solvents, including diesel surrogates. Furthermore, it can be easily handled and used in sprays to investigate spray breakup and evaporation.
van der Voort, D. D., Maes, N. C. J., Lamberts, T., Sweep, A. M., van de Water, W., Kunnen, R. P. J., Clercx, H. J. H., van Heijst, G. J. F., & Dam, N. J. (2016). Lanthanide-based laser-induced phosphorescence for spray diagnostics. Review of Scientific Instruments, 87(3), . https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4943224