A time-resolving filtering technique developed to improve background suppression in Raman spectroscopy is presented and characterized. The technique enables separation of signal contributions via their polarization dependency by the addition of a waveplate to a normal measurement system and data post-processing. As a result, background interferences of broadband laser-induced fluorescence and incandescence, as well as flame luminosity and blackbody radiation, were effectively suppressed from Raman spectra. Experimental setting parameters of the method were investigated under well-controlled conditions to assess their impact on the background-filtering ability, and the overall trend was understood. The fluorescence background was effectively suppressed for all investigated settings of modulation period, number of accumulations, and recording duration, with the spectrum quality preserved after the filtering. For practical application, the method was tested for measurements in a sooting flame accompanied by a strong luminosity and interfering laser-induced background signals. The technique resulted in a 200-fold decrease of the background and allowed for quantitative analyses of concentrations and temperatures from the filtered data. Thus, the method shows strong potential to extend the applicability of Raman spectroscopy, in particular for in situ diagnostics under challenging experimental conditions.
- Atom- och molekylfysik och optik