• DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATIONS OF FILAMENT-ASSISTED IMPULSIVE VIBRATIONAL AND ROTATIONAL RAMAN SPECTROSCOPIES

      Levis, Robert J.; Borguet, Eric; Matsika, Spiridoula; Lyyra, A. Marjatta (Temple University. Libraries, 2016)
      This dissertation details the development and applications of two innovative types of optical filament-based impulsive Raman spectroscopy: filament-assisted Raman spectroscopy (FAIRS) and spectral-to-temporal amplitude mapping polarization spectroscopy (STAMPS). These techniques provide complimentary vibrational and rotational information on molecular systems of interest. Both are powerful due to their impulsive nature which allows for rapid measurement of entire Raman spectra. However, each type of spectroscopy utilizes the filament in a different manner. The recently reported vibrational technique, referred to as filament-assisted impulsive Raman spectroscopy, employs the pulse shortening and continuum generation of filamentation to impulsively excite a massive vibrational coherence in a molecular system for simultaneous measurement of all the Raman-active modes. In the first half of this dissertation, FAIRS is further developed and applied to a plethora of signature molecules. Radioactive decay signature molecules, including nitrogen oxides, ozone, and ions are detected via FAIR spectroscopy. Concurrent generation and detection of ozone, ionic, and excited-state molecules through filamentation is reported for the first time. Production of these species through the strong field chemistry of filamentation and their subsequent filament-driven excitation is a mark of sensitivity of FAIRS. Spatial studies of combustion species in a natural gas flame are also presented. FAIRS monitors the Raman signal intensities of known reactants and products as a function of vertical flame position. The appearance of combustion products as a function of flame height is also tracked. Spectral fringes overlapping the Raman-active modes are present in all measurements and enable more sensitive detection of low signal intensity species. The results described illustrate the potential of FAIRS for threat sensing applications. The rotational technique, referred to as spectral-to-temporal amplitude mapping polarization spectroscopy, temporally chirps the spectral content of the white-light continuum generated during filamentation to map the transient rotational rivals that are impulsively excited by a short pump pulse. In the second half of this dissertation, the initial development and testing, followed by the applications of STAMPS are described. STAMPS proves successful in mapping the rotational wavepacket rephasing of simple linear molecules, including nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide, as well as the more complicated asymmetric top molecules, ethylene and methanol. The application of STAMPS to the detection of nitrogen oxides and nitrous oxide, which are considered signatures of multiple threat substances and events, is demonstrated. A pressure study of nitrous oxide reveals dephasing effects as a function of time and pressure. These preliminary results also indicate the potential of STAMPS for hazard sensing applications.