Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Arthur G. Suits


This work presents results of adapting SFI probe for detection of radicals and their isomers. Radicals and reaction intermediates were produced using an established method flash pyrolysis. This combination allows for new insight in studying radicals and provide complementary results to the other detection methods used. This is the first study reporting the use of SFI to detect radicals. This detection will also provide structural information of the radicals under study.

For acetone and isoprene, a detailed study shows the SFI flash pyrolysis mass spectra. These mass spectra were then compared to the spectra produced by other detection techniques. We were able to detect new flash pyrolysis products using SFI. Additionally, insights into the fragmentation mechanism is also presented using the calculated Isats. The calculated Isats correlate closely with the ionization potential which will help identify the different isomers. This study was then extended to several precursors relevant to combustion. The flash pyrolysis spectra are also presented. The calculated Isats for the heptane and isomers products were calculated and used to predict the isomers of the flash pyrolysis products.

The obtained results shows the university of SFI detection method. In the last part, it was used to develop a novel table-top coincidence ion imaging setup. This setup will allow for multi-hit events recording. The results prove again . Our results highlight the convenience of SFI as a direct laser probe with the advantage of near-universal detection.