In cooperation with the University of Duisburg-Essen the mass spectrometry group has established a pioneering experiment to study reaction networks in flames by imaging Photoelectron Photoion Coincidence (iPEPICO) spectroscopy. For this purpose Duisburg has developed a combustion chamber housing a one-dimensional flat flame and a molecular beam interface which can be coupled to the spectrometer iPEPICO the VUV-beamline at Swiss Light Source (SLS).
Established in 2013 the experiment for the first time combines a molecular beam flame sampling setup with the analytical possibilities of the iPEPICO technique. The technique applies synchrotron radiation for soft single photoionization to determine the mass of an ionized particle in coincidence with the energy of the corresponding electron. The experiment provides a new powerful analytical tool for the detailed investigation of reaction networks in flames.
The technique is characterized by the possibility of a comprehensive, quantitative and isomer selective analysis of reaction intermediates occurring in the combustion process. It provides high precision and sensitivity. The instrument is well suited for the investigation of chemical reaction networks in flames. Studies are particularly focused on the initial formation of fuel radicals and their branching ratios i.e. the first steps in the fuel destruction mechanism. The main objective of this research is the analysis of reaction networks for various (bio) fuels.