Laser-induced incandescence (LII) is used to measure the thermal accommodation coefficient between soot sampled from a well-characterized flame and various monatomic and polyatomic gases. These measurements show that the thermal accommodation coefficient between soot and monatomic gases increases with molecular mass due to the decreasing speed of incident gas molecules and corresponding decrease in surface deformation rate, and that energy is transferred preferentially from the surface to the translational mode of the polyatomic gas molecules over internal energy modes.

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