An experimental study is reported on the physical characterization of the structure of ethanol/argon/oxygen coflow laminar spray diffusion flames in the pressure range 0.1–0.9 MPa. Diagnostic techniques include phase Doppler anemometry to measure the droplet size distribution and the axial and radial velocity components of the droplets. The gas-phase velocity is determined using measurements from the smallest (low Stokes number) droplets and is corrected for thermophoretic effects. Temperature information is obtained using thin-film pyrometry combined with an infrared camera. All flames present a cold inner core, in which little or no vaporization takes place, surrounded by an envelope flame buried in a thermal boundary layer, where most of the droplet evaporation occurs. The thickness of this thermal boundary layer scales with the inverse of the Peclet number. Especially near the base of the flame, photographic evidence of streaks, which in some case even reveal the presence of soot, suggests that some droplets survive the common envelope flame and burn isolated on the oxidizer side in a mixed regime of internal/external group combustion. The reconstruction of the entire droplet vaporization history confirms this evidence quantitatively. A criterion for droplet survival beyond the envelope flame based on the critical value of a suitably defined vaporization Damköhler number is proposed. The scaling and self-similar behavior of the investigated flames suggest that a mixed regime is established, with a momentum-controlled cold core and a buoyancy-controlled high-temperature boundary layer, the thickness of which varies significantly with pressure, as expected from Peclet number scaling. The growth of this layer and the thickness of the vaporization region are reduced at pressures above atmospheric because of density effects on thermal diffusivity. Some aspects of the design of the combustion chamber and of the atomizer system are discussed in detail since they are critical to the suppression of instabilities and to the establishment of a well-defined high-pressure quasi-steady laminar environment. 2005 The Combustion Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.