The three isomers of the xylyl radical, C8H9, are possible intermediates in the formation of soot and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Their infrared spectra have been recorded by IR/UV ion dip spectroscopy using free electron laser radiation. The radicals were generated by flash pyrolysis from the corresponding nitrites and resonantly ionized via the D3 â† D0 transition around 310 nm. Mid-infrared spectra of the three xylyl isomers were recorded between 550 and 1700 cm-1 and are in excellent agreement with computations, provided that overtones and combination bands are included in the simulation. The results show that the three xylyl isomers can be distinguished by their infrared spectra and that no isomerization occurs in the pyrolysis reactor. The IR spectra obtained at m/z = 208 indicate that dimerization of xylyl radicals leads to substituted stilbenes, which has not been observed for benzyl.