The extraction of small quantities of gas and particulates from diesel engine cylinders allows time-resolved gas and particulate analysis to be performed outside the engine during a short window of a few degrees crank angle at any stage of the engine cycle. The paper describes the design features and operation of a high-speed, intermittent sampling valve for extracting in-cylinder gases and particulates from diesel engines at any selected instant of the combustion process. Various sampling valve configurations are outlined. Detailed analysis of gas flow through the valve and the performance of the electromagnetic actuator and plunger are given in order to facilitate the design of the sampling valve. Finally, examples of the uses of the sampling valve in a direct-injection diesel engine are provided. These demonstrate how gaseous emissions such as NOx, uHC, CO2, and particulate emissions can be sampled at any part of the combustion process and analysed.