Novel optical techniques for measurements of light extinction, scattering and absorption by single aerosol particles

Rachael E. H. Miles, Antonia E. Carruthers, Jonathan P. Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Aerosol particles play important roles in a broad range of scientific disciplines, from atmospheric chemistry and physics, to the delivery of fuels for combustion and drugs to the lungs, and extending to industrial processes such as spray drying. Measurements of the light extinction, scattering and absorption by ensembles of aerosol particles can be used to non-intrusively characterise aerosol particle samples. However, such measurements often lead to ambiguity in interpreting the properties and processes occurring on individual particles. In this review, recent developments in the use of laser based techniques to isolate and manipulate single particles and to characterise them will be highlighted. In particular, the use of cavity ring down spectroscopy, Bessel beams and optical tweezers for investigating light extinction, scattering and absorption, respectively, will be considered. The prospects for using optical techniques to interrogate the fundamental processes occurring in aerosol at the single particle level are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-552
Number of pages19
JournalLaser and Photonics Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

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