Vibrational Spectroscopy of Individual Aerosol Droplets by Optical Tweezers

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Aerosols are key components in a wide range of environmental systems and industrial contexts spanning air pollution and clouds to engineered nanomaterials to drug delivery to the lungs. However, the basic properties of aerosols are often elusive due to their small sizes and capacity to rapidly respond to changing ambient conditions. In this instalment of Molecular Spectroscopy Workbench, we discuss Raman spectroscopy of individual picolitre volume droplets using optical tweezers. Single droplet spectroscopy enables highly accurate and precise measurements of droplet size and refractive index, as well as measurement of droplet chemical composition. Time-resolved measurements permit investigation of fundamental droplet properties including hygroscopic response, vapour pressure, and surface and bulk characteristics. Such information improves our molecular level understanding of chemical processes within single droplets and facilitates broader understanding of complex systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-31
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Early online date1 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • aerosol
  • hygroscopic response
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • optical tweezers
  • Mie theory
  • droplets

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