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Open Access A Novel Method for Estimating Light-Scattering Properties of Soot Aerosols Using a Modified Single-Particle Soot Photometer

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A Single-Particle Soot Photometer (SP2) detects black refractory or elemental carbon (EC) in particles by passing them through an intense laser beam. The laser light heats EC in particles causing them to vaporize in the beam. Detection of wavelength-resolved thermal radiation emissions provides quantitative information on the EC mass of individual particles in the size range of 0.2-1 m diameter. Non-absorbing particles are sized based on the amount of light they scatter from the laser beam. The time series of the scattering signal of a non-absorbing particle is a Gaussian, because the SP2 laser is in the TEM00 mode. Information on the scattering properties of externally and internally mixed EC particles as detected by the SP2 is lost in general, because each particle changes size, shape, and composition as it passes through the laser beam. Thus, scattered light from a sampled EC particle does not yield a full Gaussian waveform. A method for determining the scattering properties of EC particles using a two-element avalanche photodiode (APD) is described here. In this method, the Gaussian scattering function is constructed from the leading edge of the scattering signal (before the particle is perturbed by the laser), the Gaussian width, and the location of the leading edge in the beam derived from the two-element APD signal. The method allows an SP2 to determine the scattering properties of individual EC particles as well as the EC mass. Detection of polystyrene latex spheres, well-characterized EC particles with and without organic coatings, and Mie scattering calculations are used to validate the method.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Chemical Sciences Division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, USA 2: Chemical Sciences Division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, USA,Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA 3: Department of Chemistry, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA 4: Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts, USA

Publication date: 2007-02-01

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