Abstract

A method for obtaining real-time size distributions of airborne particles is discussed, and experimental sensitivity measurements are presented. By detecting the transmitted power of a low noise He–Ne laser, the optical extinction cross sections of individual particles are measured as they flow through the focused beam. Calculations for various absorbing materials show the extinction cross sections are from one to more than two orders of magnitude larger than their scattering cross sections for particle diameters in the 0.02–0.2-μm range. Sensitivity calculations and measurements indicate extinction cross sections down to 2 × 10−12 cm2 can be detected. This suggests absorbing particles as small as 0.04-μm diam can be measured using this technique.

© 1974 Optical Society of America

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