Abstract

In multi-angle dynamic light scattering measurements, due to the inevitable presence of baseline measurement noise, the normalized intensity autocorrelation function (ACF) data deviates from the true value. This leads to incorrect angular weighting estimates, which affect the accuracy of inversion results and determination of particle size distributions (PSDs). We outline a method to calculate better angular weighting coefficients from the noisy intensity ACF data. The method involves first compensating for the baseline error in the ACF data and then determining the weighting coefficients. We demonstrate the method using simulated ACF data containing baseline error for unimodal and bimodal PSDs and also for experimental data for unimodal and bimodal samples. For the unimodal PSDs ACF data were simulated for 100–900 nm and 100–650 nm particle size ranges, and for bimodal PSDs 360–900 nm and 100–900 nm particle size ranges were used. The performance of our method was shown by comparing the results of weighting coefficient and PSD determination with and without baseline compensation to the known coefficient values and PSDs. With baseline compensation the relative error of the weighting coefficients decreased significantly. Furthermore, with baseline compensation, the PSD results for the four groups of simulated data were improved. The deviations between the known and recovered PSDs were decreased, the relative error of peak position obviously decreased, and the occurrence of false peaks was reduced. The PSD results from the experimental data further validates the conclusion that the method proposed apparently reduces the relative error of peak position, effectively eliminates the false peak, and improves the accuracy of the recovered PSD.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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