Abstract

We analyze a method recently proposed to retrieve the size, refractive index, and concentration of particles in nonabsorbing nanofluids from measurements of the complex effective refractive index of two dilutions of the nanofluid [Opt. Lett. 39, 559 (2014) [CrossRef]  ]. The method uses simple formulas to retrieve the particles’ parameters. First, we discuss precautions needed with the new method when inferring the refractive index of the particles from measurements of the imaginary part of the effective refractive index of two dilutions of the original nanofluid. Then we analyze the use of this methodology to obtain some average radius in the size of polydisperse suspensions and in the case of suspensions of weakly absorbing particles. We also perform an error analysis considering fixed errors in measurements and calculating the errors in the retrieved size, refractive index, and concentration of particles. Finally, we characterize experimentally nanofluids of polymeric particles fabricated of poly(methyl-methacrylate) (PMMA) and polystyrene (PS) for which we achieved an uncertainty of 5×103 and 1×102 in the determination of the particle refractive index, respectively, and a precision better than 3% in the determination of their radii.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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