Elastic back-scattering patterns via particle surface roughness and orientation from single trapped airborne aerosol particles

Richard Fu, Chuji Wang, Olga Muñoz, Gorden Videen, Joshua L. Santarpia, Yong Le Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


We demonstrate a method for simultaneously measuring the back-scattering patterns and images of single laser-trapped airborne aerosol particles. This arrangement allows us to observe how the back-scattering patterns change with particle size, shape, surface roughness, orientation, etc. The recoded scattering patterns cover the angular ranges of θ=167.7–180° (including at 180° exactly) and ϕ=0–360° in spherical coordinates. The patterns show that the width of the average speckle intensity islands or rings is inversely proportional to particle size and how the shape of these intensity rings or islands also depends on the surface roughness. For an irregularly shaped particle with substantial roughness, the back-scattering patterns are formed with speckle intensity islands, the size and orientations of these islands depend more on the overall particle size and orientation, but have less relevance to the fine alteration of the surface structure and shapes. The back-scattering intensity at 180° is very sensitive to the particle parameters. It can change from a maximum to a minimum with a change of 0.1% in particle size or refractive index. The method has potential use in characterizing airborne aerosol particles, and may be used to provide back-scattering information for LIDAR applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-231
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017



  • Elastic backscattering pattern
  • Image monitoring
  • Laser trapping
  • Single airborne particle
  • Surface roughness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Spectroscopy

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