Optical particle spectrometry-Problems and prospects

Wladyslaw W. Szymanski, Attila Nagy, Aladár Czitrovszky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

26 Citations (Scopus)


Optical particle counters and spectrometers have found broad use in aerosol and atmospheric research, air pollution studies and industrial particle monitoring. The utilization of the elastic scattering of light results in increasingly portable and cost effective instrumentation due to the ongoing miniaturization of building components such as light sources and detectors. However, the non-monotonic size dependence of scattered light intensity and its variability with the changing refractive index of particles influences the function of most single optical particle counters and spectrometers. This problem is a key issue still driving the development of these instruments, first introduced more than half a century ago. Ongoing progress has resulted in not only smaller but also more sophisticated and precise instruments, but the old weakness still remains-varying response to changes of the index of refraction of particles and non-monotonic response curves. Consequently, alternative approaches exploiting elastic scattering are presented here.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)918-929
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2009


  • Aerosol mass measurement
  • Complex refractive index
  • Elastic light scattering
  • Particle shape
  • Particle sizing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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