Abstract

The complete scattering matrix S of spheres was measured with a flow cytometer. The experimental equipment allows simultaneous detection of two scattering-matrix elements for every sphere in the distribution. Two-parameter scatterplots with x and y coordinates determined by the S 11 + S ij and S 11S ij values are measured. Samples of spheres with very narrow size distributions (< 1%) were analyzed with a FlowCytometer, and they produced unexpected two-parameter scatterplots. Instead of compact distributions we observed Lissajous-like loops. Simulation of the scatterplots, using Lorenz–Mie theory, shows that these loops are due not to experimental errors but to true Lorenz–Mie scattering. It is shown that the loops originate from the sensitivity of the scattered field on the radius of the spheres. This paper demonstrates that the interpretation of rare events and hidden features in flow cytometry needs reconsideration.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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