Abstract

Scatter of a two-dimensional Gaussian beam of a rectangular cross section by individual particles suspended in a fluid in a cylindrical channel is modeled by using a full-wave approach. First, the internal and scattered fields associated with the cylindrical channel and the two-dimensional Gaussian beam are computed. The spatial variations of the computed electromagnetic field inside the channel indicate that particles and cells of sizes relevant to flow cytometry are subjected to essentially plane-wave illumination, and hence Lorenz–Mie theory is applicable for spherical particles. Further, it is assumed that the perturbation of the electromagnetic field in the channel that is due to the presence of a particle is negligible, allowing us to ignore the interactive scatter of the particle and the channel (they are electromagnetically uncoupled). This approximation is valid when the particle intercepts a small fraction of the total energy inside the channel and when the particle or cell has a low relative refractive index. Measurements of scatter from the channel agree with the analytical model and are used to determine the location of detectors to measure scatter from particles in the channel. Experimental results of accumulated scatter from single latex spheres flowing in the channel show good agreement with computed results, thereby validating the internal field and uncoupled scatter models.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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