Abstract

So far, refractive index measurements by rainbow refractometry have been used to determine the temperature of single droplets and ensembles of droplets. Rainbow refractometry is, for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, applied to measure composition histories of evaporating, binary mixture droplets. An evaluation method is presented that makes use of Airy theory and the simultaneous size measurement by Mie scattering imaging. The method further includes an empirical correction function for a certain diameter and refractive index range. The measurement uncertainty was investigated by numerical simulations with Lorenz–Mie theory. For the experiments, an optical levitation setup was used allowing for long measurement periods. Temperature measurements of single-component droplets at different temperature levels are shown to demonstrate the accuracy of rainbow refractometry. Measurements of size and composition histories of binary mixture droplets are presented for two different mixtures. Experimental results show good agreement with numerical results using a rapid-mixing model.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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