Abstract

The inversion of multiple-scattered light measurements to extract the optical constant (complex refractive index) is computationally intensive. A significant portion of this time is due to the effort required for computing the single particle characteristics (absorption and scattering cross sections, anisotropy factor, and the phase function). We investigate approximations for computing these characteristics so as to significantly speed up the calculations without introducing large inaccuracies. Two suspensions of spherical particles viz., polystyrene and poly(methyl methacrylate) were used for this investigation. It was found that using the exact Mie theory to compute the absorption and scattering cross sections and the anisotropy factor with the phase function computed using the Henyey–Greenstein approximation yielded the best results. Analysis suggests that errors in the phase functions and thus in the estimated optical constants depend mainly on how closely the approximations match the Mie phase function at small scattering angles.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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