Efforts are underway to better understand the absorption properties of micro- and nano-sized particles due to their potential in various photonic applications. However, most of these particles exhibit strong scattering in the spectral regions of interest in addition to absorption. Due to strong interference from scattering, the absorption of these turbid samples cannot be directly measured using conventional spectroscopy techniques. The optical properties of these particles are also different from that of the bulk due to quantum confinement and plasmon resonance effects and cannot be inferred from their bulk properties. By measuring the total transmittance and total reflectance (diffuse and collimated) of turbid samples and using an empirical relation between the coefficients of the Kubelka–Munk and radiative transfer theories, we have demonstrated a method to calculate the absorption and reduced scattering coefficients of turbid samples. This method is capable of extracting the absorption coefficient of turbid samples with an error of 2%. Using this method, we have decoupled the specific absorption and specific reduced scattering coefficients of commercially available micro-sized iron oxide particles. The current method can be used to measure the optical properties of irregularly shaped particle dispersions, which are otherwise difficult to estimate theoretically.
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