Optical characterization of metallic aerosols

Sun, W., and B. Lin (2006), Optical characterization of metallic aerosols, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 100, 359-372, doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2005.11.075.

Airborne metallic particulates from industry and urban sources are highly conducting aerosols. The characterization of these pollutant particles is important for environment monitoring and protection. Because these metallic particulates are highly reflective, their effect on local weather or regional radiation budget may also need to be studied. In this work, light scattering characteristics of these metallic aerosols are studied using exact solutions on perfectly conducting spherical and cylindrical particles. It is found that for perfectly conducting spheres and cylinders, when scattering angle is larger than 901 the linear polarization degree of the scattered light is very close to zero. This light scattering characteristics of perfectly conducting particles is significantly different from that of other aerosols. When these perfectly conducting particles are immersed in an absorbing medium, this light scattering characteristics does not show significant change. Therefore, measuring the linear polarization of scattered lights at backward scattering angles can detect and distinguish metallic particulates from other aerosols. This result provides a great potential of metallic aerosol detection and monitoring for environmental protection.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)