Extraction of optical constants from mid-IR spectra of small aerosol particles

M. Segal-Rosenheimer*, Y. Dubowski, R. Linker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A direct method for extracting optical constants in the mid-infrared (IR), using small particle's spectra is presented. The method is based on the direct extraction of the optical constants from the measured spectra using the Rayleigh approach for absorbance cross section of small particles. This was achieved by using an experimental system combining a scanning mobility particle sizing system attached to a long-path IR cell, allowing simultaneous measurements of aerosol size distribution and their IR spectra. The inversion procedure was tested on crystalline ammonium sulfate aerosols, for which high resolution set of optical constants was obtained and were found to be in good agreement with recently published data. Since the extraction of the k and n spectra is deduced from the refractive index dependent complex function, the exact band features can be obtained, unlike the commonly used iterative methods that modify simultaneously both band features and scale of k and n during the calculation procedure. The suggested procedure is simple to apply; nevertheless, it is sensitive to scaling errors of the final constants resulting from uncertainties in total particle volume measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-426
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer
Issue number6-7
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Aerosols
  • Ammonium sulfate
  • Mid-IR
  • Optical constants
  • Rayleigh theory


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