Invited Paper

Applied Physics B

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 193-213

First online:

Correlation techniques in dynamic light scattering

  • K. SchätzelAffiliated withInstitut für Angewandte Physik, Universität

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The motion of small scatterers in a laser beam results in Doppler shifts of the scattered light. Various homodyne or heterodyne experiments may be used to measure such shifts. The stochastic nature of spatial particle arrangements and of the photon-detection process leads to statistic data processing schemes like temporal correlation or the computation of structure functions. Photon correlation is one of these schemes and has found numerous applications in velocimetry and Brownian motion studies. Topics of current interest are dead-time corrections, the use of photon structure functions, and multiple tau measurements, which access large ranges of time constants in a single run.

More recent data processing techniques are recurrence rate correlation for the immediate determination of velocity correlation functions in seeded fluid flows and the measurement of amplitude-weighted phase structure functions, which is able to resolve very small particle displacements otherwise completely obscured by random Brownian motion. Rate correlation found applications in hydrodynamic studies of the route to turbulence, while the major use of phase structure function processing is a very significant increase in the sensitivity of electrophoretic mobility measurements by light scattering.


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