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Proceedings Paper

An instrument for the simultaneous acquisition of size, shape, and spectral fluorescence data from single aerosol particles
Author(s): Edwin Hirst; Paul H. Kaye; Virginia E. Foot; James M. Clark; Philip B. Withers
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Paper Abstract

We describe the construction of a bio-aerosol monitor designed to capture and record intrinsic fluorescence spectra from individual aerosol particles carried in a sample airflow and to simultaneously capture data relating to the spatial distribution of elastically scattered light from each particle. The spectral fluorescence data recorded by this PFAS (Particle Fluorescence and Shape) monitor contains information relating to the particle material content and specifically to possible biological fluorophores. The spatial scattering data from PFAS yields information relating to particle size and shape. The combination of these data can provide a means of aiding the discrimination of bio-aerosols from background or interferent aerosol particles which may have similar fluorescence properties but exhibit shapes and/or sizes not normally associated with biological particles. The radiation used both to excite particle fluorescence and generate the necessary spatially scattered light flux is provided by a novel compact UV fiber laser operating at 266nm wavelength. Particles drawn from the ambient environment traverse the laser beam in single file. Intrinsic particle fluorescence in the range 300-570nm is collected via an ellipsoidal concentrator into a concave grating spectrometer, the spectral data being recorded using a 16-anode linear array photomultiplier detector. Simultaneously, the spatial radiation pattern scattered by the particle over 5°-30° scattering angle and 360° of azimuth is recorded using a custom designed 31-pixel radial hybrid photodiode array. Data from up to ~5,000 particles per second may be acquired for analysis, usually performed by artificial neural network classification.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 December 2004
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5617, Optically Based Biological and Chemical Sensing for Defence, (29 December 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.578269
Show Author Affiliations
Edwin Hirst, Univ. of Hertfordshire (United Kingdom)
Paul H. Kaye, Univ. of Hertfordshire (United Kingdom)
Virginia E. Foot, Defence Science and Technology Lab. (United Kingdom)
James M. Clark, Defence Science and Technology Lab. (United Kingdom)
Philip B. Withers, Defence Science and Technology Lab. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5617:
Optically Based Biological and Chemical Sensing for Defence
John C. Carrano; Arturas Zukauskas, Editor(s)

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