We present angular scattering functions for loosely packed aggregates of 250 and 500 identical spheres near the Rayleigh size limit before and after the application of successive layers of an absorbing mantle. All measurements were obtained by using the microwave analog technique. Gross features of the scattering by aggregates without a mantle can be interpreted in terms of coherent scattering from the unit spheres acting independently of each other. The largest deviations from this approximation occur after the first minimum in forward scattering and extend to a scattering angle of 60° or 80° for our models. This intermediate range is also where the largest differences occur in the scattering from one aggregate to another. The angular extent of the range is largest for aggregates with the smallest dimensions. The scattering function is usually flat in the backscattering hemisphere and has little or no backscattering increase. The coherent scattering approximation breaks down when the aggregates are coated, and an equivalent spheres approximation becomes a better representation. The maximum degree of polarization near a scattering angle of 90° first decreases and then increases again as the mantle grows thicker.
© 1993 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 21, 1992
Published: July 20, 1993
R. H. Zerull, B. Å. S. Gustafson, K. Schulz, and E. Thiele-Corbach, "Scattering by aggregates with and without an absorbing mantle: microwave analog experiments," Appl. Opt. 32, 4088-4100 (1993)