A method is presented for determining the optical absorption coefficient, or the imaginary refractive index, of particulate material that has been collected from aerosols or hydrosols by means of filtration. The method, based on the Kubelka–Munk theory of diffuse reflectance, is nondestructive and requires no other knowledge of the sample than the amount present, the specific gravity, and an estimate of the real index of refraction. The theoretical development of the method is discussed along with an analysis of photometric and gravimetric errors. We test the method by comparing results obtained for powdered didymium glass with measurements made before the glass was crushed. An example of the method’s application to the determination of the absorption coefficient of atmospheric dust at UV, visible, and near-IR wavelengths is also presented.
© 1994 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: August 9, 1993
Revised Manuscript: November 10, 1993
Published: July 1, 1994
James D. Lindberg, Rex E. Douglass, and Dennis M. Garvey, "Absorption-coefficient-determination method for particulate materials," Appl. Opt. 33, 4314-4319 (1994)