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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 40, Iss. 24 — Aug. 20, 2001
  • pp: 4011–4021

Fast multi-tau real-time software correlator for dynamic light scattering

Davide Magatti and Fabio Ferri  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 40, Issue 24, pp. 4011-4021 (2001)

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We present a PC-based multi-tau software correlator suitable for processing dynamic light-scattering data. The correlator is based on a simple algorithm that was developed with the graphical programming language LabVIEW, according to which the incoming data are processed on line without any storage on the hard disk. By use of a standard photon-counting unit, a National Instruments Model 6602-PCI timer–counter, and a 550-MHz Pentium III personal computer, correlation functions can be worked out in full real-time over time scales of ∼5 µs and in batch processing down to time scales of ∼300 ns. The latter limit is imposed by the speed of data transfer between the counter and the PC’s memory and thus is prone to be progressively reduced with future technological development. Testing of the correlator and evaluation of its performances were carried out by use of dilute solutions of calibrated polystyrene spheres. Our results indicate that the correlation functions are determined with such precision that the corresponding particle diameters can be recovered to within an accuracy of a few percent rms.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.5290) Coherence and statistical optics : Photon statistics
(070.6020) Fourier optics and signal processing : Continuous optical signal processing
(290.5820) Scattering : Scattering measurements

Original Manuscript: December 12, 2000
Revised Manuscript: March 8, 2001
Published: August 20, 2001

Davide Magatti and Fabio Ferri, "Fast multi-tau real-time software correlator for dynamic light scattering," Appl. Opt. 40, 4011-4021 (2001)

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