Zhiyong Gong, Yong-Le Pan, and Chuji Wang
We integrated a rigid optical trap into a tunable pulsed cavity ringdown spectroscopy (OT-CRDS) system to characterize the extinction of single airborne particles in the UV spectral region (306-315 nm). Single solid particles from a multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT), Bermuda grass smut spore, carbon microsphere, and blackened polyethylene microsphere were trapped in air based on the photophoretic force. The improved OT-CRDS system was highly sensitive and able to resolve extinctions of single particles from different materials and sizes at a given wavelength. Further, we successfully manipulated the number of particles, e.g., 1, 2 or more particles, in the trap and measured their distinguishable extinctions using the OT-CRDS. We also show that the particle size and extinction have a good linear correlation from the measurements of 24 single MWCNT particles. Material- and wavelength-dependent extinctions of the four types of airborne particles were also characterized. Results reveal that single airborne particles regardless of their differences in material and size, due to their heterogeneous morphology, have individual-particle dependent extinctions and that dependence can be resolved and characterized using the OT-CRDS technique.