Diffusing-wave spectroscopy in a standard dynamic light scattering setup

Z. Fahimi, F.J. Aangenendt, P. Voudouris, J. Mattsson, H.M. Wyss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
190 Downloads (Pure)


Diffusing-Wave Spectroscopy (DWS) extends dynamic light scattering measurements to samples with strong multiple scattering. DWS treats the transport of photons through turbid samples as a diffusion process, thereby making it possible to extract the dynamics of scatterers from measured correlation functions. The analysis of DWS data requires knowledge of the path length distribution of photons traveling through the sample. While for flat sample cells this path length distribution can be readily calculated and expressed in analytical form, no such expression is available for cylindrical sample cells. DWS measurements have therefore typically relied on dedicated setups that use flat sample cells.
Here we show how DWS measurements, in particular DWS-based microrheology measurements, can be performed in standard dynamic light scattering setups that use cylindrical sample cells. To do so we perform simple random walk simulations which yield numerical predictions of the path length distribution as a function of both the transport mean free path and the detection angle. This information is used in experiments to extract the mean-square displacement of tracer particles in the material, as well as the corresponding frequency-dependent viscoelastic response. An important advantage of our approach is that by performing measurements at different detection angles, the average path length through the sample can be varied. For measurements performed on a single sample cell, this gives access to a wider range of length and time scales than obtained in a conventional DWS setup. Such angle-dependent measurements also offer an important consistency check, as for all detection angles the DWS analysis should yield the same tracer dynamics, even though the respective path length distributions are very different. We validate our approach by performing measurements both on aqueous suspensions of tracer particles and on solid-like gelatin samples, for which we find our DWS-based microrheology data to be in very good agreement with rheological measurements performed on the same samples.
Original languageEnglish
Article number062611
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2017


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