In order to assess the capability to optically identify small marine microbes, both simulations and experiments of angular resolved light scattering (ARLS) were performed. After calibration with 30-nm vesicles characterized by a nearly constant scattering distribution for vertically polarized light (azimuthal angle=90°), ARLS from suspensions of three types of marine picoplankton (two prokaryotes and one eukaryote) in seawater was measured with a scattering device that consisted of an elliptical mirror, a rotating aperture, and a PMT. Scattered light was recorded with adequate signal-to-noise in the 40-140°. Simulations modeled the cells as prolate spheroids with independently measured dimensions. For the prokaryotes, approximated as homogeneous spheroids, simulations were performed using the RM (Rayleigh-Mie) - I method, a hybrid of the Rayleigh-Debye approximation and the generalized Lorentz-Mie theory. For the picoeukaryote, an extended RM - I method was developed for a coated spheroid with different shell thickness distributions. The picoeukaryote was then modeled as a coated sphere with a spherical core. Good overall agreements were obtained between simulations and experiments. The distinctive scattering patterns of the different species hold promise for an identification system based on ARLS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics