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Department of Physics


The optical properties (absorption and scattering) of soot particles depend on soot size and index of refraction, but also on the soot complex morphology and the internal mixing with materials that can condense on a freshly emitted (nascent) soot particle and coat it. This coating can affect the soot optical properties by refracting light, or by changing the soot aggregate structure. A common approach to studying the effect of coating on soot optical properties is to measure the absorption and scattering coefficients in ambient air, and then measure them again after removing the coating using a thermodenuder. In this approach, it is assumed that: (1) most of the coating material is removed; (2) charred organic coating does not add to the refractory carbon; (3) oxidation of soot is negligible; and, (4) the structure of the pre-existing soot core is left unaltered, despite the potential oxidation of the core at elevated temperatures. In this study, we investigated the validity of the last assumption, by studying the effect of thermodenuding on the morphology of nascent soot. To this end, we analyzed the morphological properties of laboratory generated nascent soot, before and after thermodenuding. Our investigation shows that there is only minor restructuring of nascent soot by thermodenuding.

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© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( Publisher’s version of record:

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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