Abstract

Attenuated total reflectance measurements of the complex refractive index of kaolinite powder–air mixtures are made for nine CO2 laser wavelengths. The Maxwell-Garnett effective medium theory and generalizations of it that account for either the shape distribution of kaolinite grains in the medium (in which the grains are approximated by a shape distribution of small arbitrarily oriented ellipsoids) or the size distribution of grains (in which finite grain sizes are accounted for by considering, in addition to the electric dipole interaction, magnetic dipole and electric quadrupole interactions) are used to deduce from these measurements the complex refractive index of kaolinite. Most success is achieved with a generalization which assumes a shape distribution of small ellipsoidal grains but which neglects all but electric dipole interactions. In spectral regions where kaolinite displays very strong absorption (in the 9.6–10-μm spectral region) all effective medium theory solutions for kaolinite refractive index either are plagued with ill-conditioning or are nonphysical. It appears that the attenuated total reflectance method, at least as we have applied it here to loosely packed powders comprised of nonspherical grains, is not suitable for measurement of powders in spectral regions of strong absorption.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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