Brillouin spectroscopy is a powerful technique to probe the viscoelastic properties of materials. However, the phenomenon of multiple scattering makes getting information from opaque liquids quite difficult, thus limiting the use of this spectroscopy. In this paper we present a new method that greatly simplifies the problem of analyzing Brillouin spectra affected by multiple scattering from samples of moderate opacity. Our approach is based on the observation that multiple-scattered contributions broaden the spectrum acquired in external backscattering geometry, while preserving in the external side the information related to internally backscattered light. The new strategy avoids unnecessary approximations and requires minimum numerical effort to extract physical information. Here, we show the results of two Brillouin light scattering experiments performed on prototypical hard and soft colloidal systems. First, measurements on latex suspensions as a function of depth are used to validate the method and to derive new relations between the back-scattered and multiple-scattered components of the Brillouin spectrum. Second, measurements on poly-N-isopropylacrylamide (PNIPAM) microgels in water as a function of temperature are used as a testing ground to demonstrate the method's capabilities. Our analysis confirms that sound waves are extremely sensitive to the volume-phase transition of thermoresponsive particles. The presented approach, however, shows that a marked increase of attenuation is accompanied by only a moderate decrease of sound velocity. The study revises the viscoelastic properties of PNIPAM suspensions; more generally, it provides a new guideline in the characterization of moderately opaque media and fosters new theoretical investigations.
|Titolo:||A simple analysis of Brillouin spectra from opaque liquids and its application to aqueous suspensions of poly-N-isopropylacrylamide microgel particles|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 Articolo in Rivista|