The Use of Index-Matched Beads in Optical Particle Counters
In this paper, we demonstrate the use of 2-pyridinemethanol (2P) aqueous solutions as a refractive index matching liquid. The high refractive index and low viscosity of 2P-water mixtures enables refractive index matching of beads that cannot be index matched with glycerol-water or sucrose-water solutions, such as silica beads that have the refractive index of bulk fused silica or of polymethylmethacrylate beads. Suspensions of beads in a nearly index-matching liquid are a useful tool to understand the response of particle counting instruments to particles of low optical contrast, such as aggregated protein particles. Data from flow imaging and light obscuration instruments are presented for bead diameters ranging from 6 µm to 69 µm, in a matrix liquid spanning the point of matched refractive index.