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Estimation and fingerprinting of the size distribution of non-interacting spherical particles from small-angle scattering data
Journal of Applied Crystallography  (IF3.304),  Pub Date : 2021-08-18, DOI: 10.1107/s1600576721006798
Debasis Sen, Ashwani Kumar, Avik Das, Jitendra Bahadur

A new method to estimate the size distribution of non-interacting colloidal particles from small-angle scattering data is presented. The method demonstrates that the distribution can be efficiently retrieved through features of the scattering data when plotted in the Porod representation, thus avoiding the standard fitting procedure of nonlinear least squares. The present approach is elaborated using log-normal and Weibull distributions. The method can differentiate whether the distribution actually follows the functionality of either of these two distributions, unlike the standard fitting procedure which requires a prior assumption of the functionality of the distribution. After validation with various simulated scattering profiles, the formalism is used to estimate the size distribution from experimental small-angle X-ray scattering data from two different dilute dispersions of silica. At present the method is limited to monomodal distributions of dilute spherical particles only.