Rayleigh–Brillouin light scattering spectroscopy of nitrous oxide (N2O)

Y. Wang, K. Liang, W. van de Water, W. Marques, W. Ubachs*

*Corresponding author for this work

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High signal-to-noise and high-resolution light scattering spectra are measured for nitrous oxide (N2O) gas at an incident wavelength of 403.00 nm, at 90° scattering, at room temperature and at gas pressures in the range 0.5−4 bar. The resulting Rayleigh–Brillouin light scattering spectra are compared to a number of models describing in an approximate manner the collisional dynamics and energy transfer in this gaseous medium of this polyatomic molecular species. The Tenti-S6 model, based on macroscopic gas transport coefficients, reproduces the scattering profiles in the entire pressure range at less than 2% deviation at a similar level as does the alternative kinetic Grad's 6-moment model, which is based on the internal collisional relaxation as a decisive parameter. A hydrodynamic model fails to reproduce experimental spectra for the low pressures of 0.5-1 bar, but yields very good agreement (< 1%) in the pressure range 2−4 bar. While these three models have a different physical basis the internal molecular relaxation derived can for all three be described in terms of a bulk viscosity of ηb∼(6±2)×10−5 Pa · s. A ‘rough-sphere’ model, previously shown to be effective to describe light scattering in SF6 gas, is not found to be suitable, likely in view of the non-sphericity and asymmetry of the N-N-O structured linear polyatomic molecule.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer
Early online date31 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • NO
  • Rayleigh–Brillouin scattering
  • Tenti-model


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