Under a Phase II SBIR from NOAA, Actinix is developing a novel instrument that combines flow cytometric and microphotometric methods for determination of single-particle optical properties. The instrument is being designed to determine single-particle light absorption and backscattering cross sections at multiple visible wavelengths for particles commonly found in natural waters, such as phytoplankton cells, organic detritus, and minerals. Particles should be measured in the most undisturbed state possible; so no pretreatment should be applied on them before conducting optical measurements. Ideally, the following features are also desirable to have:

• Broad spectral operating range from near UV through near IR;
• A wide size range, ~0.5 – 100 μm;
• Address elongated particles such as Pseudo-nitzschia cells.