The effects of prefactor on the optical properties of numerically generated fractal soot aggregates were investigated using the numerically exact generalized multi-sphere Mie-solution method (GMM) and the approximate Rayleigh-Debye-Gans (RDG) theory. The numerically generated fractal aggregates consist of 50 to 400 primary particles of 30 nm in diameter. The considered incident laser wavelength is 266 nm. Attention is paid to the effect of prefactor on the vertical-vertical differential scattering cross section, since such quantity has often been used to infer the fractal dimension and prefactor based on the RDG formulation. The fractal prefactor affects the optical properties of the numerically generated soot aggregates through its influence on the compactness of the structure. Using GMM to calculate the optical properties of the numerically generated aggregates results in a lower aggregate absorption cross section, but a higher total scattering cross section with increasing the prefactor. The difference between the RDG results and those of GMM is primarily caused by multiple scattering and such effect is found significant, especially for the higher value of prefactor considered. The fractal dimension derived from the GMM non-dimensional differential scattering cross section agrees well with the morphological value in the case of the lower prefactor of 1.3 considered; however, the derived fractal dimension is much higher than the morphological value for fractal soot aggregates with a prefactor of 2.3. The light scattering derived prefactor is in general lower than the morphological value, especially when the morphological prefactor is higher.

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