Characterizing nano- and micro-particles in fluids still proves to be a significant challenge for both science and industry. Here, we show how to determine shape and size distributions of polydisperse water suspensions of micron-sized particles by the analysis of the field scattered in the forward direction by single particles illuminated by a laser beam. We exploit the novel Single Particle Extinction and Scattering method in connection with shear conditions which give preferred orientations to the particles passing through the scattering volume. Water suspensions of calibrated non-spherical particles, polydisperse standard monophasic mineral samples of quartz and kaolinite, and a mixture of quartz and illite are studied in detail. Application and limitation of the method are discussed.

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