Imaging and Microscopy with Optoacoustic and Photothermal Methods
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Optoacoustic (also called photoacoustic) and photothermal imaging is based on the propagation of thermal waves  and their interaction with thermal structures in a solid . These waves are locally generated in the surface of the sample by the absorption of an intensity modulated focused laser beam which is scanned across the sample. They are detected via the correlated temperature modulation. The classical method is optoacoustic detection where the sample is kept in an airtight cell. The temperature modulation, which depends on optical and thermal sample properties, results in a gas pressure modulation which can be heard as sound . A more modern method uses piezoceramics for detection of modulated thermal expansion .
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