Abstract

Optoacoustic detectors are used to measure pressure changes occurring in enclosed gases, liquids, or solids being excited by intensity or frequency modulated electromagnetic radiation. Radiation absorption spectra, collisional relaxation rates, substance compositions, and reactions can be determined from the time behavior of these pressure changes. Very successful measurements of gaseous air pollutants have, for instance, been performed by using detectors of this type together with different lasers. The measuring instrument consisting of radiation source, modulator, optoacoustic detector, etc. is often called spectrophone. In the present paper, a thorough optoacoustic detector optimization analysis based upon a review of its theory of operation is introduced. New quantitative rules and suggestions explaining how to design detectors with maximal pressure responsivity and over-all sensitivity and minimal background signal are presented.

© 1975 Optical Society of America

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