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We report a novel photoacoustic Z-scan (PAZ-scan) technique that combines the advantages offered by the conventional Z-scan method and the sensitivity of the photoacoustic detection. The sample is scanned through the focused laser beam and the generated photoacoustic signal is recorded using a 10 MHz focused ultrasound transducer. Since the signal strength is directly proportional to the optical absorption, PAZ-scan displays nonlinear behavior depicting the nonlinear optical absorption of the material. Among many advantages, our experiments on mouse blood show that PAZ-scan can potentially be used as a standard technique to calibrate contrast agents used in theranostics in general and photoacoustics in particular.


Published in Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue 9, pp. 9020-9025, 2009:


Optical Society of America

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