A model of pulsed photothermal radiometry (PPTR) based on optical diffusion theory is presented for a turbid, two-layer, semi-infinite medium containing a surface layer whose optical absorption and scattering properties differ from that of the underlying layer. Assuming one-dimensional geometry, we develop expressions for the depth-dependent fluence distributions and radiant-energy-density profiles and for the time dependence of the PPTR signal. Experimental tests of the PPTR model in a series of layered phantoms of varying optical properties are described. The results of these tests are consistent with the model predictions.
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