Abstract

Fiber-optic photoacoustic sources for nondestructive testing and biomedical applications are described. The photoacoustic sources consist of a pulsed laser, a fiber-optic cable, and a generation head. The generation head is a miniature hermetically sealed chamber, which can be embedded into solid structures or immersed in liquid media. The face of the chamber acts as a target for laser irradiation. Bulk ultrasonic waves generated inside of the target are transmitted into the medium. The proposed systems offer wide ultrasonic range (0.5–15 MHz), easy control over directivity of the ultrasonic beam, high efficiency of generation, and the ability to operate in a harsh environment. Sources with different radiation patterns with respect to the optical axis of the fiber, such as normal, sideways, as well as focused, have been devised. We present a proof-of-concept experiment using these sources in combination with fiber-optic ultrasonic receivers.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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