This work presents a theoretical study of a heat transfer effect, taking into account the heat transfer within the heated sample and out to the surrounding medium. The analytical solution is used to model the thermal lens and thermal mirror effects and the results are compared with the finite element analysis (FEA) software solution. The FEA modeling results were found to be in excellent agreement with the analytical solutions. Our results also show that the heat transfer between the sample surface and the air coupling fluid does not introduce an important effect over the induced phase shift in the sample when compared to the solution obtained without considering axial heat flux. On the other hand, the thermal lens created in the air coupling fluid has a significant effect on the predicted time-dependent photothermal signals. When water is used as fluid, the heat coupling leads to a more significant effect in both sample and fluid phase shift. Our results could be used to obtain physical properties of low optical absorption fluids by using a reference solid sample in both thermal lens and thermal mirror experiments.
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