The principles of optimizing a microphone for a photoacoustic detector in the nonresonant mode of operation are presented. Performance of the constructed optical cantilever microphone is compared to the commercial electret microphone by measuring the photoacoustic spectrum of methane with both systems. The sensitivity of the presented photoacoustic detector in the nonresonant mode of operation is 100 times higher with the optical cantilever microphone than with the electret microphone.
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