Experimental results for photothermal lens measurements are compared to finite elemental analysis models for commercial colored glass filters. Finite elemental analysis software is used to model the photothermal effect by simulating the coupling of heat both within the sample and out to the surroundings. Modeling shows that heat transfer between the glass surface and the air coupling fluid has a significant effect on the predicted time-dependent photothermal lens signals. For comparison with experimental signals, a simple equation based on the finite element analysis result is proposed for accounting for the variance of experimental data where this type of heat coupling situation occurs. The colored glass filters are found to have positive thermo-optical coefficients. The net positive d<i>n</i>/d<i>T</i> of CdS<sub>x</sub>Se<sub>1−x</sub> doped glass filters is considered to be the consequence of counteracting factors: optical nonlinearity, stress-induced birefringence, and the structural network of glass. Finite element analysis modeling results are also used to correlate experimental measurements of different sample geometries. In particular, the glass samples are compared to ethanol solutions of iron (II) dicylopentadiene in a sample cuvette even though heat transfer is different for these two samples.

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