Abstract

We report on a mid-infrared photothermal spectroscopy system with a near-infrared fiber probe laser and a tunable quantum cascade pump laser. Photothermal spectra of a 6 μm-thick 4-octyl-4-cyanobiphenyl liquid crystal sample are measured with a signal-to-baseline contrast above 103. As both the peak photothermal signal and the corresponding baseline increase linearly with probe power, the signal-to-baseline contrast converges to an asymptotic limit for a given pump power. This limit is independent of the probe power and characterizes the best contrast achievable for the system. This enables sensitive quantitative spectral characterization of linear infrared absorption features directly from photothermal spectroscopy measurements.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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