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Measurement of tissue absorption coefficients by use of interferometric photothermal spectroscopy.


We describe a spectroscopic technique called interferometric photothermal spectroscopy (IPTS) that can measure the absorption coefficient of pulsed laser radiation in nonscattering tissue samples. The technique is suitable for measuring effective absorption coefficients from 10(3) to 10(5) cm(-1). IPTS is particularly attractive because it requires minimal disturbance of the sample. These features indicate potential use for in vivo measurements of tissue absorption coefficients. To validate the technique, the absorption coefficient of pulsed Q-switched Er:YSGG (2.79-microm) radiation in pure water was measured to be 5200 (+/-500) cm(-1) when IPTS was used, in agreement with other published values. IPTS was also used to measure the absorption coefficient of pulsed ArF excimer laser radiation (193 nm) in bovine corneal stroma (in vitro), giving a value of 1.9 (+/-0.4) x 10(4) cm(-1).

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