The generation and detection of broadband photoacoustic (PA) transients may be used for on-axis monitoring or for imaging of optically different structures in the interior of diffuse bodies such as biological tissue. Various piezoelectric sensors are characterized and compared in terms of sensitivity, depth response, and directivity with respect to spherical broadband acoustic pulses. The influence on the sensor output of acoustic interference and refraction of the PA transients at the sample-sensor interface is discussed. Ring detectors are suitable for deep on-axis detection thanks to their strong directional sensitivity, and small disk sensors are most suited for 3-D imaging of microstructures such as the (micro) vascular system. Voltage and charge preamplification schemes are compared in terms of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). In all cases, the preamplifier noise turns out to be the limiting factor for the sensitivity. Based on experimental data, for several sensor types and optical wavelengths, the theoretical detectability of PA signals generated by blood-like absorbers in biological tissue is discussed.
|Number of pages
|IEEE transactions on ultrasonics, ferroelectrics and frequency control
|Published - Jan 2001
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