The application of photothermal methods in the detection of absorption spectra is a rapidly developing filed of research. One of these methods is photothermal beam deflection spectroscopy (PBDS), which is based on the "mirage effect," as first described by Boccara <i>et al.</i> In transverse PBDS, an intensity- or polarization-modulated pump beam illuminates the sample surface at approximately normal incidence. The modulation of the sample's surface temperature by the photothermal effect causes modulation of the refractive index of the surrounding medium. This modulated thermal gradient in the surrounding medium medium causes the deflection of a probe laser beam which passes close and parallel to the surface. The periodic deflection of the probe beam is monitored by a silicon diode position detector. Measurement of the probe beam's deflection as a function of wavelength can produce a spectrum of the sample surface or, in general, of any species occurring at or near the interface of the sample and deflecting medium. This ability to probe the solid/liquid interface suggests that PBDS should be an excellent tool for <i>in situ</i> spectroelectrochemistry.
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