This paper reports the first application of a generalized two-dimensional (G2D) correlation method in photoacoustic spectral depthprofiling analysis of laminate/heterogeneous samples. In this method, photoacoustic magnitude spectra at different modulation frequencies are used to generate two-dimensional (2D) correlation spectra. The relative spatial origins of correlated signals are then determined from the signs of the corresponding contours. The unique features and advantages of this technique over previously reported depth-profiling methods are demonstrated and discussed. These include simplification of step-scan photoacoustic phase-modulation experiments as well as 2D correlation-analysis rules, avoidance of phase-related negative-band ambiguities, and enhancement of both spectral and depth resolutions, etc. The recently developed software-based digital signal-processing (DSP) technique for stepscan photoacoustic measurements offers an efficient means (sampling-depth multiplexing advantage) to collect within a single scan all necessary data for this type of 2D correlation analysis.

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