The model of Rosencwaig and Gersho for the photoacoustic effect is tested. The use of carbon black samples as a phase reference to estimate the apparatus phase phi from the experimental signal app phase phi turned out to be ambiguous. A new method is presented exp to correct the experimental signal phases phi of polymer films for exp the apparatus phase phi . The photoacoustic signal phase of some app well-defined poly(ethyleneterephthalate) (PET) films is obtained. As a phase reference, transparent thermally thick polymer films were found to be more convenient and dependable than carbon black samples. The resulting phase spectra of thermally thick and thermally thin PET films confirm the Rosencwaig-Gersho theory.

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