Pyroelectric thermal wave detector and its application

L. Kocsányi, P. Richter, P. Deak, H. K. Lichtenthaler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Details are presented of a pyroelectric thermal wave detector which allows measurement of the heat produced by a sample during modulated light excitation. The sensing element of the detector is a light-transmitting piezoelectric crystal transducer which has to be pressed against the probe. The modulated excitation light is guided through this transducer to the sample. Test measurements on different powder materials, e.g. carbon black and technical dyes, and on photosynthetically active plant leaves were carried out to determine the capabilities of the detector. The spectra were compared with the photoacoustic spectra of these materials, taken by a commercially available photoacoustic gas microphone cell. Results showed that in the case of powder investigations the spectra taken by the contact detector are similar to the photoacoustic spectra. In the case of plant leaves, where, owing to photochemical reactions, photosynthetic oxygen evolution is also induced by the illumination, closed photoacoustic cells register a composite signal originating from gas evolution superposed on the thermal signal. In contrast, the contact detector proposed by us measures the photothermal part only. The small, mobile design allows the detector to make quick, in situ, photothermal measurements of different materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-116
Number of pages4
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 10 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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