A system and method are disclosed for generating a photoacoustic spectrum in an open or closed environment with reduced noise. A source may emit a beam to a target substance coated on a detector that measures acoustic waves generated as a result of a light beam being absorbed by the target substance. By emitting a chopped/pulsed light beam to the target substance on the detector, it may be possible to determine the target's optical absorbance as the wavelength of light is changed. Rejection may decrease the intensity of the acoustic waves on the detector while absorption may increase the intensity. Accordingly, an identifying spectrum of the target may be made with the intensity variation of the detector as a function of illuminating wavelength.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.