A system for measuring the absorption spectrum of a sample is provided that includes a broadband light source that produces broadband light defined within a range of an absorptance spectrum. An interferometer modulates the intensity of the broadband light source for a range of modulation frequencies. A bi-layer cantilever probe arm is thermally connected to a sample arm having at most two layers of materials. The broadband light modulated by the interferometer is directed towards the sample and absorbed by the sample and converted into heat, which causes a temperature rise and bending of the bi-layer cantilever probe arm. A detector mechanism measures and records the deflection of the probe arm so as to obtain the absorptance spectrum of the sample.