FT-IR photoacoustic (PA) and also photothermal beam deflection (PBD) spectra were recorded with the same particulate samples (graphite, charcoal, aspirin, and silica) under the same conditions in order to compare the quality of the spectra obtainable with the two techniques. A PA cell fitted with windows for the PBD laser probe beam was used, and PA and PBD spectra of each sample were recorded at 8 cm−1 resolution at each of the four different interferometer scan velocities. Although the overall aspects of FT-IR/PA and FT-IR/PBD spectra are the same, the signal-to-noise ratios of PA spectra are appreciably better than those of PBD spectra because PBD detection is more prone to disturbance by vibration than is PA detection. Absorption bands appear at the same wavenumbers in PA and PBD spectra. However, the relative intensities of bands of PBD spectra depend on the absorptive properties of the powdered solids; with weak absorbers, some bands may not be detected at all. PAS can be used with all powders. PBDS is of little or no use for the examination of weakly absorbing powders unless they scatter IR radiation extensively.
P. G. Varlashkin, M. J. D. Low, G. A. Parodi, and C. Morterra, "A Comparison of FT-IR/PA and FT-IR/PBD Spectra of Powders," Appl. Spectrosc. 40, 636-641 (1986)