A generalization of the thermal lens model formalism is proposed to introduce and characterize the thermodiffusion phenomenon. The theory treats the case in which local heating generates a temperature gradient in a single-phase binary sample (a colloid, for instance) that yields, through thermodiffusion, concentration gradients in an initially homogeneous sample. The treatment generalizes the concept of a thermal lens to a material lens as a result of the coupling of a concentration variation with the optical properties of the medium. This formalism permits the use of the <i>Z</i>-scan technique to determine the Soret coefficient of samples. Applying this theory to the results of a <i>Z</i>-scan experiment with an ionic ferrofluid sample gives values that agree with those obtained from forced Rayleigh scattering measurements of the same material.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
S. Alves, A. Bourdon, and A. M. Figueiredo Neto, "Generalization of the thermal lens model formalism to account for thermodiffusion in a single-beam Z-scan experiment: determination of the Soret coefficient," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 20, 713-718 (2003)