Nonlinear processes can be exploited to gain access to more information than is possible in the linear regime. Nonlinearity modifies the spectra of the excitation signals through harmonic generation, frequency mixing, and spectral shifting, so that features originally outside the detector range can be detected. Here, we present an experimental study of resolution enhancement for photoacoustic imaging of thin metal layers immersed in water. In this case, there is a threshold in the excitation below which no acoustic signal is detected. Above threshold, the nonlinearity reduces the width of the active area of the excitation beam, resulting in a narrower absorption region and thus improved spatial resolution. This gain is limited only by noise, as the active area of the excitation can be arbitrarily reduced when the fluence becomes closer to the threshold. Here, we demonstrate a two-fold improvement in resolution and quantify the image quality as the excitation fluence goes through threshold.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)