Date Approved

2005

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

The sensitive and simple photothermal technique of Surface Thermal Lensing (STL) was employed to study the thermo-mechanical response of an amorphous polycarbonate as a bulk. A discussion is given of how previously developed theories did not fit well with the present work. Therefore, only qualitative analysis and discussion of the experimental results is made, emphasizing the influence of various factors on the STL signal. The work here is mainly a study of the dependence of the STL signal on the modulated pump beam frequency. The effect on the STL signal of thermal and mechanical relaxation in the thermally stimulated area is also discussed qualitatively. Some normalization procedures were developed to show that most of the spots on the bulk polycarbonate sample followed a common trend and showed position dependence of optical, thermal, and mechanical properties of the sample.

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