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This article presents static and dynamic calibration methods of thin-film thermocouples (TFTCs) by means of a laser modulation technique. The static calibration is based on a combined analysis of theoretical and experimental results; knowing the experimental parameters (incident laser power, beam waist radius), the temperature of the exposed junction is theoretically calculated using a thermal model and the sensor electromotive force (emf) response is recorded. The ratio between the sensor emf and the corresponding temperature gives the TFTC sensitivity. The periodic method is used to determine both the frequency response and the 95% response time of the TFTC. Special test patterns with integrated Au/Pd thin-film thermocouples are developed and tested by these methods. Results of Au/Pd TFTC sensitivity are compared to the literature values and a good agreement is obtained. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.