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In this work, the optical and thermal properties of tissue-like materials are measured using frequency-domain infrared photothermal radiometry. This technique is better suited for quantitative multi-parameter optical measurements than the widely used pulsed photothermal radiometry (PPTR), due to the availability of two independent signal channels, amplitude and phase, and the superior signal-to-noise ratio provided by synchronous lock-in detection. A rigorous three-dimensional thermal-wave formulation with a three-dimensional diffuse and coherent photon density-wave source is applied to data from model phantoms. The combined theoretical, experimental, and computational methodology shows good promise with regard to its analytical ability to measure optical properties of turbid media uniquely, as compared to PPTR, which exhibits uniqueness problems. From data sets obtained using calibrated test phantoms, the reduced optical scattering and absorption coefficients were found to be within 20% and 10%, respectively, from the independently derived values using Mie theory and spectrophotometric measurements. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.