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The broadband ultrasonic characterization of biological fluids and tissues is important for the continued development and application of high-resolution ultrasound imaging modalities. Here, a photoacoustic technique for the transmission measurement of temperature-dependent ultrasonic attenuation and dispersion is described. The system uses a photoacoustic plane wave source constructed from a polymethylmethacrylate substrate with a thin optically absorbent layer. Broadband ultrasonic waves are generated by illuminating the absorbent layer with nanosecond pulses of laser light. The transmitted ultrasound waves are detected by a planar 7-mum high-finesse Fabry-Perot interferometer. Temperature- induced thickness changes in the Fabry-Perot interferometer are tracked to monitor the sample temperature and maintain the sensor sensitivity. The measured -6-dB bandwidth for the combined source and sensor is 1 to 35 MHz, with an attenuation corrected signal level at 100 MHz of -10 dB. The system is demonstrated through temperature-dependent ultrasound measurements in castor oil and olive oil. Power law attenuation parameters are extracted by fitting the experimental attenuation data to a frequency power law while simultaneously fitting the dispersion data to the corresponding Kramers-Kronig relation. The extracted parameters are compared with other calibration measurements previously reported in the literature.