More Accurate, Less Invasive
Terahertz (THz) imaging is unique because it is a non-harmful imaging source that can simultaneously extract extensive spectroscopic information from the scene that cannot be obtained by imaging at other frequencies (X-rays, visibile, infrared, microwave, etc). T-rays are like X-rays in that they can penetrate a wide range of materials, but are far better because they are non-harmful and reveal much more information about the materials being imaged.
T-rays can elicit signatures for as many as 90% of the processes that occur in the universe. Harnessing this spectral “fingerprint” of materials allows for a new generation of diagnostics, detection, and imaging.
Physically harmless terahertz radiation can penetrate the overwhelming majority of non-metallic substances, leading to a wide variety of applications. This ability is the reason more than 600 researchers and 30 companies worldwide are currently pursuing some type of T-ray system.
Energetically, terahertz radiation falls between the microwave and infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The frequently used term “terahertz gap,” refers to the terahertz region being inaccessible by either electronics, which function well at microwave or lower frequencies, or photonics, which operate as low as the far infrared.
A Growing Market
The THz industry has seen rapid development in technologies in the past 18 months, and the result has been an exponential growth in companies, products, and research. While this growth is expected as a consequence of both Moore’s Law, and diffusion of technologies & products from the infrared and microwave markets, the THz market has grown through cost-performance advancements.