Terahertz Time-Domain Spectroscopy

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Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) is a spectroscopic technique in which the properties of matter are probed with short pulses of terahertz radiation. The generation and detection scheme is sensitive to the sample’s effect on both the amplitude and the phase of the terahertz radiation and can provide more information than conventional Fourier-transform spectroscopy, which is only sensitive to the amplitude.

Terahertz imaging is emerging as a non-destructive evaluation (NDE) technique. The use of THz waves for NDE enables inspection of multi-layered structures and the identification of foreign material inclusions, dis-bond and delamination, mechanical impact damage, heat damage and water or hydraulic fluid ingression. Many materials have unique spectral fingerprints in the terahertz range, which can be used to identify them.

The Terahertz Applications Group, Cambridge, is developing terahertz imaging and spectroscopy techniques to understand the physical characteristics of a wide variety of materials spanning the fields of pharmaceuticals, catalysis, biologicals, nanotechnology and non-destructive testing.  This technique is complimented by the use of X-ray microtomography (Bruker Skyscan1172).