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Proceedings Paper

Terahertz technology in biological and chemical sensing for defence
Author(s): Ruth M. Woodward
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Paper Abstract

The terahertz (1 THz = 1012 Hz, 3 mm or 33 cm-1) region of the electromagnetic spectrum is typically defined in the frequency range 100 GHz to 10 THz, corresponding to a wavelength range of 3 mm to 30 microns. Owing to a lack of suitable coherent sources and detectors, this region has only been investigated in earnest in the last ten years for terrestrial imaging and spectroscopy applications. Its role in the medical, pharmaceutical, non-destructive testing and more recently security industries is now being examined. The terahertz frequency range is of particular interest since it is able to probe several molecular interactions including the intermolecular vibrations, large amplitude vibrations and twisting and torsional modes. Molecules have also shown polarization sensitivity to the incident terahertz radiation. The ability of terahertz radiation to investigate conformational change makes it an important part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Terahertz radiation has the potential to provide additional information, which may complement other optically based sensing technologies. The use of terahertz technology in the security and defence industry is discussed, with a specific focus on biological and chemical sensing. The challenges faced in bringing terahertz technology into the market place will be discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 December 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5617, Optically Based Biological and Chemical Sensing for Defence, (29 December 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.569427
Show Author Affiliations
Ruth M. Woodward, HT Consultants Ltd. (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5617:
Optically Based Biological and Chemical Sensing for Defence
John C. Carrano; Arturas Zukauskas, Editor(s)

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