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Proceedings Paper

Theoretical and experimental bioeffects research for high-power terahertz electromagnetic energy
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Paper Abstract

Historically, safety analyses for radio frequency emission and optical laser exposures have been designed to define the threshold level for tissue damage. To date, no experimental studies have documented damage thresholds to living tissues in the terahertz (THz) range of electromagnetic frequencies (0.1 - 10 THz). Exposure limits exist as extrapolated estimates at the extreme bounds of current occupational safety standards for lasers and radio frequency sources. Therefore, due to the lack of published data on the safety of terahertz emissions, an understanding of the bioeffects of tissue exposures to terahertz beams is necessary. The terahertz frequency band represents an intermediate range in which both optical and radiofrequency methods of theory and experimentation can be selectively employed and compared for consistency. We report on work recently completed to reconcile the theoretical methods of optical and radio-frequency radiative transport modeling, while additionally discussing preliminary theoretical estimates of damage thresholds to skin tissue from terahertz energy and work planned to validate these findings experimentally.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 February 2007
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6435, Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XVIII, 64350X (19 February 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.725180
Show Author Affiliations
Jill McQuade, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Nichole Jindra, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Semih Kumru, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Ron Seaman, General Dynamics AIES (United States)
Alex Salazar, General Dynamics AIES (United States)
Victor Villavicencio, Northrop Grumman (United States)
C. D. Clark, Northrop Grumman (United States)
Kalyn Yaws, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Jason Payne, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Robert Thomas, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
William Roach, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6435:
Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XVIII
Steven L. Jacques; William P. Roach, Editor(s)

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