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Proceedings Paper

Birefringence of wood at terahertz frequencies
Author(s): Tara M. Todoruk; Jon Schneider; Ian D. Hartley; Matthew Reid
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Paper Abstract

Fibre content of solid wood plays an important role in the wood products industry in terms of value. Additionally, fibre structure in composite wood products such as Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and paper products plays an important role in terms of strength properties. The effect of moisture content on wood properties is important in the manufacturing process and final product performance, and therefore its effect on the birefringence is of considerable interest. Since solid wood exhibits strong birefringence at terahertz frequencies, there may be potential applications of terahertz spectroscopy to fibre content and structure sensing. There are two potential sources for this strong birefringence: (i) form birefringence resulting from the porous structure of solid wood and (ii) intrinsic birefringence resulting from the dielectric properties of the material itself. In this report, the variability of birefringence within and between species, the dependence of the birefringence on moisture content and the relative contributions from form and intrinsic birefringence are examined. In order to clarify the role of these contributions to the measured birefringence, polarized terahertz reflection spectroscopy is examined and compared to the results obtained in a transmission geometry. Comparison of the birefringence measured in transmission and reflection geometries suggests that form birefringence may dominate.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 August 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7099, Photonics North 2008, 70992Q (12 August 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.807087
Show Author Affiliations
Tara M. Todoruk, Univ. of Northern British Columbia (Canada)
Jon Schneider, Univ. of Northern British Columbia (Canada)
Ian D. Hartley, Univ. of Northern British Columbia (Canada)
Matthew Reid, Univ. of Northern British Columbia (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7099:
Photonics North 2008

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