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Proceedings Paper

Terahertz imaging in dielectric media with quasi-Bessel beams
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Paper Abstract

Terahertz (THz) imaging is promising for nondestructive evaluation, since many optically opaque dielectrics are transparent to THz waves. Conventional THz imaging systems employ focusing elements such as spherical lenses and off-axis parabolas, but their fixed focal length produces an inherent trade-off between lateral resolution and depth of focus. Furthermore, image quality suffers when imaging objects located inside a dielectric medium. The air-dielectric interface introduces significant spherical aberration that degrades spatial resolution. Bessel beams are known to produce a small spot size over a large depth of focus. The contribution of our work is two-fold: (1) We demonstrate THz imaging with a significantly improved depth of focus using a zero-th order Bessel beam produced by an axicon lens. (2) We also demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, that Bessel beams experience reduced spherical aberration when imaging objects embedded in a dielectric medium. Imaging experiments are performed with a time-domain THz system, where a zero-th order quasi-Bessel beam is formed with an axicon lens made from high density polyethylene (HDPE). The HDPE axicon has a 50 mm diameter and an apex angle of 120 degrees. Point spread function (PSF) measurements confirm that lateral resolution is maintained over a 25 mm depth of field in air. The same lateral resolution is achieved over a 35 mm range inside a HDPE substrate. Needle objects embedded inside a thick HDPE substrate are imaged with high spatial resolution. Image contrast is significantly improved by digital filtering to reduce sidelobe levels. These promising results suggest that Bessel beams are well suited for terahertz nondestructive imaging of thick dielectric objects.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 February 2011
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7938, Terahertz Technology and Applications IV, 793806 (23 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.875864
Show Author Affiliations
Zhuopeng Zhang, Univ. of Delaware (United States)
Takashi Buma, Univ. of Delaware (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7938:
Terahertz Technology and Applications IV
Laurence P. Sadwick; Créidhe M. M. O'Sullivan, Editor(s)

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