Advantest Corporation announced that it has successfully developed the world's first terahertz (THz = 1012 Hz) wave imaging system, using Advantest's original terahertz wave technology, for nondestructive three dimensional (3D) analysis and inspection. The system is the first product developed within the framework of Advantest's New Concept Product Initiative, and is expected to form a cornerstone of the company's new business strategy. Anticipating diverse industrial applications for terahertz waves, Advantest has announced a commitment to exploring applications in fields including industrial materials, medicine, biotechnology and security.
Straddling the border between radio and optical emissions, terahertz waves have frequencies ranging from a few tens GHz to 100 THz. These electromagnetic waves possess remarkable properties including absorption spectra (also known as fingerprint spectra) that enable them to penetrate visually opaque materials. In addition, their spatial resolution is suitable for practical spectroscopic imaging applications. However, basic techniques for THz generation, detection, and measurement, until recently, had not been developed for commercial use, hampering the exploration of practical applications for terahertz wave technology.
Advantest has now announced the successful development of its Terahertz Wave 3D Imaging System, which integrates the company's longstanding expertise in optical and electronic measurement with its newly developed, proprietary femtosecond fiber laser technology, as well as imaging technology developed by Advantest in collaboration with Dr. Kodo Kawase of Nagoya University. The system boasts unprecedented capabilities for nondestructive visual analysis of the spatial distribution, chemical identification, and quantification of constituents of the material under inspection, e.g. ceramics or plastics.