Terahertz is a radiation frequency that falls in between the range where microwave and infrared frequencies lie. But unlike both frequencies that are used in common household activities, such as remote channel switching or heating precooked foods, Terahertz or T-rays as it’s fondly called by its proponents, has a more profound use and this gap is now being slowly bridged by leading scientists and engineers of our time.
Spectrum of electromagnetic radiation: Delving into T-rays
Terahertz radiation consists of electromagnetic waves that cannot be seen with the naked eye, but it emits energy powerful enough to penetrate clothing, ceramics, wood plastic, paper, cardboard and even masonry. These are solid materials, though despite its notorious penetration ability, in all its glory, THz waves cannot pass through any liquid water or metallic objects.
So, where do you think, will this potent radiation can be used at? It’s medical imaging. In fact, the first images that were made out of T-rays have been used since the 60s yet it was only as late as 1995 when a particular set of imagery sparked the interest of many learned men and women of science – a spectroscopy, which provides valuable information for chemists and biochemists.
From then, even the world of literature caught up when Tom Clancy, famed author of the James Bond series, came up with a title that featured T-rays in action.
Unlike x-rays though, terahertz rays are non-ionizing. When we say ionizing, it’s a reaction that could be considered fatal to living cells and tissues, an issue that is deeply known when conducting x-rays. So expect that when your attending physician have used terahertz on you to somehow gain an image of any internal organs for diagnostic purposes, it’s as free from harm as eating fruits or vegetables. In extreme cases and to further destabilize x-ray’s domain, terahertz is even far better in i3D imaging of teeth.
But again, despite all these advancements, many experts believe that the current mass of imaging devices available in the market today are not fully synced with Terahertz full potential, because they’re made to work best with just either photons or electrons.
Photons in this manner work with fiber optics, lasers and cameras, while electrons work best in computer technology. Duke University’s Metamaterials expert Willie Padilla believes, though that there are ways to work around this.
If he’s to be followed, devices that work best with terahertz radiation will be able to detect skin cancer. In this case though, applications are not just fully medical in nature. If you think the imaging done on airport security is lenient and different, then terahertz technology should surprise you.
Theoretically, security applications that can see through fabrics and plastics is in development today, which, if finally in use, can help detect every instances of concealed weapons and explosives. Another usage is through weather obstruction such as sandstorms, which are prevalent in the Middle East where most American troops hold headquarters and foreign missions. This application could visibly lower or possibly eliminate instances of untoward plane crashes due to severe weather conditions.
And remember, all these without producing any detrimental effects to our bodies’ internal organs.
Where does TeraSense Come into the Picture?
TeraSense has long been a believer of terahertz imaging and its many wonderful applications to the improvement of life and disease diagnosis. Since 2008 it has developed leading products such as IMPATT sub-THZ generators and ultrafast terahertz detectors that are both useful in various industries, particularly telecommunication.
This time around, it delves into one of the most useful and initial uses of the technology, whose development is rather at its infancy. TeraSense’s newest product is called the sub-THz semiconductor imaging camera, a first of its kind high speed component in the world.
But unlike its predecessors and competition, this imaging camera is not just fast, it also has diverse uses.
“Our original patent-protected technology creates a new type of semiconductor detector arrays for sub THz imaging, operates at room temperature and produces scalable images even in a high number of pixels,” proudly shares Dr. Victor Solovyev, Head of Production Department. Further he adds “Apart from its cost-effectiveness, our customers can have custom-tailored solutions, high speed image acquisition of up to 50 frames per second and wide frequency range tolerance.”
The camera can detect hidden objects, help in medical diagnosis, homeland security, OEM applications, and even high-bandwidth telecommunication systems. TeraSense imaging cameras are compliant with international standards and have EC Certificate of Conformity. Given t-rays known harmlessness even in direct human contact, the product produces no known detrimental effects to human usage.
The semiconductor THz camera is also available in three variants, which facilitates different pixilation needs. Tera-256, Tera-1024 and Tera-4096 models all represent the total number of pixels that model can accommodate perfectly. Apart from that only the sizes differ in this regard.
Unlike modern electronics of this nature, TeraSense believes that creating useful imaging devices backed by a nascent technology shouldn’t be expensive; thus they’ve assembled ways to make their products more mass-market reachable and low-cost so anyone can enjoy the many benefits that this technology offers; far superior than any other known today. The product comes with a 1 year warranty, with USB feeding and programming capability, which makes it easier to transfer information from the camera to another USB supported device and has a new physical principle employed.
The imaging camera has now been used by clients from various industries such as INO, Sistema, Anteral, ENEA, KERI, and Fraunhofer FHR. It’s currently being distributed by a wide array of global distributor networks based in numerous countries such as Tokyo Instruments, Inc. Japan, Sapec in the Netherlands and Belgium, Microtech Instruments, Inc in the USA and Semic RF in the EU, Germany and Switzerland among many others.
For more information about the products, its usage, prices and other company news, you can visit https://terasense.com/.