Terahertz camera uses laser light patterns to ‘see inside’ objects

Terahertz camera uses laser light patterns to ‘see inside’ objects


A team of physicists at the University of
Sussex has successfully developed the first nonlinear camera capable of capturing high-resolution
images of the interior of solid objects using terahertz (THz) radiation. The research team built a new type of THz
camera capable of detecting THz electromagnetic waves with unprecedented accuracy. Images produced using THz radiation are called
‘hyperspectral’ because the image consists of pixels, each one containing the electromagnetic
signature of the object in that point. Lying between microwaves and infrared in the
electromagnetic spectrum, THz radiation easily penetrates materials like paper, clothes and
plastic in the same way X-rays do, but without being harmful. It is safe to use with even the most delicate
biological samples. THz imaging makes it possible to ‘see’ the
molecular composition of objects and distinguish between different materials – such as sugar
and cocaine Until now, cameras capable of capturing a
hyperspectral image preserving all the fine details revealed by THz radiation had not
been considered possible. The research team used a single-pixel camera
to image sample objects with patterns of THz light. The prototype they built can detect how the
object alters different patterns of THz light. By combining this information with the shape
of each original pattern, the camera reveals the image of an object as well as its chemical
composition. Sources of THz radiation are very faint and
hyperspectral imaging had, until now, limited fidelity. To overcome this, the team shone a standard
laser onto a unique non-linear material capable of converting visible light to THz. The prototype camera creates THz electromagnetic
waves very close to the sample, similar to how a microscope works. As THz waves can travel right through an object
without affecting it, the resulting images reveal the shape and composition of objects
in three dimensions. The researchers say that the next phase of
their research will be in speeding up the image reconstruction process and applying
THz cameras to real-world applications; like airport security, intelligent car sensors,
quality control in manufacturing and even scanners to detect health problems like skin
cancer.

One Comments

  • Rajamanickam Antonimuthu

    February 19, 2020

    Playlist for Technology News Videos – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLK2ccNIJVPpB_XqWWq_oaZGIDzmKiSkYc

    Reply

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