MUNICH, Germany For a long time, researchers have worked on techniques using the terahertz frequency range for material test applications. Japanese test system vendor Advantest now brings these waves to practical applications.
As a natural extension of existing non-destructive material research techniques such as ultrasound, X-Ray or MRI, terahertz waves could be used for material analysis and inspection. Their specific absorption spectra enable these electromagnetic waves to penetrate visually opaque materials and thus to visualize internal damages or irregularities. At the same time, it offers better spatial resolution than microwave-based systems high enough for stereoscopic imaging applications. Hitherto, however, the problem was that terahertz oscillators as well as detecting and measurement technology for these waves was not suited for commercial applications.
Advantest now claims to have closed the gap. The company has announced a 3D imaging system based on terahertz waves, aiming at industrial and scientific material testing applications.
In order to generate the terahertz waves, Advantest uses a fiber laser with ultra-short pulses in the femtosecond range, the company said. This enables spectroscopic analysis at frequencies of up to 3 THz, the company said.
The system will be exhibited at the Tokyo Big Sight exposition in January.
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