Posts tagged terahertz

Terahertz radiation could detect early signs of skin cancer

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The same type of terahertz radiation which is finding its way into uses such as airport body scanners could also be used to detect melanoma before it even appears visible to the human eye, at its earliest and most treatable stage.

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New microchips are a “tool for secret agents”.

A new type of microchip developed at Caltech will allow devices such as smartphones or handheld scanners to easily scan and ‘see’ in inside objects using terahertz waves. The tiny chips (pictured above next to a penny) can be manufactured "Using the same low-cost, integrated-circuit technology that’s used to make the microchips found in our cell phones and notepads today", according to the team.

Caltech describe the development like something from a spy novel, but the technology could soon feature in smartphones as well:

A secret agent is racing against time. He knows a bomb is nearby. He rounds a corner, spots a pile of suspicious boxes in the alleyway, and pulls out his cell phone. As he scans it over the packages, their contents appear onscreen. In the nick of time, his handy smartphone application reveals an explosive device, and the agent saves the day. 

Terahertz scanner goes on sale, scans for letter bombs and drugs.
The T-Cognition 1.0 scanner is now on sale, and is able to detect substances such as drugs or explosives without needing to open the letter or parcel.Terahertz waves are able to non-destructively reveal the ‘spectral signature’ of compounds, while passing easily through non-conductive materials like paper or fabric. These spectral signatures can be matched with a database of compounds in the scanner, which can reveal known drug or explosive compounds. It also reveals the presence of metals which could house an explosive device.
The scanner can also be loaded with spectral signatures of different compounds, for example it could be used to scan pharmaceutical samples to reveal if medical drugs had the correct chemical composition before putting them on the market. This saves money over the current system of having to make extra samples for testing, from each batch of drugs made.

Terahertz scanner goes on sale, scans for letter bombs and drugs.

The T-Cognition 1.0 scanner is now on sale, and is able to detect substances such as drugs or explosives without needing to open the letter or parcel.
Terahertz waves are able to non-destructively reveal the ‘spectral signature’ of compounds, while passing easily through non-conductive materials like paper or fabric. These spectral signatures can be matched with a database of compounds in the scanner, which can reveal known drug or explosive compounds. It also reveals the presence of metals which could house an explosive device.

The scanner can also be loaded with spectral signatures of different compounds, for example it could be used to scan pharmaceutical samples to reveal if medical drugs had the correct chemical composition before putting them on the market. This saves money over the current system of having to make extra samples for testing, from each batch of drugs made.

Terahertz technology makes its way into factories.
Advanced Photonix, Inc. has announced a product called T-Gauge, which uses terahertz energy to monitor the quality of products passing through production lines. As opposed to x-rays which require large, expensive scanners with potentially dangerous radiation, terahertz energy is able to penetrate materials to provide information on chemical composition, as well as physical scans to detect any flaws under the surface.
The T-Gauge sensors will be used on production lines to perform quality control of products without needing to physically touch or impede the products, while providing real-time feedback for continuous process adjustments.
Meanwhile a 1.1 million Euro grant has enabled further University research into terahertz based scanners for security and medical applications. The University of Dundee is aiming to develop cheap, compact and efficient T-ray sources which could soon replace X-Ray scanners at airports.
I’ve previously covered other uses of T-rays here.

Terahertz technology makes its way into factories.

Advanced Photonix, Inc. has announced a product called T-Gauge, which uses terahertz energy to monitor the quality of products passing through production lines. As opposed to x-rays which require large, expensive scanners with potentially dangerous radiation, terahertz energy is able to penetrate materials to provide information on chemical composition, as well as physical scans to detect any flaws under the surface.

The T-Gauge sensors will be used on production lines to perform quality control of products without needing to physically touch or impede the products, while providing real-time feedback for continuous process adjustments.

Meanwhile a 1.1 million Euro grant has enabled further University research into terahertz based scanners for security and medical applications. The University of Dundee is aiming to develop cheap, compact and efficient T-ray sources which could soon replace X-Ray scanners at airports.

I’ve previously covered other uses of T-rays here.

How your next smartphone camera might be able to ‘see-through’ solid objects.
New research has opened the door for handheld devices able to scan and ‘see-through’ solid objects, by building a Schottky Diode into a standard CMOS imaging chip.
CMOS image sensors have long been used in web cams and cellphone cameras, as a cheaper alternative to CCD sensors. Now the Semiconductor Research Corp (SRC) has shown it can make those same CMOS sensors operate at terahertz speeds, allowing a cellphone sized camera module which can see through objects.
Terahertz cameras have previously been used to see through luggage and clothing at airport security points, but until now the technology has meant the devices needed to be bulky and expensive. The image above shows the inside of an old floppy disk (right), and was taken with a one-pixel CMOS terahertz image chip. Considering even cheap smartphone cameras today are at least one MegaPixel, the image is remarkably clear, and can only improve from here.
This new development is likely to revolutionise not just cameras and scanners, but will also allow cheaper and safer medical scanners, and will have high-speed telecommunications applications.
The technology will be available to all of the companies who currently fund the SRC, which includes AMD, IBM, Intel, Texas Instruments, and other semiconductor companies.
Last month I wrote about how this technology could soon be used by Police to scan for weapons, or to build a real life Tricorder - read that story here.

How your next smartphone camera might be able to ‘see-through’ solid objects.

New research has opened the door for handheld devices able to scan and ‘see-through’ solid objects, by building a Schottky Diode into a standard CMOS imaging chip.

CMOS image sensors have long been used in web cams and cellphone cameras, as a cheaper alternative to CCD sensors. Now the Semiconductor Research Corp (SRC) has shown it can make those same CMOS sensors operate at terahertz speeds, allowing a cellphone sized camera module which can see through objects.

Terahertz cameras have previously been used to see through luggage and clothing at airport security points, but until now the technology has meant the devices needed to be bulky and expensive. The image above shows the inside of an old floppy disk (right), and was taken with a one-pixel CMOS terahertz image chip. Considering even cheap smartphone cameras today are at least one MegaPixel, the image is remarkably clear, and can only improve from here.

This new development is likely to revolutionise not just cameras and scanners, but will also allow cheaper and safer medical scanners, and will have high-speed telecommunications applications.

The technology will be available to all of the companies who currently fund the SRC, which includes AMD, IBM, Intel, Texas Instruments, and other semiconductor companies.

Last month I wrote about how this technology could soon be used by Police to scan for weapons, or to build a real life Tricorder - read that story here.

Terahertz research receives $5 million funding.UK Company Teraview has received a $5.5 million investment from an international group of investors. The money will be split between their semiconductor research, and focusing on selling and marketing Terahertz Systems in Asia.
Teraview also recently received funding specifically for a new terahertz spectral imaging system, covered here last month. The custom-made spectral imager will emit electromagnetic radiation in the terahertz range and analyze how the spectra are absorbed and reflected by various materials, such as cell tissues and chemical  compounds. 
That new system will likely see use in future medical and pharmaceutical systems.

Terahertz research receives $5 million funding.
UK Company Teraview has received a $5.5 million investment from an international group of investors. The money will be split between their semiconductor research, and focusing on selling and marketing Terahertz Systems in Asia.

Teraview also recently received funding specifically for a new terahertz spectral imaging system, covered here last month. The custom-made spectral imager will emit electromagnetic radiation in the terahertz range and analyze how the spectra are absorbed and reflected by various materials, such as cell tissues and chemical  compounds.

That new system will likely see use in future medical and pharmaceutical systems.

Terahertz polarizer almost complete.
Researchers at Rice University have created a device able to selectively block or let terahertz waves through, depending on its setting.
The device was created using a triple layer of carbon nanotubes, and can handle a much larger range of the terahertz spectrum than previous devices, which were also far more fragile.
The breakthrough is a huge step towards new security or communication devices, as well as medical and weapons scanners, as previously described here.

Terahertz polarizer almost complete.

Researchers at Rice University have created a device able to selectively block or let terahertz waves through, depending on its setting.

The device was created using a triple layer of carbon nanotubes, and can handle a much larger range of the terahertz spectrum than previous devices, which were also far more fragile.

The breakthrough is a huge step towards new security or communication devices, as well as medical and weapons scanners, as previously described here.