Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Study Materials, Combustion, Cancer with New ‘T-ray’ Instrument

28.10.2009
A new, $500,000 instrument recently went about its work emitting and reading high-speed pulses of silent and invisible terahertz rays.

As it did, Thomas Chiou explained how the technology would allow Iowa State University researchers to take a close and unique look at materials reliability, biofuels combustion, environmental clean-up, cancer screening, biomass conversion, ionic liquids and many other research areas in science and engineering.

The Terahertz Ray (or “T-ray”) Research Facility at Iowa State’s Center for Nondestructive Evaluation (CNDE) gives researchers a state-of-the-art tool to measure and characterize materials, said Chiou, an associate scientist at the center who’s managing the new T-ray facility.

The instrument should produce useful data for the automotive, aviation, food, energy, materials, pharmaceuticals, medical, forensics, defense and homeland security fields.

“This machine represents a new frequency regime in which measurements can be made,” said R. Bruce Thompson, an Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering, the director of the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation and leader of the collaboration that brought the instrument to Iowa State. “When you have a new way to make measurements, there are new things you can do in applied and fundamental sciences.”

Iowa State acquired the instrument with the help of a $342,500 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation program.

Researchers who worked to acquire the instrument include Thompson; Chiou; Viren Amin, an associate scientist at CNDE and adjunct assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering; Daniel Barnard, an assistant engineer for CNDE and an assistant scientist for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory; Stephen Holland, a group leader at CNDE and an assistant professor of aerospace engineering; David Hsu, a senior scientist for CNDE and adjunct professor of aerospace engineering; John McClelland, a scientist for the Institute for Physical Research and Technology, the Ames Laboratory and an adjunct associate professor of mechanical engineering; Terry Meyer, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering; Say-Kee Ong, a professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering; and Jacob Petrich, professor and chair of chemistry.

Chiou said the new instrument is made possible by advances in ultra-fast laser technology. It emits terahertz rays that are focused on a material or object. The rays reflect back to the receiver and the instrument’s controlling computer records and displays the resulting data. That data can show 3-D spatial images of the object’s inner structures and also provide spectroscopic analyses of chemical and physical compositions.

The rays – they’re between microwave and infrared rays in a relatively unexplored segment of the electromagnetic spectrum – can penetrate many common gases, non-metal solids and some liquids, Chiou said. They’re not known to cause harm to people or materials. They also show unique signatures for many materials.

Chiou said the Iowa State T-ray facility will feature two separate systems. One is a time-domain pulsed system suitable for high-speed, time-resolved imaging tasks. The second is a frequency-domain, continuous-wave system for applications requiring finer resolution.

Chiou said the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was the first to demonstrate the technology’s potential in nondestructive evaluation when NASA engineers successfully used T-rays to look for defects in the foam that insulates and protects the Space Shuttle’s external fuel tanks.

“There are a lot of applications for this technology and we’re discovering more and more of them,” Chiou said.

And so researchers at Iowa State’s Terahertz Ray Research Facility are looking for university and industry collaborators who want to see what the new equipment can do for their projects.

“There is a lot of emphasis on innovation these days,” Thompson said. “We see this technology as a way to encourage innovative ideas. We’re excited just to try some new things.”

Contacts:
R. Bruce Thompson, Center for Nondestructive Evaluation, (515) 294-7864, thompsonrb@cnde.iastate.edu

C. Thomas Chiou, Center for Nondestructive Evaluation, (515) 294-0299, cchiou@cnde.iastate.edu

Mike Krapfl | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.iastate.edu

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Rutgers researchers develop automated robotic device for faster blood testing
14.06.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht Speech comprehension with a cochlear implant
04.06.2018 | Universität zu Lübeck

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The secret of the soybean: Mainz researchers are investigating oil bodies in soybeans

21.06.2018 | Life Sciences

Scientists print sensors on gummi candy: creating microelectrode arrays on soft materials

21.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Proteins with different evolutionary histories now do the same job

21.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>